Online shopping in the Netherlands - Statistics & Facts

Published by Raynor de Best, Jan 17, 2019
The Netherlands ranks as the fifth country in Europe in terms of using online retail. 79 percent of Dutch consumers aged 16 to 75 years old indicated they used e-commerce to order goods or services in 2017, compared to a European average of 57 percent. The Dutch e-commerce industry was valued at 22.5 billion euros in 2017 with more than 200 million online orders or purchases. The country had approximately 16.4 million Internet users in 2018, with a penetration rate reaching 96 percent of the total population. Online shopping was done the most in the age group of 25 to 45 years old, with approximately 94 percent of consumers saying they bought goods on the internet.

The most popular products to purchase online in the Netherlands include telecom, consumer and household electronics and fashion. When it comes to buying clothes or sports goods, the Netherlands ranks second behind the United Kingdom. Fast-growing product segments, however, include food/nearfood (such as online grocery shopping), toys and beauty products. In August 2018, 64 percent of Dutch online shoppers indicated they did not buy their groceries online as this is due to the high number of supermarkets in the country and the short travel distance. The total revenue of online grocery shopping did increase, however, between 2015 and 2017 thanks to the efforts of market leaders Albert Heijn and Jumbo together with online supermarket Picnic.

The online retail industry in the Netherlands is largely dominated by domestic companies. The biggest online stores in the Netherlands include domestic players like online hypermarket Bol.com, electronics retailer Coolblue and fashion store Wehkamp, sometimes outperforming major e-commerce companies such as Amazon or Zalando. Approximately 60 percent of Dutch consumers claimed they did not do an online purchase outside of the Netherlands. Dutch cross-border e-commerce purchases rank lower when compared to other European countries. Amazon, for example, is not active in the Netherlands, with the e-commerce giant using a partially translated version of their website to appeal to Dutch audiences. Aliexpress and Tmall are well-known in the Netherlands, however. In a 2017-survey approximately 45 percent of respondents indicated they purchased something online from China at least once. Clothing and footwear were among the most popular products to be purchased abroad.

When compared to the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), Dutch customers usually make more use of bank transfers for their e-commerce payments. This is due to the popular system of iDEAL, an inter-bank system local to the Dutch market which allows shoppers to use their bank account for online purchases. The total number of online payments with iDEAL reached a value of approximately 378 million in 2017. iDEAL was therefore the leading payment method offered by online stores in the Netherlands in 2017, outperforming Visa, Mastercard and PayPal.

As of the second quarter of 2018, 49 percent of all e-commerce purchases in the Netherlands were done on a mobile device. According to the survey, most consumers in the Netherlands indicate the inconvenience of the browsing and the order placing process as being their main issues when shopping on their smartphone.

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