This month our research team looks at the online payment market Belgium. Our researchers support us and our clients by identifying trends early, as well as new business opportunities around the globe. Like the last analysis about Australia, also the Belgian online payment market contains attractive opportunities for payment providers.
Belgium has more than 8.4 million internet users that accounts for more than 81% of the total population. Over 53% of all Belgian households with online access have purchased goods or services in the last 12 months. The Belgians are cross-border shoppers, almost 44% bought at e-commerce shops located outside Belgium. Therefor most popular domestic payment methods should be integrated by online shops addressing Belgian consumers. To meet their payment expectations relevant payment service providers should use the PayPipe routing gateway to get all methods over only one API.
Online sales in Belgium rose by more than 20% year over year in 2011 to reach €1.10 billion, compared with €903 million in 2010, according to BeCommerce, the Belgian federation of e-commerce and mail order companies. The expectations are the online sales to reach the €1.18 billion mark at the end of this year.
Regarding the analysis Belgian consumers will complete 20 million online transactions this year. Irrespective of the payment method, the majority (55%) of online consumers buys for an average sum of between €50 and €200. 11% of the purchases are even higher than €500. The top 5 product categories bought online are electronics (38%), home & garden (36%), clothing & fashion (34%), entertainment (34%) and hard & software (28%).
Visa and MasterCard credit cards remain the absolute leaders as online payment schemes, Maestro and Bancontact/MisterCash debit cards clearly are in the lift. Other popular payment methods are PayPal and online transfer schemes such as KBC Online, Dexia Direct Net, ING Home’ Pay and the Dutch iDEAL.
66.7% of Belgium e-retailers sold only within the country in 2011, up from 43.5% in 2010. More retail chains are moving into e-commerce in Belgium. In 2011, many major bricks-and-mortar stores, including clothing e-retailers e5mode, Brantano and Kiabi, opened online shops.
Other Belgium retailers that began selling online last year include sporting retailer Decathlon, food retailer Delhaize and master chocolatier Pierre Marcolini.3. BeCommerce predicts a dramatic growth in mobile sales in the upcoming months. 15% of retailers polled already have optimized sites for mobile phones and half of the retailers surveyed a plan to create one this year.