Sales of products and services via electronic networks (e-commerce) have risen substantially in recent years. In 2004 Dutch companies realised 10 percent of their turnover through on-line sales. In 2000 this was only 4 percent. It was mainly the larger companies where e-commerce grew.
More e-commerce for larger companies
On average, on-line sales accounted for 13 percent of turnover of companies with 50 or more employees in 2004, compared with less than 3 percent of turnover of companies with fewer than 50 employees. Large companies have more than doubled their turnover from on-line sales since 2000, while for smaller companies this turnover has hardly risen at all.
E-commerce by company size
Many on-line sales in manufacturing and trade
E-commerce is relatively popular in manufacturing and trade, two large sectors of industry in the Dutch economy. In 2004 on-line orders accounted for 14 percent of turnover of manufacturing companies. This percentage has hardly risen since 2002. In the trade sector, on the other hand, e-commerce continues to grow: at 12 percent in 2004 turnover generated by on-line sales was nearly double that in 2002.
Services harder to sell on-line
Business services, the third large sector in the economy, lags quite a way behind manufacturing and trade. In 2004 only 3 percent of turnover in this sector was realised through on-line sales. This percentage has hardly changed since 2000. It is apparently easier to sell goods than services on-line.
E-commerce by sector of industry
Netherlands about average in Europe
Although the share of e-commerce in Dutch industry has increased substantially since 2000, the Netherlands does not rank much higher than average in this respect in the European Union. Companies in Ireland sell about twice as much on-line than Dutch companies. In Germany and the United Kingdom, too, e-commerce is relatively much more common than in the Netherlands.
E-commerce in Europe
Eugène van der Pijll