What you need to know before selling in Belgium?
Today Belgium's B2C e-commerce market is worth €405.9 billion. Growth, however, is steady and is set to continue at an annual growth rate of around 2%.
Per capita the average annual online spend in Belgium is €3,344. Belgium is a small market but one that is outward looking when it comes to online shopping. Retailers and payment providers that can provide a wide range of goods, secure payment options and can navigate the country’s sometimes disparate regulations regarding trading, should find success.
Belgium’s top ecommerce sites are:
- 1. Amazon
- 2. Coolblue
- 3. Bol.com
Cross-border spending in Belgium is growing, international e-commerce now accounts for 6% of total ecommerce spend in Belgium. When Belgian buyers choose to buy cross-border they tend to seek products from major markets like China, the UK, the US and Germany. The main driver for buying outside of Belgium tends to be price and the availability/uniqueness of the product.
How to list for free on Google Shopping Belgium?
In 2020 Google transitioned their Google Shopping Ads platform from a mainly paid service to a global ecommerce ecosystem that enables any merchant to sell their products anywhere for free.
It’s now free to list on Google Shopping in the US, the UK, EU, Asia and Latin American markets. By selling internationally in markets such as Belgium, merchants not only open up their business to more buyers than ever before, but it also enables them to move away and ahead of their domestic competition.
We compared the Google Shopping traffic of several merchants; after the US launch of free visibility in April 2020 and then, after the international launch in October 2020:
- In the US, merchants saw a massive influx of free clicks growing to 10%-25% of total clicks.
- After October global launch, merchants could see their unpaid clicks quickly grow to 8-15% of total clicks in less than a month.
- Learn more about the impact of free listings on international Google Shopping.
How do I qualify for free Google Shopping in Belgium?
Whilst it is now free to list items, there are still criteria that needs to be met in order for merchants to qualify, and just like paid ads if they do not meet 100% of the requirements then they will not be eligible to be shown in the shopping tab.
To qualify for the free Google Shopping Ads in Belgium, you need to first create a Belgian feed and then opt into their program. To do this you need to localise your website and your listings for the Belgian market, to ensure that you meet the criteria set by Google to sell onto the Belgian market.
To set up your Belgian feed, you will need to:
- Translate and localize your landing page and product details so they meet Google’s Belgian requirements.
- Convert product currencies into Euro (EUR) and make sure your checkout accepts Euro (EUR) payments.
- Enable international shipping through a global carrier. International shipping prices for the Belgian market will have to be included in your Belgian product feed. See more details.
- If your Belgian product pages are hosted on a separated domain, you’ll need to setup a multi-client account that will allow you to submit data feeds for multiple domains. Each client may have a distinct store name and URL. When you request a multi-client account, your current Google Merchant Center account will become a sub-account in your new multi-client account. See more details.
- Once your website is fully localised, upload your product feed for the Belgian market to your Merchant Center.
Why do you need to localize product ads?
Localization is extremely important for cross-border trade. Not only does it ensure your international listings get traffic but that your store can start to convert international buyers at the checkout. They expect a shopping experience similar to if they were to shop domestically, and providing them with a localized experience leads to an increased checkout conversion.
You’ll need to adapt your listings and store to the Belgian market. This includes product descriptions in Flemish, French, German, correct local sizes, prices in Euro (EUR) and with common Belgian methods of payment.
Adopting your feed, listings and store for the Belgian market will not only dramatically increase your international transactions, but also increase the average transaction value. Learn more about Glopal’s free product ads localisation solution.
Don’t have a Belgian store?
If you don’t have a Belgian store you can still benefit from Google Shopping Ads, but you will need to address the following:
Language: Flemish, French, German version. Your store must have a Belgian version and your product feed that you submit to the merchant center for Google Shopping Ads should also point to the Belgian version.
Currency: The prices in your product feed must be in Euro (EUR).
Prices: Your landing pages, product pages and checkout must show the same currency that you use in the feed. For example, if you submit a feed with Euro (EUR) then all the prices on your site must also be in Euro (EUR).
Shipping: All shipping prices must also be in Euro (EUR).
Taxes: Where possible include local duties and taxes to ensure smooth and quick delivery of your products to Belgium.
Legal: Ensure your site is fully compliant with Local Belgian ecommerce Terms of Service and Returns policies.
Checkout: You’ll need to have a checkout that can process payment in Euro (EUR).
Find out how to automate the store localization process with our translation plug & play solution.