EU webshops generate €1.6 billion in the Netherlands

In 2018, Dutch consumers purchased around 1.6 billion euros (excl. VAT) worth of products from foreign EU webshops. This is 17 percent more than in 2017. The growth rate of purchases made by Dutch consumers in EU webshops is slightly less marked compared to previous years. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this on the basis of ongoing research.

Turnover generated by EU webshops represents online purchases of goods by Dutch consumers from companies located within the European Union but outside the Netherlands. Figures have been calculated on the basis of a method which is still under development and are therefore provisional.

In Q4 2018, Dutch consumers spent 453 million euros in EU webshops. This is 22 percent up on the same period one year previously.

Domestic online sales 18 percent higher in 2018

In 2018, webshops registered in the Netherlands saw internet sales go up by nearly 18 percent compared to the previous year. This is slightly higher than the turnover growth realised by European webshops from sales to Dutch consumers in this period. Similar to EU webshops, the growth rate of Dutch webshops remains high but has slowed down somewhat after 2015, when turnover realised by Dutch webshops increased by as much as 22 percent.

Turnover from online sales (year-on-year % change)
JaarKwartaalOnline sales by Dutch webshopsOnline sales by foreign (EU) webshops to Dutch consumers
2015Q11832
Q22031
Q32525
Q42527
2016Q12417
Q22128
Q31620
Q42034
2017Q11630
Q22118
Q32123
Q42112
2018Q12111
Q21816
Q31819
Q41622

In terms of Dutch internet sales, a distinction can be made between webshops with only online sales and shops which do not have online sales as their core activity. Dutch webshops with only online sales generated nearly 13 percent more turnover in 2018. Dutch retail companies with internet sales aside from their brick-and-mortar shop(s) recorded 26 percent online turnover growth. Internet sales are increasing much more rapidly than total turnover in the Dutch retail sector, which grew by over 3.4 percent last year.

Turnover share of European webshops small

Purchases made by Dutch people from European webshops account for a relatively small part of consumer spending. In 2018, these accounted for less than 2 percent of total retail turnover generated in the Netherlands. The distinction between domestic and foreign webshops tends to be blurry to Dutch consumers. Content on e-commerce websites is often available in multiple languages and foreign online stores may have a Dutch version.