The Netherlands: online shopping grows 7%

April 6, 2020 by
Nico Hoeijmans

Research by AfterPay Insights shows that in the past weeks, Dutch consumer behaviour has changed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It, however, is not severely impacted by financial worries. E-commerce purchases have increased by 7%. In the categories Groceries, Health Foods, Sporting Goods and Hardware and Building Materials, online purchases increase most.

Looking at purchase behaviour, the research concludes that the Dutch aim to stay healthy and active during the COVID-19 crisis. At the same time, they work on their houses and gardens as they spend more time here than usual.

Changing purchase behaviour

In the Netherlands, different consumer groups act differently in the current situation. Younger people (age 18-24) purchase less online while 25 to 44-year-olds purchase more. Women purchase more while man do not change their purchase behaviour to the same extent. Especially women who work full-time make more online purchases.

When looking at household income, consumers with lower incomes purchase less while those with higher incomes purchase more than they did before the COVID-19 outbreak. Households with kids make more online purchases as well.

Buying online

As many stores are closed and governments warn people to follow social distancing guidelines, it can be expected that this influences buying behaviour. Among the respondents who buy more online, avoiding others is the most important reason to buy online (55%). Others are Convenience (43%), Stores Closing (36%), Stores out of Stock (29%) and Can't Leave Home (20%).

In general, the study states that those who buy more or less online, worry more about the outbreak than people who buy less online. The last group worries more about their health and financial situation. People who did not change their buying behaviour in general worry less about the outbreak.

Popular products

Some product categories see fast growth in the last few weeks. Most notable categories are Food & Groceries (+62%), Hardware & Building Materials (+55%), Sporting Goods (+37%) and Health (Food) Products (+33%). Notable is that the Dutch consumer spends this much on Hardware and Building Materials. Afterpay concludes this is due to taking time to focus on home improvements as people are more at home.

Product categories that see sales decline are Tickets (-88%), Travel and Transportation (-59%), Beauty/Cosmetics (-19%) and Fashion (-15%). In Fashion, this only seems to be a temporary decline. People intent to buy more fashion items in the near future.

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