The Dutch online shopping cartOnline shopping was done the most in the age group of 25 to 44 years old, with over 90 percent of consumers stating that they bought goods on the internet. Men commonly shop online more than women, with an almost five-percentage-point difference. However, the gender gap in online shopping is slowly closing. Dutch women shop today more than ever, with over 85 percent of online shoppers in 2021. For both genders, the most popular products to purchase online include clothing, shoes, and accessories. Fast-growing product segments, in turn, include tickets, attractions, events, and travel packages — all comeback sectors in the post-COVID-19 recovery.
Domestic or cross-border, that is the questionThe online retail industry in the Netherlands is largely dominated by domestic companies. The biggest online stores in the Netherlands include local players like online hypermarket Bol.com, electronics retailer Coolblue, and the supermarket Albert Heijn. With a significantly lower share of visits than other Dutch e-commerce sites, e-commerce giant Amazon is still among the most popular platforms, but a staggering 96 percent of Dutch consumers purchase on national sites compared to only 40 percent on foreign websites.
Still, the quarterly cross-border spending amounts to over 900 million euros. Cross-border web shops from the United States and Germany top the list of foreign shops by net sales. Furthermore, estimated cross-border spending intentions of Dutch consumers indicate that media and entertainment will continue to be the most popular category to buy from abroad in the next few years.
Payment and delivery preferencesDutch customers use mostly mobile applications and bank transfers for their e-commerce payments. Apps such as Swish, Mobilepay, and Vipps are used by almost 60 percent of consumers. The high use of bank transfers is due to the popularity of iDEAL, a Dutch inter-bank system which allows shoppers to use their bank accounts for online purchases. Nine in ten online shoppers used iDEAL for online payments in 2022.
When it comes to shipping methods, more than half of Dutch consumers opt for standard home delivery of their online orders, preferably within a few days. The maximum delivery time should not go over five days, according to a vast majority of Dutch consumers. Indeed, 40 percent of Dutch online shoppers considered fast and reliable delivery a relevant attribute of their shopping experience. A similar share of consumers believed the same about return policies and in-stock availability of products.