Turnover for the top 100 web shops in Belgium grew 13.5 % from 3.7 to 4.2 billion euro. Digital sales for food items and household products have increased considerably.
Belgian consumer buys foreign products…
The Belgian online industry continues to do well: looking at the turnover for the 100 largest web shops, it has grown to 4.2 billion euro, which is 500 million more than in November 2016. According to BeShopping100’s recent results, clothing and shoes (23 % in 2017) make up the bulk of online turnover, but online food and household product sales are on the rise: food grew 3 % (from 7 to 10 %) and household articles went up 4 % to 11 %.
Just like last year, Belgian consumers head to foreign web shops for their purchases: 79 % of visits are on websites abroad. The top three is entirely foreign: Amazon (United States), bol.com (Netherlands) and Apple (United States).
Amazon has led the charge for the third straight year and strengthens its position with a turnover increase to 1.2 billion euro. Hubo is the strongest grower in the top 100, from spot sixty to 26. Companies need to generate at least 5.3 million euro to appear in the list, which is 1.6 million euro more than last year.
... but foreigners buy Belgian products
Patricia Ceysens, BeCommerce chairman, says the foreign web shops’ success hails from our “open, multiregional and multilingual culture, which stimulates purchases across borders”. At the same time, that effect also works in reverse: Belgian web shops are selling increased numbers abroad, according to the Cross-Border Top 50, which lists Belgian web shops with the highest sales abroad.
Companies that sell to a niche with very particular products do very well: Belgian companies like Ice Watch, Myrwatches and Leonidas mainly attract foreign customers through their web shops, from France, the Netherlands, the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. The average number of foreign visitors has grown from 83.8 % to 89.74 %, which clearly indicates the enormous growth potential abroad for Belgian companies.
Household products and food are also the best-growing categories in the cross-border sales of Belgian products. Typically Belgian food and drink items perform very well, partially thanks to the surge of Walloon web shops that focus entirely on regional products.
Another positive note: the Belgian Woorank score also increased, from 67.3 to 73. This is a dynamic score (out of 100) that indicates how efficient a company’s internet marketing is at a particular point. “The Woorank score shows that the referrals to Belgian web shops continue to improve every year”, BeCommerce’s managing director, Carine Moitier, said. “There is still potential for growht, especially for the smaller cross-border niche web shops. They have a 61.3 Woorank on average, which is well below the Woorank for web shops in the top 100.”