Dutch consumers embrace online shopping

27/10/2009 15:00
  • Three-quarters of internet users shop online
  • Main reasons: convenient and flexible
  • More online purchases, but spending limited
  • Holidays most popular online purchases
  • Most people now have access to the internet
  • More and more people have mobile internet access

More and more Dutch consumers are shopping online. This spring, nearly three-quarters of the 11.8 million internet users in the Netherlands said they had purchased a product online. Just over two-thirds of them are frequent online shoppers, and had bought a product online in the three months preceding the survey. This is more than half of internet users. In 2002, only two out of ten internet users were frequent online shoppers.

Convenience and flexibility for consumers are the main reasons for the substantial growth in online shopping in recent years. Seven out of ten internet users who bought products online said the main reason for doing so were convenience, saving time and shopping when its suited them. In addition they can buy products which are often not available in the areas where they live. Lower prices and a wider range of products to choose from are also important reasons for people to shop online.

The most frequently mentioned online purchase is holiday accommodation. This is followed by theatre, concert and festival tickets, books and magazines, clothing, and sports items.

Consumers who had bought a product online in the three months preceding the survey had often done this more than once. More than three-quarters of this group said they had bought items via the web between 1 and 6 times. The remaining quarter had done so more than 6 times in the previous three months. Just over four in ten shoppers spent a total of 100 and 500 euro. One in three spent less, and just under a quarter said they spent more. Although more people are shopping online, total turnover in this branch is still relatively low, at just over 4 billion euro.

At the time of the survey, 90 percent of all 12-75 year-olds in the Netherlands had home access to the internet, which means the medium is now firmly entrenched in Dutch society. Eighty-five percent of this group even have a broadband connection. European figures show that the Netherlands leads the field in this respect.

Mobile internet access is also gaining popularity very quickly in the Netherlands. In 2009, three out of ten internet users said they had used a mobile web connection. In 2007 this was only two out of ten. Most people use mobile phones and laptops for mobile internet access.