In Belgium, a Digital Divide Selling Products vs. Services - eMarketer
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In Belgium, a Digital Divide Selling Products vs. Services

Most airline tickets and accommodations, along with entertainment and event tickets, are bought digitally

November 1, 2016 | Retail & Ecommerce

The vast majority of business-to-consumer (B2C) sales in Belgium still occurred offline in Q2 of this year, according to research. But the overwhelming share of goods sold via traditional channels masks the extent to which services have shifted to digital.

Nearly two-thirds of all B2C services were sold digitally in Q2 2016, according to BeCommerce and GfK Belgium. But just 16% of all B2C sales—a total of €2.17 billion (about $2.40 billion) took place via digital channels. The overwhelming 92% share of B2C product sales coming from brick-and-mortar stores tilts the balance toward traditional.

The number of digital buyers in Q2 2016 in Belgium reached 6.7 million, according to the report, which is around half of the total population of the country. BeCommerce and GfK Belgium found that there were nearly 20 million total digital purchases made throughout the quarter.

That means the average digital buyer spent significant sums in Q2 2016. On average, spending per digital buyer in Belgium totaled €322 (nearly $360). And they spent sizeably per purchase, too: The average amount spent per purchase was €109 (roughly $120).

The ease of digital ticketing struck many buyers in Belgium: Almost 85% of nonpackaged airline tickets and accommodations were purchased digitally in Q2 2016, while about 70% of tickets for attractions and events were bought via the same method.

BeCommerce and GfK Belgium estimated a total of $9.1 billion in B2C ecommerce sales in 2015 for Belgium, while Comeos pegged the sales considerably lover, at $7.2 billion. Regardless, though buyers may not use digital as often for products as they do for services, there is plenty of money being spent in Belgium.

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