€ 1 bn cross-border sales in Holland

In 2016, Dutch consumers spent €1,071 bn in online shops located in other EU member states, outside the Netherlands. Over 50% of these cross-border purchases were done in German webshops, 12% in British webshops, 8% in both Belgian and Italian webshops. The remaining 20% were spent in webshops in various other EU countries. The cross-border sales increased by 62% since 2014, 17%-p more than domestic online sales over the same period. They grew by 45%.

These figures were published by the National Dutch Statistics Agency, CBS, and come from new research that was conducted together with 2 universities. In the study, the location of the online retailer was leading to determine if consumer spend qualifies as cross-border sales, not website domain or language (mostly Dutch).

Dutch consumers mostly buy clothing and shoes in foreign webshops. They account for almost 60% of cross-border turn-over.

The large share of German (and clothing and shoes) webshops in these figures can be explained by the results of the successful German fashion retailer Zalando, that takes the main part of the turnover by Dutch consumers in German webshops. Another very successful German online retailer is Zooplus, supplier of pet food and supplies.

Both companies are good examples of online retailers that have got their cross-border act together. Clear strategy, localization of the webshop and online marketing on a high level and localized services. This shows that it takes more than just a translation to make cross-border online retail successful.

Source: CBS, 23 May 2017


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