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Belgium without e-commerce? No! But...

Photo-blog-Belgium without e-commerce? No! But...

Tuesday 8 february 2022

Do not put all e-shops in the same basket

Following the words of Paul Magnette, to want a 'Belgium without e-commerce', we had to put things into perspective, in order to detail our point of view, that of many Belgian e-merchants.

Belgium without e-commerce? No! But...

Do not put all e-shops in the same basket
Far too often, the term 'e-commerce' rhymes with 'international business'. However, it is essential to distinguish between e-commerce based in Belgium and multinational platforms.

In the first case, these are Belgian companies, having Belgian employees and paying contributions and VAT in Belgium. In the second case, these are multinational companies, without head office in Belgium, without employees in Belgium and paying no contribution or VAT in Belgium.

Through this first perspective, it is essential to preserve Belgian e-merchants and their positive impact on the Belgian socio-economic environment, where in fact, e-commerce multinationals have a socio-economic impact negative on the whole of Belgian trade.

Indeed, when the consumer spends €50 with a Belgian e-shop, this money will remain in the economy, will be used to pay salaries, rents, contributions and ultimately, participate in the whole eco- our country's financial system. This same amount spent on a platform abroad will no longer be used to support the Belgian economy, and will no doubt be used to send CEOs into space. It is an awareness to have as a consumer.

Physical commerce and online commerce: Winning duo

During the crisis, we noticed that many physical stores went digital in order to remain visible. Indeed, at present, it is essential to also be present online. The consumer who appreciates the customer contact in store, will be delighted to continue his reflection online, even if it means returning to the store for the act of purchase. There is clearly a duality between the physical and the digital. Nothing prevents a physical store from having a wider offer in store or limited digital offers, but the online presence remains essential.

Awareness of the ecological aspect

Next, it is important to highlight the ecological implications of these two types of e-commerce. Recently, a report retraced, using position sensors, the journey made by a package ordered and then returned to an international platform. The kilometers numbered in the thousands! The ecological impact is therefore much higher than that of parcels ordered in Belgium and delivered in Belgium.

In addition, you should know that items returned to major brands are very often destroyed! Reconditioning generally costs more than destruction. Look for the error, while we are in full awareness of the ecology of our planet. For their part, Belgian e-tailers will generally put the returned items back on the shelves.

So what to do?

Here are some ideas for improving e-commerce in Belgium and allowing Belgian e-shops to take their place in the Belgian e-commerce landscape:

Allow Belgian e-merchants to benefit from the same conditions as the giants of online commerce, for example in terms of shipping costs. Indeed, the volumes brazed by the multinationals allow them to benefit from unbeatable prices in terms of shipping costs and 'free return'.

Legislate about precarious jobs (parcel deliverers, night work), in order to allow e-commerce to develop in a thoughtful and human way, and not to the detriment of many shadow workers
Raise awareness of BELGIAN e-commerce, through clear and unfiltered awareness campaigns.

Support and encourage the digitization of physical businesses
More broadly, raise public awareness of a reasoned and reasonable mode of consumption for the planet
In general, promote platforms such as 'Belgian e-shops' in order to allow the consumer to consume in Belgium

Do not hesitate to give us your opinion or to contact us!


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