Dutch consumers bought around 1.6 billion euros (excluding VAT) from European webshops last year. This is a 17 % increase in comparison to 2017.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, Dutch consumers bought 453 million euros in European webshops, according to CBS. This is 22% more than in the same period in 2017. This information is about online purchases made by Dutch consumers at webshops that are based in the European Union, but not in the Netherlands.
International and domestic growth
Not only has the amount of money spent on cross-border purchases increases; domestic online sales are increasing even more. In 2018, the online sales of webshops based in the Netherlands were almost 18% higher than in 2017. The growth rate of the Dutch online sales for European webshops and Dutch webshops remains high, but this growth in the last year has never been as high as in 2015. In 2015, the turnover of Dutch webshops increased by 22%.
However, the purchases of Dutch people at European webshops form a relatively small part of consumer spending. In 2018, this was just under 2% of the total Dutch retail sales. The difference between Dutch and foreign webshops is not always clear to consumers. Web shops are often laid out in several languages, Dutch being one of them.
The online purchases of Dutch people at foreign webshops within the European Union are calculated from the VAT returns. Companies that sell products to Dutch consumers from other countries are required to submit a VAT return in the Netherlands. A threshold amount of 100 thousand euros per year applies here. Foreign companies whose annual turnover in so-called distance sales falls below this limit do not have to submit a VAT return.