A Look into the Dutch E-Commerce Market: 2016 Report

According to report written by the E-commerce Foundation, the Dutch E-commerce Association, and research company GFK concerning the state of e-commerce in the Netherlands, Dutch shoppers have spent more than €20 billion online last year, which represent an increase of no less than 23%.

95% of the Dutch people (of 15+) shopped online in 2016, and their love for online shopping keeps growing. Especially for categories like shoes & lifestyle products, IT, and local food, which are the most ordered online.

Why such a Substantial Growth for E-commerce in the Netherlands?

The main reason for this substantial growth is a better consumer confidence in online shopping method and their willingness to buy. Consumer confidence has grown to +14% in the beginning of 2017 resulting in an increase in consumer spending. With an internet penetration of nearly 94% and a rising GDP per capita of €40, 900, the Netherlands remains an attractive online market despite its relative few inhabitants (17 million).

dutch e-commerce 2016

In Which Area do they Spend Most?

Of the €20 billion spent online in 2016, 75% was spent on services like travel and insurance. For example, 86% of all flights and 72% of packaged holidays are now bought online in the Netherlands. Concerning insurance, this figure has grown from 70% in 2015 to 74% in 2016.

The other 25% is spent on goods. Media & Entertainment represent the majority of transactions, followed by event tickets and fashion. Last year, 15.2 million consumers spent a total amount of €1,242 per person, per year.

In Which Langage do they Prefer to Shop?

However, the e-commerce market in the Netherlands is still not an easy one to enter. And although the Dutch are quite fluent in English, they still prefer to shop online in their own language. This report also demonstrates that the local payment method Ideal (which represent 57% of market share) is a must have to sell online in the Netherlands. And like in most of countries, mobile sales in the Netherlands grew to €2,294 million in 2016 which is 10% of total of the previous year.

Which Delivery Options are they Going for?

Dutch people have embraced e-commerce and “online shopping” is now part of the daily habits of more and more customers. Thus, if you want to perform among Dutch e-commerce competition, you will need to offer next day delivery options, as it is proven to often increase sales by 25%. Consumers who have experienced delivery options such as Sunday delivery, Same day delivery, and evening delivery are spending twice as much as consumers that don’t have access to these options, according to Post NL.

What are the most popular online shop in Netherland?

Finally, e-commerce competition is tough in the country, because having a web shop is a popular hobby in the Netherlands. More than 32,160 web shops are registered at the Chamber of Commerce and the actual number of web shops is estimated to be as high as 50,000 or more.

dutch e-commerce 2016

The leader of Dutch online retailing industry is Bol.com, followed by Wehkamp, Zalando, Coolblue, and world giant Amazon. 26% of Dutch online shoppers bought cross border in 2016 from popular sites like Amazon and Zalando and China is now the most popular country where Dutch do their cross border shopping, followed by Germany and the UK.

dutch e-commerce 2016

The Best Practices in Dutch’s E-commerce

Finally, if you want to comply the best practices in Dutch e-commerce , there are some point you must follow :

  • It can be a good idea to apply for the “Thuiswinkel Waarborg” trust mark, which most of Dutch consumers recognize as a sign of trustworthiness.
  • Be transparent about your delivery options and times, as Dutch people are uncompromising with honesty.
  • Create an appropriate price strategy as Dutch consumers are price-sensitive.
  • If your e-commerce can afford it, offer free shipping in order to stay competitive. Also don’t forget about free-return procedures.
  • Offer high-quality products, as Dutch consumers are more willing to purchase expensive products when they believe the value is equal to quality.


 

Like this report shows, the Dutch market remains attractive for e-commerce business. For 2017, a growth percentage of 20% is expected, resulting in an e-commerce market of more than €24 billion. You can fully download the Dutch Ecommerce Country Report for free via EcommerceWiki.org.

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Sara Lone
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Sara Lone recently moved to the Netherlands after graduating with her Masters degree in Public Policy from the University of California, Irvine. She joins the Ecommerce Foundation with a background in economic research and policy analysis, having previously worked as a researcher in a California firm and interning as a policy analyst for a non-profit organization.