Describes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and covers prominent B2B websites.
The popularity of online shopping continues to increase rapidly in the Netherlands. In 2021, 14.1 million shoppers in the Netherlands spent over $36 billion on 373 million online purchases. This represents a 16 percent increase from 2020. The number of purchases by Dutch shoppers directly from overseas sellers was nearly 36.5 million. Germany was the most popular country for cross-border purchases originating in the Netherlands in 2021, followed by the United States and Great Britain. It is interesting to note that China was the most popular country for cross-border purchases originating in the Netherlands in 2019 and sank to fourth place in 2021.
There are several large eCommerce platforms in the Netherlands. In 2018, Bol.com was the first online retailer in the Netherlands to exceed one billion euros in revenues. In early 2020, Amazon launched a Dutch platform (Amazon.nl) and has quickly gained market share. The top 10 online retailers in the Netherlands in 2020 were as follows: bol.com, Coolblue, Albert Heijn, Zalando, Wehkamp, Amazon, Jumbo, Picnic, De Bijenkorf, and HelloFresh.
Accounting for more than nearly 70 percent of all transactions, iDeal is the most commonly used payment method in the Netherlands. iDeal allows consumers to make purchases via direct online transfers from their bank accounts. All Dutch banks are affiliated with this system. Credit card, PayPal, gift certificates, AfterPay, and Klarna are other payment mechanisms commonly used in the Netherlands.
A boost in online spending is generally seen in the run-up to the following holidays: Valentine’s Day (February 14), Mother’s Day (second Sunday in May), Father’s Day (third Sunday in June), Sinterklaas (December 5), and Christmas (December 25).
Delivery price and speed are important factors for Dutch consumers when deciding whether to make a purchase online. Different delivery services in the Netherlands offer varying delivery times. Standard delivery services estimate a shipping time of two to three days for domestic deliveries. Express delivery services guarantee delivery by a specific date and time, usually with an extra cost. Several operators provide same-day delivery domestically as well as delivery during agreed time slots during the day. Faster delivery and specific delivery time slots are increasingly popular with customers. Customers increasingly expect real-time information during the delivery process. They also expect low cost or free deliveries and returns.
Detailed information on EU eCommerce legislation can be found in the European Union Country Commercial Guide.