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Online fashion in Belgium - Statistics & Facts

E-commerce in Belgium is not yet as developed as in other European countries. This has two reasons. First, Belgium was ranked as one of the most likely countries in 2018 where consumers buy products and services from a foreign e-commerce retailer. Retailers from the Netherlands, China, Germany, the United Kingdom and France are the most popular sources for cross-border purchases. Second, Belgium used online shopping less often than other Western European countries in 2017. In the same year, B2C e-commerce made up roughly 17 percent of Belgium's total shopping expenditure. The use of online means for ordering clothes is growing, however. The share of the Belgian population that ordered clothing or sportswear online had increased from 47 percent in 2014 to 57 percent in 2017. In a 2018 survey, Belgian consumers listed fashion as the product category that was bought online the most in the past 12 months. Additionally, clothing and footwear were both listed as the most returned products after an online purchase in 2018.

The most popular direct sellers of online fashion in Belgium originate from outside the country. In 2016, Germany's Zalando made roughly 180 million euros worth of online revenue in the country while Sweden's H&M and the Netherlands' Bestseller (owner of the brands Jack & Jones and Vero Moda) had a revenue of 45 million euros and 30 million euros respectively. Clothing is also bought on other websites. Often used online marketplaces for fashion include the Netherlands', and, despite these websites selling other products besides clothing such as bags and accessories. The revenue of brick-and-mortar fashion companies in 2016, however, was higher than that of the online companies.

Despite the growth of e-commerce sales, online customer engagement in Belgium is affected by a preference for buying clothes in a physical store. The Belgian fashion market consisted of more than 12,500 retail sales points for clothes and roughly 2,900 for shoes in 2015, making it easy for consumers to visit a store they already know. To attract customers and achieve engagement, online retailers therefore appeal to the main reasons why Belgian consumers buy their products online. Important drivers are price in combination with quick delivery and satisfaction due to previous experiences. With effect: the apps of H&M, Zalando, Wish, AliExpress and all saw multiple downloads in the Belgian Apple App Store in October 2018.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 24 most important statistics relating to "Online fashion in Belgium".


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