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Shopping behavior in the Netherlands - statistics & facts

The Netherlands is a relatively small country with a large consumer market located in north-western Europe. From ethical shopping considerations influencing purchasing decisions to the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on shoppers’ habits, consumerism in the Netherlands has seen a fair amount of change in the past few decades.

The digital shift

From a European and a global perspective, the e-commerce market in the Netherlands is highly developed and the Dutch are very used to purchasing their essential and non-essential items on the internet. In fact, over a third of consumers in the Netherlands shopped for goods online on a weekly basis in 2021. Overall, consumers of all age groups shopped online: with over 90 percent, Dutch people between the ages of 25 and 54 were the country’s leading online buyers, while those older than 64 years were less involved with online shopping channels. There are several benefits online shopping can have, many of which are frequently considered prerequisites by the end user. Just to name a few, fast and reliable delivery, a good returns policy, as well as simple website navigation, are some of the most important attributes to Dutch shoppers when buying online.

The green shift

The emerging socially conscious shopper values sustainability. In the last decade alone, the number of Dutch customers paying attention to the sustainability of products had risen by over 20 percent, climbing to a total of about 56 percent in 2021. This is especially the case for specific product categories, as some 70 percent of shoppers in the Netherlands kept eco-friendliness in mind when browsing for items in the supermarket that year. As such, it comes as no surprise that many sustainable food products, such as eggs and fish, accounted for a large portion of their respective markets. Moving away from food, the streets in the Netherlands are also full of zero-emission cars. In 2020, about 25 percent of newly registered passenger vehicles were electric cars, the majority of which were battery powered electric vehicles, specifically.

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