2023 Insights: Dutch Online Shopping and E-commerce Export Growth and Challenges

December 15, 2023
2 mins read

78% of 12-year-olds purchased anything online in the first half of 2023. This is from almost a year ago and matches 2021 figures. Digital sales have increased little from 2022, but actual goods sales haven’t. 43% of internet shoppers encountered issues. This was 56% in 2021, when complaints were also questioned. The latest Statistics Netherlands (CBS) survey on ICT usage by individuals and families confirms this.

It happens every April–June, including this poll. Most of the poll’s 6,000 participants are 12+. Online shopping was reported by 12.5 million persons in the three months preceding the 2023 research. Shoppers aged 25–34 made up 93% of the online shopping population, while those 75 and above made up 36%.

Online sales of music, movie, and theater tickets are rising.
Online movie, musical, and cultural event ticket sales rose from 38% to 42% from 2022 to 2023. 48% of 12+-year-olds streamed or downloaded movies or TV programs. Sounds like 2022. More consumers purchased music via streaming or downloads or signed up for internet or mobile phone subscriptions than the previous year.

Buying actual stuff online remains the same.
Of those 12 and older, 57% purchased clothing, athletics, shoes, purses, and jewelry online. These were the most popular internet purchases. This was true in 2022, although fewer individuals purchased these things online than in 2023. Over 40% of internet food orders were from a restaurant, fast food chain, or supplier. Same in 2022.
Like last year, 25% of 12-year-olds purchased food, sports equipment, furniture, home décor, or cosmetics online.
In 2023, fewer individuals purchased furniture, laptops, electronics, books, meals, and food online than in 2021, during the coronavirus epidemic.

The majority of complaints are regarding late delivery from less than two years ago.
43% of internet shoppers were dissatisfied. Instead of 2022, 56% stated they had problems with internet purchasing in 2021. Buyers most often complained about late delivery. 33% of persons complained, down from 40% in 2021.
Many consumers complained about technical challenges with ordering or paying, not being able to discover warranty and legal rights information, and having difficulty making or having their complaints appropriately handled.

Dutch exports are 14% online.

Dutch companies sent 76 billion euros in internet purchases in 2021. This represents 14% of these firms’ shipments. EU companies accounted for most of these e-commerce exports. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this in its latest Internationalization Monitor on digitization and international commerce.
Businesses that employ 10 or more people and sell online are increasing. Nearly 31% of these firms sold online in 2021. It was 22% in 2012. Books, clothing, food, and items were ordered, as well as hotel stays and aircraft tickets. Online sales were higher outside the US. E-commerce companies sold internationally 52% of the time in 2021. That dropped to 41% in 2012. In 2021, Dutch firms purchased 76 billion euros in foreign products and services online. This represented one-seventh of those companies’ exports.

Online shopping is mostly done via websites and applications.
Websites and apps dominated overseas e-commerce for two-thirds of enterprises. 4% of enterprises utilized EDI, which includes trade dealings. Another 4% utilized websites, applications, and EDI. Small amounts of exports come from individual purchasers, but most come from foreign corporations. Because people purchase lesser quantities, this is true.

Smaller companies sell less online to foreign nations.
Large and small enterprises utilize online sales equally. However they’re less active in utilizing e-commerce to contact foreigners. Non-multinational companies are less likely to sell online overseas. 67 and 65% of Dutch- and foreign-owned e-commerce multinationals doing business abroad. Only 47% of non-multinationals did international business.

The EU accounts for most e-commerce exports.
Nearby nations made most online purchases, while EU countries accounted for almost three-quarters of e-commerce exports. Germany was the most significant export market for e-commerce enterprises that exported at least half their revenues. France and the UK placed second and third. France was the destination for most e-commerce exports. Many enterprises took on little French sales. The US and China are the only non-European top 10 e-commerce producers.

Marek Molicki

Marek Molicki, since 1998 in the online industry. Extremely motivated to reach goals. Ideas deliverer, problems solver, finder of new ways, the doer. Social media fan, public speaker, trainer. Constantly looking for new skills to learn. Impossible is nothing, it's only the question of time and being consequent.
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