Nearly one in five Dutch buy food products online

© Hollandse Hoogte
Nearly three-quarters of Dutch residents report to have bought goods or services online for private purposes at least once in 2016, an increase by 9 percentage points relative to four years ago. The share of e-shoppers aged 65 years or older has grown most rapidly. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) says online food sales have risen most since 2012.
In the population aged 12 years or older, 73 percent (some 11 million people) report to have purchased products or services online at least once this year. The most frequent online buyers are found in the age category 25-44. Ninety percent of interviewed in this age bracket say they have bought goods or services online, but the share of e-shoppers aged 65 or older has grown most substantially in recent years, by 46 percent since 2012.

Occasionally bought something online
12-24 yrs80.570.3
25-44 yrs89.883.2
45-64 yrs77.564.4
65 yrs or older3725.3

Online sales of food and medicines booming

Just as in previous years, clothes, trips, holidays and event tickets are products commonly bought online. Although these goods remain most popular, online purchases of food and medicines have risen most rapidly. The volume of online sales of food and medicines has more than doubled since 2012. When interviewed, nearly one in five persons indicated they had purchased food products online. Seven percent bought medicines online.

Young people slightly more often than average buy concert tickets and hardware or software products, whereas 25 to 64-year-olds more often than young people buy household appliances online and over-65s often buy books or magazines via internet retailers.

Top 10 online purchases, 2016
Clothes and sports equipment47.931.2
Trips and accommodations44.234
Tickets for events38.325.5
Books, magazines and newspapers29.122.9
Household goods and appliances28.615.8
Software, hardware and electronic equipment26.112.8
Telecommunication services (subscriptions)20.112
Food products, cosmetics and cleaning products18.57.3
Films, music14.814.6

More than one-quarter of insurance products taken out online

The internet also serves as a platform for buying and selling financial products and services. In 2016  27 percent of interviewed have taken out an insurance policy online or have changed their current agreement; 6 percent buy or sell shares, bonds or other investment products online. The internet is used by 4 percent to negotiate loans or credit schemes.

Most potential customers check out online suppliers before they buy 

Forty percent indicate they (nearly) always look for information about online suppliers; 35 percent have accessed websites or apps where prices and products are compared or have read reviews of other customers. Five percent have occasionally bought or ordered goods or services without prior investigation, by directly clicking on an ad on a social media website or app, like Facebook or Twitter.

Type of research prior to online purchase, 2016
 Occasionally(Nearly) always
Read reviews2434
Compared prices2235
Looked up information about online distributor1940