Online shopping remains popular in the Netherlands, although the number of online transitions decreased slightly in 2022 due to the complete lifting of pandemic restrictions. In 2022, 13.9 million shoppers in the Netherlands spent over $36 billion on 347 million online purchases. This represents a nine percent decrease from 2021 in terms of overall spend, and a five percent decrease in transactions. The number of purchases by Dutch shoppers directly from overseas sellers was 34 million in 2022. Germany was the most popular country for cross-border purchases originating in the Netherlands in 2021, followed by the United States and France.
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 ten online retailers in the Netherlands in 2022 were as follows: bol.com, Albert Heijn, Coolblue, Amazon, Zalando, Wehkamp, Jumbo, Picnic, Apple, and Ikea.
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.