Ecommerce in the Netherlands: €30 billion in 2021
Ecommerce in the Netherlands was worth 30.6 billion euros in 2021. This is a 16 percent growth when compared to the year before. As a result, the online share of total spending by Dutch consumers rose to 31 percent.
In 2020, Dutch consumers spent 26.6 billion euros in online stores, which was a growth of 7 percent. The total amount of online purchases grew 27 percent, to 335 million. That growth was less pronounced in 2021 with 13 percent, reaching 373 million online purchases.
Consumers getting used to spending online
The data come from the annual Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor, an ecommerce study conducted by the Dutch national ecommerce association Thuiswinkel.org. It shows that the growth in online spending was stronger in 2021, while the growth in the amount of online purchases was stronger in 2020.
‘The growth in online spending was stronger in 2021.’
“Online growth was once again fueled by the corona measures, such as the closure of non-essential stores in the first quarter and the end of the fourth quarter. As a result, consumers have again made more online purchases this year, and it is striking that the total amount that a consumer spends online has also increased: from 1,900 to 2,180 euros, an increase of 15 percent. Consumers are getting used to spending more and more money online. We expect that consumers will continue to buy online this year, but the growth will again take the form before the corona pandemic,” said Marlene ten Ham, director of Thuiswinkel.org.
The fact that consumers are getting used to buying online is also seen in the share of online in the total spending of consumers, which reached 13 percent in 2021. In 2020, that share was at 11 percent. The online share in total spending on a yearly basis grew from 27 to 31 percent in the past year.
Purchases in products and services fluctuate
According to the report, the Dutch were buying massive amounts of products online in Q1 (a growth of 43 percent when compared to a year earlier). In Q2 and Q3, that growth decreased to 5 and 8 percent. It even shrank with 1 percent in Q4.
On the other hand, the online spending on services showed a shrinkage of 52 percent in Q1, but reached a growth of 63 percent in Q4. This growth is a result of the relaxation on travel restrictions in Q2.
“In absolute numbers, the service sector is still below the pre-corona level. This year, online spending on services was 7.8 billion versus 10.8 billion euros in 2019. But the sector has been on the rise again since the fourth quarter. Our expectation is that this growth will continue into 2022 and online spending on services will grow beyond 2019 levels.”
‘The service sector is still below pre-corona level.’
Thuiswinkel.org noticed the strongest increases in online spending in Package Travel (42 percent), airline tickets and accommodations (33 percent), and tickets for attractions and events (32 percent). The DIY/Garden, Insurance and Sports & Recreation sectors showed declines.
90% of purchases placed at Dutch stores
Another notable result in the report was the fact that 9 out of 10 online purchases were placed at Dutch websites. In 2020, that amount was at 88 percent. The total amount of cross-border spending grew by 14 percent, while the total amount of cross-border purchases shrank 5 percent.
Additionally, almost a third of all purchases were made with a smartphone (29 percent). The most popular payment method in the Netherlands still is iDEAL. The share of transactions through this payment method in online purchases grew slightly (from 69 percent in 2020 to 70 percent in 2021). Apple Pay was able to grow its 0.2 percent share in 2020 to 0.4 percent in 2021.