More Details Into Amazon’s Biggest IT Investment in Belgium

Amazon this week announced the addition of to its sites offering the ecommerce giant’s grocery-focused Prime Pantry service.

As in other markets where it has been available, Pantry allows Prime members in France and Belgium members to have purchases from a list of everyday products delivered either for free—provided the purchase includes a minimum of five items—or for a set fee of €3.99 ($4.41) for the first box and €0.99 ($1.10) for additional boxes.

The Pantry assortment spans more than 3,800 products, ranging from groceries, beverages, baby products, household items, hygiene products, pet supplies and office supplies. In 14 cities in France, buyers will be able to tailor delivery to 2-hour timeslots.

Temptations like free delivery and specific arrival times may help, but Pantry’s prospects in France and Belgium will need to overcome low levels of enthusiasm for online buying of everyday items in either country.

Amazon was the most visited business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce site in France in Q4 2016 as ranked by average monthly visitors, attracting nearly 35% of the country’s internet users, according to a study by Médiamétrie//NetRatings and Fédération du E-commerce et de la Venté à Distance (FEVAD). Nonetheless, few of those visitors are likely to have bought the types of products digitally that Pantry offers.

According to July 2016 study by Mappy that examined the products and services purchased digitally in France by survey respondents in the past year, only 19% said they had bought grocery items digitally—one of the lowest rates of ecommerce for any product category. Instead, most had chosen local stores (75%) or national retail chains (71%) to make grocery purchases.

Pantry’s odds of success look even longer in Belgium, where according to Q2 2016 data from BeCommerce and GfK Belgium fewer than 10% of B2C sales of products were made via ecommerce.


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