E-commerce in the Netherlands: Facts and Figures 2016

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In 2015, online sales in the Netherlands increased by 16.8%[1] with 93% of online users purchasing online[2]. For sure there is great potential for e-commerce in the Netherlands, so let’s take a look at some of the key figures for the Dutch market in 2016.


E-commerce in the Netherlands

Great potential for e-commerce in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has a population of 17.12 million habitants according Bevolkings Meter [3], of which the latest figures state that 95% use the Internet [4].

Internet use in the Netherlands


E-commerce growth and market share

93% of Dutch users made a purchase online in 2015. These sales contributed to a sales growth of 16.8% in 2015, which is expected to increase by 16.5%. This growth is visible on the retail trade market, on which online sales represented 7% in 2015. This figure is expected to increase to 9% in 2016, according to Retail Research[1].

Online share of retail trade in the Netherlands


Online retailers

Top e-commerce sites in the Netherlands

The top e-commerce sites in the Netherlands show that the Dutch generally opt for modern companies with good user experience.


Dutch consumer behaviour

What do Dutch consumers buy and how much do they spend?

The average basket in 2015 was €63[1], with an average of 13 purchases per person, per year. Clothing, home electronics and books are the most popular product categories in the Netherlands

Top product categories in the Netherlands


Cross-border e-commerce and the Dutch

46% of Dutch Internet users bought a product from a foreign country in 2015. When purchasing abroad, Dutch consumers are more likely to buy a product from Germany, the United States or China[5].

Top 3 countries Dutch consumers buy from  


Logistics and Dutch e-commerce

Top delivery methods in the Netherlands

According to Metapack, home delivery is by far the most popular delivery method (92%), followed by delivery to a pick-up point (32%) and click-and-collect (28%)[6].

Top 3 delivery methods 


Top payment methods

Proposing iDeal as a possible payment method is essential in the Netherlands, as it ensure that retailers do not miss out on sales. However, credit and debit cards are still a popular methods amongst the Dutch, followed by direct debit[7].

Top 3 online payment methods 



M-commerce in The Netherlands

There are 18.69 million mobile connections in the Netherlands, which is equivalent to 110% of the population.

Number of mobile connections


E-commerce traffic on mobile

When comparing e-commerce traffic, we can see that tablets are the most popular mobile device with 59%, while smartphones come in at 41% This is the complete opposite to the general trend in Europe, where smartphones are more popular than tablets for mobile shopping[8].

Share of mobile traffic per device


Online advertising and e-commerce in The Netherlands

Share of digital ad spend

In 2015, digital ad spending represented 36.6% of total media ad spending in the Netherlands. eMarketer expects this to increase to 43.5% by 2019[9].

Share of digital in total media ad spend


What challenges are online retailers to face in the Netherlands?

There are several points to take away from the Dutch e-commerce market:

  • Adapting to Dutch expectations is particularly important with free delivery and returns being important factors when completing a purchase.
  • It is essential to offer an iDeal payment service on this market, as a simple credit card is not sufficient for Dutch users and may tempt them to abandon their purchase.
  • With a huge number of Internet users, the Dutch are also particularly keen on mobile, meaning that retailers need to focus on a multi-channel strategy. Those that are already doing so are often turning to automated solutions to make running their multiple advertising campaigns easier.



[1] Retail Research: Online retailing in Britain, Europe, US and Canada 2016

[2] E-commerce Europe: The Netherlands B2C E-commerce Report 2016

[3] De Bevolkings Meter

[4] We Are Social: 2016 Digital Yearbook

[5] Postnord : E-commerce in Europe

[6] MetaPack: Delivering Consumer Choice

[7] Betaalvereniging: Marktaandeel iDEAL opnieuw gestegen

[8] Twenga Solutions: M-commerce in Europa

[9] eMarketer: How does Global Digital Ad Spending vary by region and industry?


E-commerce in Europe 2016

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