Holland again #1 in UNCTAD E-Commerce Index

For the second consecutive year, the Netherlands reached the #1 position in the UNCTAD business-to-consumer (B2C) E-Commerce Index. Based on the results in the 2019 report, Holland offers the best conditions to engage in and benefit from ecommere, as was already the case in the previous year. The Index ranks a total of 152 countries worldwide. Switzerland reached #2 in the Index, Singapore claimed #3. Together with Australia, it’s the only non-European country in the Top 10.

The UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index measures a country’s preparedness to support online retail. The index consists of four indicators that are directly related to online shopping and have a wide coverage in the countries involved. These are: Individuals using the internet (in % of the population);  Account ownership at a financial institution (in % of the population ages 15+); Secure internet servers (per 1 million people); Postal reliability Index. The data come from reliable sources like the World Bank, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Unsiversal Postal Union (UPU).

The Netherlands reached an overall Index score of 96.4, a 0.3 points improvement to the previous year. Three indicators scored between 95 and 100, just like last year. The Postal Reliability Index improved from 90 to 93.

The overall Dutch score was 2.0 points higher than the UK (rank 5, total score 94.4), 3.5 points higher than Germany (rank 9, total score 92.9) and 6.0 points higher than France (rank 16, with a 90.4 score). Compared to the UK, Holland scores higher on secure internet servers and account ownership at a financial institution. At the same time, the UK scored better in the Postal Reliability Index. Compared to Germany, however, the Netherlands score much higher on this indicator, as they do on secure internet servers and individuals using internet. France scores substantially lower than Holland on this last indicator, as they do on secure internet servers and account ownership at financial institutions. But like the UK, France is better than Holland on Postal Reliability.

It is remarkable that the Netherlands clearly outscored all Scandinavian countries, generally also regarded as highly developed ecommerce markets. The USA are ranked 13th in the list, with an overall score of 91.3, which is 5.1 points lower than Holland. There are substantially lower results in all four indicators, with the largest difference occurring in individuals using internet, where the USA only scores 87, while the Netherlands reach 95.

Together with the high level of economic openness (#3 in the Global Index of Economic Opennes 2019) and the excellent technical infrastructure, this makes Holland an attractive market for cross-border ecommerce, with very low entry barriers. This was also concluded in the Cross-border E-Commerce Barometer, published by Ecommerce Europe.

Author: Ed Hensen

 For support from local experts with your Dutch webshop, please contact Ed Hensen at ECommerce in Holland Consultants on +31 6 22 55 55 46 or hensen@ecommerceinholland.com.

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