UK and USA popular with Dutch cross-border shoppers


Online shoppers in the Netherlands bought products and services for a total of € 817m in foreign webshops in 2017, an increase of +28%. This was reported by GfK, together with, the Dutch trade organization for digital business. Besides Chinese and German webshops, online shops from the UK and the USA were particularly popular. 14% of the Dutch cross-border purchases were done in UK webshops, 10% in online shops in the USA. This makes the UK the 3rd most pupular cross-border shopping destination. The USA ended as #4.

The increasing cross-border focus with Dutch online shoppers is also reflected in the +84% increase of cross-border purchases in France and the +46% increase of cross-border online shopping in Spain. In the UK, cross-border B2C business with Holland was +23% higher than in 2016. 

Germany is the 2nd most important online shopping destination for Dutch consumers. 17% of the Dutch cross-border transactions took place in German webshops. Total sales in these German online shops increased by +38%. China is the absolute #1. 30% of Dutch B2C cross-border online trade was with China.

30% of the Dutch population older than 14 years bought at least one time in a foreign webshop in 2017. That represents 3.8m people. € 486m (59%) were spent on products, €331m on services. Among the products bought in foreign webshops, the largest increase was reported in IT (+51%), Food/near food/health (+44%) and Home & Garden (+41%). On the Services side, package travel showed the highest growth (+67%).

China is particularly popular among Dutch online shoppers for buying Consumer Electronics, IT, Home & Garden, Telecom and Toys. However, it’s dominant position in cross-border e-commerce might be diminished in the coming years, when current advantages will disappear. Parcel delivery costs into the EU have increased substantially since January 2018, when new regulations came in place. Also, by 2021, regulations regarding sales tax will change. Tax free deliveries of order values lower than € 22 will then no longer be possible. These measures create a more level playing field, giving new opportunities for cross-border e-commerce to webshops located in the EU.

 The total e-commerce market in the Netherlands reached € 23bn in sales in 2017, +13% compared to 2016, according to GfK and in the ‘Home Shopping Market Monitor’. For 2018, at least € 25bn are expected. This makes Holland one of the leading e-commerce markets within Europe. A very attractive market for foreign online traders, particularly when taking the strong increase in cross-border purchases (+38%) into account. As local experts, E-Commerce in Holland Consultants are there to help you conquer this market. Please contact us to explore and discuss our cross-border consultancy services, by mail or phone +31 6 22555546.

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