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New Brussels e-commerce portal launched to compete with Amazon
A new virtual e-commerce platform, supported by the government of the Brussels-Capital Region, has been launched to compete with Amazon. The launch of Mymarket.brussels, which aims to encourage consumers to buy locally, comes at a time of uncertainty in which traders are suffering from consecutive breaks in their activities due to the restrictions brought in to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
As stores reopened across the country on Tuesday, many – like Charlotte and Marie Brabant -are also preparing to open their virtual showcases. The sisters, who own a small beauty salon called Idyl Beauty in Saint-Gilles, are readying to sell their products via their own brand new webshop.
"Like many, we found out through television reports that beauty salons were among those that should remain closed," says Charlotte. "In this case, we can only reinvent ourselves. So, we put all our products on our online store. We have great stuff and we really hope that people will come and do their Christmas shopping on Mymarket.brussels and not on Amazon."
The objective of the Mymarket platform is clear: to compete with the major international online sales and home delivery companies. "There has been a clear boost for online shopping during the containment," explains Isabelle Grippa, the director of Hub.brussels, the service that helps Brussels businesses. "Before the Covid crisis, only 25% of businesses were set up for online sales. We are facing a potential digital divide that can lead to a social divide in Brussels. It was fundamental to be able to offer this visibility to all businesses in Brussels."
An accompanying plan is also planned by the region to encourage other traders to take the step of e-commerce.
It is still in the testing phase but gradually a delivery service will also be integrated into the platform. Deliveries will mainly be via the Urbike cooperative and its cargo bikes.
This local e-commerce portal project is a link between an initiative of the municipality of Uccle and the Mazone project carried out by the association GroupeOne whose objective was originally to offer more visibility and support to the commune’s traders and their products. From now on, all businesses located in the Brussels Region will be able to establish their neighbourhood on the platform. All sectors are covered, from food to toys, electronics, skincare, and leisure.