Luxembourg shops lag behind in digital revolution

Luxembourg’s tradespeople have been slow to jump on the e-commerce band wagon with just 7% having an online shop for their goods or services.

This small online presence comes in stark contrast to the shopping habits of Luxembourg consumers, over three quarters of which buy goods online, according to a recent survey.

Luxembourg Communications and Media Minister Xavier Bettel highlighted the gap on Friday at a conferenec on digital consumerism.

“Digitalisation is not just about developing a website,” President of Luxembourg’s Commercial Federation, Fernand Ernster, said, adding: “It should also be used to create links, offering new shopping experiences through mobile applications, for example.”

Some tradespeople remain sceptical about internet sales, believing it could hurt the sales within their physical store. However, a web presence has become indispensable as a complementary channel for many stores.

“A consumer can start out visiting a perfumery then switching to an online shop, according to their needs and expectations and the services they wish to have. Ultimately, it is the consumer who decides and has the power”, said Amaury Rosier, Head of Digital Marketing & e-commerce for L’Oreal Belgium and Luxembourg.

Luxembourg traders are accused of lagging behind when it comes to the digital revolution. For many of them, it is the fear that such an investment of human and financial resources will not bring returns.

“More than ever, it is important to get started. Even if today, e-commerce appears like a mere accessory to some, it will be different for future generations of consumers,” TNS Managing Director Luc Biever said.

According to some, the creation of an actual e-commerce platform is the easy part. Managing it on a daily basis is where the challenge begins. Linc CEO Marc Neuen said: “This is where the real work begins. Companies must position digital innovation at the heart of their strategy and should not fear failure.”