Netherlands flag Netherlands: Buying and Selling

E-commerce in the Netherlands


Internet access
The Netherlands is the country with the third highest broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in Europe, according to the OECD. The country ranked second worldwide in terms of internet access, with 98.2% of households having access to the internet in 2017. However, with a relatively small population of 17 million people, the Dutch only represent 0.5% of all internet users worldwide. Smartphone penetration reached 93% in 2017, making it the most popular device when it comes to accessing the internet, followed by laptops (82%) and tablets (64%). Smartphone penetration amongst 18 to 24 year-olds has remained stable in recent years, at 94%, while people over 55 have shown a significant increase in smartphone ownership (a 144% increase from 2013 to 2017). The most popular search engines in the country are Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo!, StartPagina and YANDEX RU. Google is by far the most popular one, accounting for 94.06% of the market share, followed by Bing with 3.67%.
E-commerce market
The Dutch e-commerce market is a growing sector. In 2017, the total e-commerce revenue across all categories was US$13.13 billion. Fashion was the leading category in the country, accounting for US$5.15 billion, followed by toys, hobby & DIY, which generated US$2.81 billion in sales. Revenue is expected to amount to US$14.03 billion by the end of 2018, and by 2022 that number is expected to grow to US$17.93 billion. Computers are the most popular shopping device in the Netherlands. More than half of the people who bought a product online in the fourth quarter of 2017 made the purchase through a laptop or PC. Other popular devices are smartphones (28%) and tablets (24%). In 2017, 13.3 million people made an online purchase in the Netherlands, making the penetration rate 77.7% - a number that is expected to grow and should reach 81.4% by 2022. With a growing online market, the number of users is expected to amount to 14.1 million by 2022.
Social media
In 2017, 67% of the Dutch population used social networks. As of July 2018, the most popular social media networks among the Dutch were WhatsApp, with 11.5 million users (out of which 8.3 million were daily users) and Facebook, with 10.8 million users (and 7.6 million daily users), followed by YouTube (8 million users), LinkedIn (4.4 million), Instagram (4.1 million), Pinterest (3 million), Twitter (2.8 million) and Snapchat (2.4 million). Instagram saw a significant growth in popularity in the country in 2018. There are now 4.1 million Instagram users, which represents a 28% growth from the previous year. As for daily users - 2.1 million people - there was 40% growth when compared to 2017. On the other hand, Twitter has been decreasing in popularity. Still, after three years of negative growth, Twitter saw an increase of users in 2018. The number of daily active social media users has been increasing in the past few years, according to Statista. Because of the growing audiences, companies have been investing more in social media as a marketing tool, and a high number of Dutch companies are now active on social media.

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Latest Update: April 2024

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