Know the market: Belgium
Do you have a Dutch site and want to take it abroad? A good first step is to expand to our southern neighbors. In 2021, 55% of e-commerce involved a purchase abroad, of which 34% was in the Netherlands. So it definitely makes sense to offer your products or services in Belgium as well. Since they speak the same language, you do not have to translate the site. Do be aware of certain terms: 'showroom', for example, is 'toonzaal' in Flemish, and 'sale' is what they call 'solden'. There are, however, a number of differences between the Dutch and the Belgian customer. Read about the online purchasing behavior of Belgians on this page.
Top 3 foreign online purchases:
Top 3 product categories:
- Clothing & shoes (29%)
- Electronics (16%)
- Beauty & Health (15%)
Top 3 favorite payment methods:
- Payment card (34%)
- Credit card (25%)
- Digital wallet (Paypal, Allpay; 24%)
Figures: Crossborder e-commerce shopper research conducted by the International Postal Cooperation (IPC)
Payment and shipping
In Belgium, people prefer to pay by debit card. But iDeal, they don't know that there. Instead, they use Bancontact as an electronic payment method. So if you want to bring your website to Belgium, it is important that you add this payment method to the site.
For shipping, you can usually just use the Dutch postal service. Belgians even consider it important that we simply deliver their parcels via the trusted PostNL network with its associated service. Since they know this company, it inspires confidence if you send your products with PostNL. This trust in turn contributes to the likelihood that people will purchase something from your website.