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Dutch ecommerce is booming: is it time to start exporting?

By Dan Wilson March 12, 2018 - 7:47 am

The ecommerce sector in the Netherlands continues to grow and develop with nearly 10% of Dutch retail now occurring online, according to the Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor. That’s research conducted by Dutch ecommerce association Thuiswinkel.org.

The share of online sales of products continues to grow and is becoming increasingly important within the Dutch retail trade. In total, online spend on products amounted to € 12.7 billion in 2017, bringing the share of the ecommerce sector to 9.7% throughout the retail sector. This means an increase of 1.3 percentage points compared to 2016. Compared to five years ago, when the share of online purchases was 5.0%, the share has almost doubled.
– Wijnand Jongen, director of Thuiswinkel.org (Translated by Google.)

Dutch ecommerce saw an increase of 13% year on year. The Dutch made a total of 201 million purchases online in 2017 and that’s up 17% on 2016.

And Dutch ecommerce is increasingly conducted on a smartphone, it seems. Consumers in the Netherlands increasingly buy products using their phones and, the first time ever, the smartphone is the more popular shopping device than the tablet. In the fourth quarter of 2016, 21% of Dutch online shoppers used their smartphone for at least one purchase, and in the same period of 2017 it was 28%.

Is it time for ecommerce merchants to go Dutch? It’s clear that the Netherlands is a decent market for online sellers and it becomes more tantalising as it continues to grow too. One of the most appealing aspects of Dutch ecommerce, from a UK marketplace perspective, is its relative proximity to the UK and easy, efficient shipping is available.

And don’t forget language: the Dutch are adept linguists and usually happy to conduct their business in English. That will appeal to UK sellers and solve the language barrier. eBay has a dedicated marketplace in Holland and Amazon shoppers are happy to make purchases via the German and French websites, according to received wisdom.

But the Brexit question still looms. What will the trading arrangements with the Netherlands be when the UK leaves the EU? Hopefully clarity will emerge in the weeks to come.

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