Netherlands in EU top 5 online shopping

© Nikki van Toorn (CBS)
In 2017, 57 percent of the EU population purchased goods or services online. In the Netherlands, 79 percent of people aged 16 to 74 were shopping online that year, putting the Netherlands in the EU top 5. This is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of research into ICT usage by European citizens and businesses, in response to questions from Dutch broadcasting company WNL.

Online shopping has surged across the entire European Union. In 2007, 30 percent of the population purchased goods and/or services via the web. This percentage had almost doubled to 57 percent by 2017. In the Netherlands as in neighbouring countries, online shopping has expanded enormously. Nowadays, it is most common in the United Kingdom, where 82 percent shopped online in 2017. In Germany, 75 percent bought goods or services via the Internet. Belgium had considerably fewer e-shoppers: 60 percent.

Share of population shopping online in past 12 months (2017) (% of persons aged 16 to 74 yrs)
 2017
United Kingdom82
Sweden81
Denmark80
Luxembourg80
Netherlands79
Germany75
Finland71
France67
Austria62
Belgium60
Slovakia59
Estonia58
European Union57
Czech Republic56
Ireland53
Malta52
Spain50
Latvia46
Slovenia46
Poland45
Hungary39
Lithuania38
Portugal34
Greece32
Italy32
Cyprus32
Croatia29
Bulgaria18
Romania16
Source: CBS, Eurostat

Sharp increase in online purchases of clothes and sporting goods

The most popular category of products purchased online in the EU are clothes or sporting goods. Over half of the Dutch population bought this type of products via the web. The share of Dutch people ordering clothes or sporting goods online tripled from 19 percent in 2007 to 57 percent in 2017. Only the United Kingdom had an even larger share, namely 61 percent.

Online purchases of clothes or sporting goods (% of population)
 BelgiumGermanyFranceItalyNetherlandsUnited Kingdom
2002535
20031149
200413610
20051711215
2006424721617
20074251521920
20085261932224
200910312132632
201011332743135
201114392653441
201216413153445
201320453264152
201425473684553
2015264737104660
2016314837115259
2017345041135761
Source: CBS, Eurostat
* data 2002-2000: POLS; data from 2005: ICT survey European Union

Netherlands leading in online grocery shopping

Until 2006, consumers hardly purchased food products via the Internet. Online sales increased steadily in subsequent years. From 2013 onwards, the number of people shopping online for food has grown considerably. In 2017, the share of Dutch consumers purchasing food items on the Internet was the highest within the European Union: 29 percent (14 percent on average). For the first time, this percentage was higher than in the UK, which had been leading until that year.

Online food purchases (% of population)
 BelgiumGermanyFranceItalyNetherlandsUnited Kingdom
2002114
2003216
2004216
20052029
2006151029
20071520411
20081640411
20092931515
20102751616
201131061819
20124971819
2013510911022
20145111111525
20156111021627
20167191422129
20179211532928
Source: CBS, Eurostat
* data 2002-2004: POLS; data from 2005: ICT survey European Union

Late deliveries most common problem

Delivering online purchases does not always go without a hitch. Late deliveries are cited as the most common problem. Of the Dutch consumers, 24 percent experience a late delivery of a product they had ordered. This percentage has been stable in recent years.

In the EU as a whole, 17 percent of the consumers say that products are delivered late from time to time.

Problems with online purchases by Dutch consumers, 2017 (% of consumers experiencing problems)
 
Late delivery24
Technical problems13
Wrong or damaged goods 10
Information about warranty or rights8
No delivery of goods or services 7
Complaints handling and finances 6
Other problems6
Final costs4
Fraud3