Amazon has launched an E-Academy to mark the one-year anniversary of its Belgian marketplace, the company has announced.
The free training programme, which has already gone live, is seeking to address recent findings from a Kantar survey, which, revealed that more than half of Belgian SMEs are still hesitant to launch their business online, even though 53% are actively looking for new growth drivers.
The training courses include around 20 modules and are designed to allow entrepreneurs to access the knowledge they need to launch their business online. The address key aspects of e-commerce such as preparing for digital transition, opening one’s own website-commerce site, and launching on a marketplace, Amazon said in a blog post.
Belgium reportedly counted more than 1.2 million SMEs at the end of 2022, approximately 30,000 more than in 2020 and and increase of 21% on ten years earlier. In addition, the study carried out by Kantar on behalf of Amazon and BeCommerce on the first anniversary of the launch of Amazon.com.be, revealed that 45% of SMEs in Belgium are now selling their products online, compared to only 11% in 2013.
Almost a third of Belgian entrepreneurs surveyed by Kantar believe that they do not have the necessary skills to launch their online business, and a quarter would like to be trained to fill this knowledge gap.
Eva Faict, Country Manager for Amazon.com.be. said: “Too many Belgian companies are giving up, thinking launching their business online would be too complex. Just a year ago, Amazon.com.be opened its doors to Belgian sellers wishing to help them extend their creativity and know-how to the whole country, to Europe and the world. We are convinced that we have a role to play in supporting the digitalisation and growth of Belgian SMEs.
“We have been putting all our energy, our know-how and our capacity for innovation at the service of the growth of the economies in which we operate for over 20 years, Belgium is no exception.”
According to the first Amazon SME Impact report conducted in the country, companies that did go online are reporting significant benefits. The report found that of 1,200 Belgian SMEs selling on Amazon, 200 of them exceeded a turnover of €100,000, while 30 reached €1 million.
Those who have chosen to go international have achieved more than €200 million in export sales, including €140 million within the European Union and €50 million beyond the borders of the EU, the firm said.
“We are seeing very clear progress in the digitalisation of Belgian SMEs, but there is still some way to go. At the same time, particularly in terms of expanding their customer base, increasing sales and creating jobs, while at the same time expressing a need for support and training to optimise their digital transition,” Martine Philippe, Research Director at Kantar Insights Belgium, added.