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E-commerce Report: the Netherlands

After our last three posts about the Netherlands, where you can see the best influencers to follow, the best e-commerce-related events to attend and the best blogs to read, it is time to see some general information which, combined with the posts mentioned above, will give you a full overview.

According to the World Bank, the Netherlands has a population of 16.94 million people and a GDP of $752.5 billion. This translates to a very active economy in a rather small country and is a reason to expect that the 6th country in the OECD will have a higher performance in the Trade In Goods And Services Index. In 2014 exports were 83% of its GDP. Therefore, we are talking about a country that is well-versed in international trade, which is a great strength when it comes to e-commerce. It also has a great transport infrastructure, including by sea. Also, according to the OECD, 96% of households have Internet access so online businesses have a wonderful opportunity here.

As a result, e-commerce has developed a lot. The Twenga report on e-commerce in Europe 2016 states that 71% of the population has purchased something online during 2016, much more than the 53% average of the European population. And it is still growing. According to, the online market has grown 20% this year. According to Statista, this seems very promising, since they state that online sales grew only 6.3% in 2016. This difference is due to the broad concept of online marketing that used. But a 6% growth is not bad at all. Actually, Statista also states that the market will reach 12.85 billion US dollars by 2017. The relative importance of this is also increasing. estimates that 22% of customer purchases will be done online in 2016 and forecasts that this figure will reach 32% by 2021.

Looking back to Twenga’s report, we can see that online businesses in the Netherland appear to have understood the importance of providing an omnichannel experience, and 80% of them have already linked their online-to-store channels. It is logical if we take into consideration that Dutch buyers are very demanding:

• 32% of them expect their products to arrive in 1-2 days (the biggest in Europe according to Twenga),

• 36% of them returned a product last year (the second biggest proportion after the Germand following Twenga)

The preferred payment methods are iDeal (56% of all online payments), which is implemented by the most important banks in the country, followed by credit cards. And mobile is of course very important, accounting for 28% of e-commerce traffic according to Twenga and 15% of online sales following

The most popular e-commerce platforms are, Wehkamp, Coolblue, Zalando and Amazon. Duth
Last November the Statistics Netherlands (CBS) gave us some interesting stats. For example, 1 out of 5 Dutch people will buy groceries online next year, a proportion that has been growing in the last 4 years. They also offered the most popular categories of products: clothes, trips, holidays and event tickets. And it points out the increase of the importance of medicines purchases.

And what about pricing? Do Dutch buyers care about it? Of course they do. The CBS informs that 35% of them always or nearly always compare prices before buying and 22% do it occasionally.
Summarizing, the Netherlands is a mature market in which infrastructures allow the offer of a great quality of services from the very beginning, when customers conduct their research, to the end with the delivery or even with the possibility to return the products. Competition is high with more than 70,000 online stores available. Dutch buyers know that and they are nonconformist. So, if you are thinking about entering that market, keep in mind that you will need to offer a great value, but if you do, the potential is great and the adventure will be exciting!

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