In 2016, Amazon reached the highest revenue of all online retailers that were active in Belgium with a total of 288 million euros worth of online sales. The internet marketplace topped a top six that was entirely made up of companies from either the Netherlands (Coolblue and Bol.com), Germany (Zalando and Mediamarkt) and France (Vente-Exlusive.com). The Colruyt Group, the company behind Belgium’s discount supermarket chain Colruyt and one of the country’s most valuable brands, was the first domestic entry in the ranking in seventh place.
Language a potential driver behind Belgium’s preference to buy from abroad
The country’s political and cultural organization might play a part in the online shopping behavior of Belgian consumers. The online traffic of Amazon and other web shops coming from Belgium is an indication of this. The e-commerce company is not active in Belgium, but instead attracts traffic to several of its other domains. Amazon.fr, for example, attracted 158 million visits from Belgium, whilst Amazon.de received 51 million Belgian clicks.
Belgium’s e-commerce landscape is more complicated than you might expect
Even though the numbers concern 2016, the ranking mentioned here comes from a 2018 report provided by a Belgian source. In its introduction, the source stated that it was an “attempt” to show the size of the e-commerce market in the country. Two reasons were listed for this perceived difficulty. First, Belgian consumers made less use of online stores than their neighboring countries or the Nordics region. Second, only the Irish and Austrians were more likely to buy something from a foreign e-commerce retailer. These reasons combined made it more difficult to find data on online shopping in Belgium compared to other (European) countries. The e-commerce market size did increase between 2015 and 2018, though.
Leading online retailers based on revenue in Belgium in 2016
(in million euros)
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Twinkle.be. (May 1, 2018). Leading online retailers based on revenue in Belgium in 2016 (in million euros) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/932850/ranking-of-online-retailers-based-on-revenue-in-belgium/
Twinkle.be. "Leading online retailers based on revenue in Belgium in 2016 (in million euros)." Chart. May 1, 2018. Statista. Accessed May 25, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/932850/ranking-of-online-retailers-based-on-revenue-in-belgium/
Twinkle.be. (2018). Leading online retailers based on revenue in Belgium in 2016 (in million euros). Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: May 25, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/932850/ranking-of-online-retailers-based-on-revenue-in-belgium/
Twinkle.be. "Leading Online Retailers Based on Revenue in Belgium in 2016 (in Million Euros)." Statista, Statista Inc., 1 May 2018, https://www.statista.com/statistics/932850/ranking-of-online-retailers-based-on-revenue-in-belgium/
Twinkle.be, Leading online retailers based on revenue in Belgium in 2016 (in million euros) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/932850/ranking-of-online-retailers-based-on-revenue-in-belgium/ (last visited May 25, 2022)