Online purchases by citizens for private use

  • 7 in 10 inhabitants of Flanders buy online

    In 2019, the proportion of citizens aged 16 to 74 who have bought or ordered in the previous year goods or services for private use via a website or via an app was 71%. This proportion has risen sharply in recent years. In 2005, 16% of the inhabitants of Flanders bought or ordered goods or services online in the previous year.

  • Share of frequent online buyers is increasing

    For purchases during the last 3 months (prior to the survey), the proportion of citizens purchasing online has grown since 2009.

    In 2019, 60% of the inhabitants of Flanders purchased online during the last 3 months. This is a distinct increase compared to 2015 (46%). The share of citizens who purchased online on a rather sporadic basis remained fairly stable since 2009.

  • Online purchasing increases with educational level and income

    The proportion of citizens in the Flemish Region who made an online purchase in the previous year varies according to age, educational attainment level, household income and country of birth.

    The percentage of online buyers is smaller in the group aged 55 to 74 than in the younger age groups. The percentage of online purchasers increases with educational level and the household income. The share of online buyers is higher for people born in Belgium than for people born abroad.

  • Online purchases mainly from Belgian vendors and from vendors in other EU countries

    In 2019, 57% of the people aged 16 to 74 in the Flemish Region made an online purchase from a Belgian vendor. 47% made a purchase from a vendor in another European country and 12% from a vendor in a non-European country.

    For each of these 3 categories of vendors, the proportion of citizens purchasing online has increased since 2008. This increase was lowest among vendors from non-European countries. Since 2016, the latter share has remained more or less stable.

  • Online purchasing more established in Flemish Region than in EU28

    In 2019, a larger share of the inhabitants of the Flemish Region (71%), as compared to residents of Brussels Capital Region (60%) and the Walloon Region (60%), purchased or ordered goods or services online in the previous year for private use.

    The Flemish share is higher than the EU28 average of 63%. In the top 3 EU28 countries, at least 82% to 87% of the citizens purchased or ordered online in the previous year.

Publication date

28 July 2020

Next update

7 April 2021

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