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Most Belgians now use their smartphones for end of year shopping

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  • 56% of Belgians who indicate buying holiday presents online, use their mobile phones (+ 10% compared with 2017)

  • 13% say they shop at work, 5% say they shop during their commute

  • Online shopping provides a clear overview of all the offerings and makes it easy to compare prices and pay securely

  • 1 in 4 people spend more than €250 on presents this holiday season

Belgians are becoming increasingly digital in their shopping habits, new research shows. Orange Belgium conducted a survey of the shopping habits of almost 1,000 Belgian consumers and unearthed some striking findings. The trend is crystal clear: smartphone shopping is the new normal.

Comparison is king

The study shows that 58% of respondents do their end of year shopping at least partially online. That makes the internet the second most popular place to shop, after a shopping centre (64%). The smartphone is the rising star of online purchases: 56% of all respondents say they use their mobile phones for shopping (compared with 45% last year).

The explanation for this trend is simple, says Cristina Zanchi, Orange Belgium’s Chief Consumer Officer: “The smartphone allows us to stay connected anywhere anytime to check where to find the best gift. Consumers take their time to search for a product and enjoy getting an instant overview of the many different options like shape, colour, quality,… We also see that trend in the number of visitors of our e-shop. Orange is offering a  wide range of smartphones, that combined with our unlimited network and tariff plans, gives the Orange customer the opportunity to enjoy staying online with a complete peace of mind. Shopping with a smartphone allows us to compare prices without ever having to leave the comfort of our sofa or just to kill time while waiting for a bus, for example. Online shopping is often cheaper as well, and it will nearly always be delivered right to your front door. The possibilities today are amazing.

Belgians’ favourite online store is Amazon (28%), followed by bol.com (18%). Some 23% says they do not have a favourite store as they prefer to compare prices between the many different competitors. The Orange e-shop attracts 25% more people during the holiday season.

The internet is for shopping and getting inspired

Not everyone who visits online stores makes a purchase right away. For many, smartphones are also important for inspiration (61%), to track and trace purchases (60%) and to compare special offerings (47%).

So what to expect this holiday season? It seems shoppers are sticking to the classics. At the top of the list: perfume (50%), clothing (48%), gadgets (44%), toys (40%) and personalized items such as calendars, mugs, etc. (40%). The average Belgian isn’t afraid to spend money online: 39% say they will spend between €100 and €250 on online shopping this year. Some 26% will spend between €50 and €100, but a significant 24% will spend more than €250.