E-commerce Netherlands: €26.6 billion in 2020

March 17, 2021 by
Sanne Leenders

Dutch consumers spent € 26.6 billion on web shops in 2020, an increase of 7% compared to 2019. The total number of online purchases increased by 27% to 335 million. This growth was mainly driven by the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition to the accompanying government measures, as e-commerce growth appears to be leveling off in 2019. Furthermore, the enormous differences between products and services were noticeable in 2020. This is evident from the most recent version of the Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor.

13.8 million online buyers

The growth of the total e-commerce market in the Netherlands can be attributed to various causes. The biggest cause is that more purchases were made per online buyer; where a consumer made an average of 19 online purchases in 2019, this was 24 in the past year. In addition, the number of online buyers increased by 2% to 13.8 million in the past year.

An enormous online boost within product categories

“It is clear that the e-commerce growth of the past year is caused by the enormous online boost within the product categories,” says Wijnand Jongen, Director of Thuiswinkel.org. In 2020, online spending on products increased by 43%. The number of online purchases increased by 41%. This compensated somewhat for the major blows that the travel and leisure sectors, among others, received. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the services sector saw online spending decrease by 39% and the number of online purchases by 37%.

Thuiswinkel.org saw ‘unprecedented growth’ in online spending, particularly in the Home & Living (+83%), DIY/Garden (+74%) and Sports & Recreation (+62%) product categories. Moreover, within these categories, online penetration has sometimes doubled. Ultimately, this means that many more Dutch people within these categories have started to buy online.

69% of purchases with iDeal

The share of iDEAL as a payment method for online purchases shows a sharp increase in 2020. From 60% to 69% of the number of online purchases. This increase is mainly due to the increasing use in the online purchase of products. Especially in the Food/Nearfood segment, the share of iDEAL has increased strongly (+ 11%), mainly at the expense of PIN. Other payment methods, such as gift cards, are less commonly used as a payment method for online purchases.

IDEAL is also the most commonly used payment method for cross-border purchases. Although the share of 46% of the number of purchases here is lower than on the domestic market. International payment methods such as credit cards (22%) and PayPal (16%) are more often used cross-border than for purchases at Dutch web shops.

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