Dutch online spending grew by 8.5% to € 10.6 Billion


Dutch consumers spent € 10,6 billion on purchases through the Internet in 2013. That is 8.5% more than the online consumer spending in 2012. With this, the online shopping market’s turnover continues to grow. This is evident from the 2013 Thuiswinkel Market Monitor, the six-monthly study by Blauw Research into online consumer spending, which is sponsored by PostNL. The study is calibrated to GfK’s retail panel and conducted by order of Thuiswinkel.org, the Dutch association representing 2,100 web shops in the Netherlands.

Online orders grew by 11% to 100 billion
Just as in 2012, the increase in the number of orders was the key driver of the growth in turnover. In total, consumers made nearly 100 million orders through the Internet last year. That is an increase of 11% compared to the preceding year. Gerrit Mastenbroek, Director of PostNL Parcels: “Consumers will have more and more influence on the online purchasing process, especially regarding the delivery of their orders. Nowadays it is easy to order a washing machine, which will then be connected for you immediately. By offering services like this, online orders will increase significantly in the coming years.” On average, online buyers made nine orders per person in 2013. In 2012, this number was eight online orders. Frank Sibbel, Managing Partner at Blauw Research: “Ordering online used to be something special in the past, but it has become trivial for consumers. They order more often through the Internet and also for smaller amounts.” On average, an order cost € 109 in 2013, while this amount was € 111 in the year before.

10.8 million Dutch consumers buy online
Last year, 10.8 million Dutch consumers made a purchase through the Internet. This is slightly more than the preceding year (+2%). However, this increase of new online buyers is leveling off. Especially experienced online shoppers buy more and more online.

Growth in turnover mainly the result of the sale of products
Just as in previous years, the growth in turnover is the result of the online sale of products, such as clothing, tablets and toys. The turnover resulting from the sale of products grew by 12% compared to 2012. The Toys segment (+27% to € 105 million) was once again the fastest-growing segment of the online shopping market, followed by Music (+19% to € 123 million). The largest product segments, Telecom (+16% to € 1.5 billion) and Clothing (+16% to € 850 million), continue to perform well and grow faster than the total online market. The turnover from the online sale of services does not grow at the same pace (+5%). This is partly due to the relatively low growth in turnover of the Travel segment (+2%). Travel does remain the largest segment of the online shopping market with a turnover of € 3.9 billion.

Further growth in 2014
The market for online consumer orders continues to grow. On the one hand, this growth is caused by a further growth of the mobile channel. Due to the increasing use of smartphones and tablets, consumers are more frequently spending more time online.Over two million Dutch consumers already make purchases using their smartphone and tablet and this number is growing significantly. The share of mobile commerce, or m-commerce, in the total online turnover will continue to increase. On the other hand, the boundaries between online and offline channels are fading away. Consumers are becoming more and more able to switch between channels. In the morning, they start to look around on the market using their smartphone, in the afternoon they continue their search at the office, and in the evening they use their tablet to place the order, which can subsequently be collected in the shop. As a result, the online channel will be used more easily and increasingly often. In addition, the growth will again be caused by existing buyers, who will increasingly often make more and more purchases, also in relatively new categories, such as Bicycles and Optics.

In comparison to 2013, the growth of the online shopping market will again increase in 2014, due to increasing consumer confidence and the growing economy. Throughout the year, online consumer spending is expected to grow between 9% and 10% to nearly €12 billion.