E-commerce: merchants need additional government support – Business

The health crisis has made merchants, large or small, understand that it is necessary to have a good website to embark on the e-commerce adventure.

Belgium has long been accused of missing the e-commerce train. In May of this year, the Federation of Belgian Companies (FEB) once again pointed the finger at the delay. According to her, between 2012 and 2019, Belgium lost 0.3% growth in gross domestic product each year due to the delay in the area of ​​e-commerce. This represents a deficit of 1 billion euros a year and 6,000 jobs that have not seen the light of day.

But catching a moving train is a big expense. That’s why BeCommerce, the organization that brings together companies active in the Belgian digital commerce market, is sounding the alarm: “Merchants need additional support to professionalize their e-commerce, including from the government“. “Small companies want to welcome e-commerce with open arms, emphasizes Sofie Geeroms, Managing Director of BeCommerce, but they really need additional financial support to take the step towards a successful online store. The government can also do more in this area.”

The Easyshop project

Assuming that a good, well-crafted project is better than a big, meaningless survey, BeCommerce set up the Ezyshop project in 2021 in collaboration with shopping platform bol.com and MasterCard. The purpose of this free program is to accompany and supervise the self-employed and SMEs in their first steps in the world of online commerce.

Since the pandemic, the online food and beverage sector has become popular“, explains Sofie Geeroms.”In 2021, consumers bought 55% more groceries online than they did in 2020. And this year another 15% will be added. We think it’s a positive sign that the needs of the market are so well understood by new e-commerce entrepreneurs. They track and adapt to consumer behavior. Big retailers are also getting involved, just look at the new delivery service from the Delhaize supermarket chain.

But now ?

As part of the Ezyshop project, the three companies have already hosted 2,140 companies. “For entrepreneurs it was a stepping stone and since then e-commerce in Belgium has been doing well.“, according to Henri Dewaerheijd, Country Manager Belgium and Luxembourg at MasterCard.

Of course it’s fantastic that it works“, adds Geeroms of BeCommerce, given the success of Ezyshop. But the nerve of commerce (online or otherwise) remains financing. That’s why today BeCommerce challenges the government.”It also shows that there is a need for professionalization: small businesses want to welcome e-commerce with open arms, but sometimes they really need this extra (financial) support to make the leap. The government must assume its responsibilities in this area. Meanwhile, the markets of our neighboring countries – the Netherlands, Germany and France – have even more leeway to develop and attract Belgian consumers across borders.

BeCommerce will thus continue to help Belgian e-entrepreneurs through Ezyshop. SMEs can apply for one-on-one coaching sessions until November 30, 2022.

Belgium has long been accused of missing the e-commerce train. In May of this year, the Federation of Belgian Companies (FEB) once again pointed the finger at the delay. According to her, between 2012 and 2019, Belgium lost 0.3% growth in gross domestic product each year due to the delay in the area of ​​e-commerce. This represents a deficit of 1 billion euros a year and 6,000 jobs that have not been created, but catching up with a moving train is a major expense. That’s why BeCommerce, the organization that brings together companies active in the Belgian e-commerce market, is sounding the alarm: “Merchants need additional support to professionalize their e-commerce, including from the government.” “Small businesses want to welcome e-commerce with open arms, underlines Sofie Geeroms, managing director of BeCommerce, but they are in dire need of additional financial support to take the step towards a successful online store. The government can also make more efforts in this area. “The Eazyshop projectBased on the principle that a good, well-designed project is better than a big nonsense search, BeCommerce set up, in 2021, the Ezyshop project, in collaboration with the shopping platform bol.com and MasterCard. free program is to accompany and supervise the self-employed and SMEs in their first steps into the world of online commerce. “Since the pandemic, the online food and beverage sector has become popular”, explains Sofie Geeroms. “In 2021, consumers bought 55 % more food products online than in 2020. And this year another 15% will be added. We think it’s a positive sign that the needs of the market are so well understood. Big retailers are also getting on board, just look at the new delivery service from the Delhaize supermarket chain.” Now? As part of the Ezyshop project, the three companies have already hosted 2,140 companies. “For entrepreneurs, it was a springboard, and since then e-commerce in Belgium has been doing well,” according to Henri Dewaerheijd, Country Manager Belgium and Luxembourg at MasterCard. “Of course it’s fantastic that it works,” adds Geeroms of BeCommerce, given the success of Ezyshop. But the nerve of commerce (online or otherwise) remains financing. That’s why today, BeCommerce challenges the government. “This also shows that there is a need for professionalization: small businesses want to welcome e-commerce with open arms, but sometimes they really need this additional (financial) support to make the leap. The government must assume its responsibilities in this area. Meanwhile, the markets of our neighboring countries – the Netherlands, Germany and France – enjoy even greater leeway to develop and attract Belgian consumers across the border. SMEs can apply for one-on-one coaching sessions until November 30, 2022.

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