Belgian consumers less loyal due to inflation, says 1 retailer in 3


Belgian consumers less loyal due to inflation, says 1 retailer in 3

Four retailers in ten see customers returning more often when consumers can seamlessly switch between online and in-store

In recent months, one retailer in three (36%) saw customers become less loyal because of high prices. That is according to the research results of the annual Retail Report by financial technology platform Adyen, which surveyed 510 Belgian retailers and 1,000 Belgians this February about their shopping habits. That said, 90% of Belgian retailers expect to turn in more revenue this year than the year before, thanks in part to the use of technology.

Changing consumers

Inflation in recent months has made consumers more volatile than ever. About one retailer in three fears competition with other players (29%) and fears shoppers will spend less money this year than the year before (30%). The food sector in particular is under pressure. There, almost four traders in ten (38%) fear direct competitors. Nearly four in ten (36%) say that larger players are driving down prices in the industry.

On the customer side, almost four Belgian consumers in ten (38%) say they will look longer for the best bargains today. One shopper in three (33%) is even willing to wait for discount days such as Black Friday or the summer sales to save money. In turn, one consumer in four (22%) says they make purchases less frequently, but fill the shopping trolley more when the trip to the shop is made anyway.


To cater to consumers, almost half of retailers (47%) offer discounts throughout the year, whereas they did not before. The same number also give price breaks on basic products and services. Moreover, most retailers (51%) say they will be more flexible with discounts in the future, even when inflation is falling, as it is now, for example.

Unified strategy

Besides prices, merchants will have to pull out other arguments to convert shoppers into loyal, repeat customers. For example, one retailer in three (29%) already allows consumers to switch easily and make their purchases on both online channels and in the physical shop. In turn, one in five (22%) retailers say that physical and online sales are completely split from each other.

Nevertheless, a unified sales strategy often has advantages. Indeed, almost four retailers in ten (39%) see customers returning more often when they give them the choice to shop where they feel most comfortable. Slightly less than half (45%) also see their sales effectively increase.

“Belgian consumer behaviour has evolved with the crises. Retailers need to put the consumer back at the centre of their commercial strategies through a unified customer experience. Relying on technology can tear down the last walls between the online and physical experience,” says Julien Marlier, Country Manager Adyen Belgium.

About the Retail Report

The survey was conducted in early 2023 by Opinium LLP among 36,000 adults, including 1,000 Belgian respondents, and by Censuswide among 12,000 companies active in the retail, travel, hotel and food sectors, including 510 Belgian retailers.