11 percent more online purchases in first half of 2020

© Hollandse Hoogte
In the first half of 2020, 71 percent of the Dutch population aged 12 years and over – around 10.7 million people – purchased something online. This is 11 percent more than one year previously. It concerns people who indicated they had made an online purchase in the three months prior to the survey. The most frequently ordered goods or services include clothing, meals, and films and TV series via a streaming service or download. This is according to recent figures taken from a survey on ICT usage among households and individuals in 2020, conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Online purchases in the three months prior to the survey
JaartalPercentage (% of persons aged 12 yrs and over)

The survey on ICT usage by households and individuals is conducted annually by CBS in the months April through June. Last year, approximately 6.5 thousand people aged 12 years and over participated in this survey. With the available data, it is not possible to determine the effect of the initial measures against the coronavirus pandemic on online purchases.

Mainly clothing, footwear and accessories purchased online

Dutch e-shoppers aged 12 years and over were most likely to buy clothing, sportswear, footwear or accessories such as bags and jewellery (48 percent). Thirty-five percent ordered meals from a restaurant, fast food chain or caterer. Around 20 percent purchased furniture, home accessories and garden products, sports equipment, computers, tablets, mobile phones, cosmetics and printed books.

Of those surveyed, 20 percent made an internet purchase of one or more goods from a private individual, via Marktplaats for example.

Goods purchased, first half of 2020
GoederenPercentage (% of persons aged 12 yrs and over)
Clothing, footwear,
Meals ordered35.4
Furniture, home accessories,
garden products
Sports equipment22.9
Computers, tablets,
mobile phones
Cosmetics, parfumes,
beauty products
Printed books,
magazines, newspapers
Food, beverages17.7
Electronics, household
Cleaning agents,
care products
Medicines, vitamin pills14.0
Toys, baby equipment12.9
Vehicles or parts8.7

Films and TV series bought most frequently

Of all online products or services, films or TV series viewed via a streaming service or as a downloaded product were purchased most frequently (42 percent). Around 30 percent bought music from a streaming or download service, an internet of mobile phone subscription or tickets for the cinema, a concert or cultural event.

Online products or services, first half of 2020
DienstenPercentage (% of persons aged 12 yrs and over)
Films, TV series via
streaming service
Music via streaming or
download service
Internet of mobile phone
Tickets for cinema,
cultural event
Online games or
E-books, online magazines,
Computer software or
software upgrades
Other paid apps8.8
Tickets for sports events6.9
Paid health or
sports apps
Household services,
such as cleaning, babysitting, tasks

Online purchases more likely to represent higher amounts

Not only are more and more people making online purchases, but the total purchase amount of goods and services in the three months prior to the survey was also higher in 2020. Twenty-one percent indicated they had made online purchases worth 500 euros or more. This was 19 percent one year previously. Men spend more money online than women; 25 percent of men and 17 percent of women said they had spent a total of 500 euros or more.

Amounts spent online were most likely to be between 100 and 500 euros; 41 percent made purchases in this price category in the first half of 2020. The frequency of purchases has also increased. Thirty-four percent of the Dutch population shopped online six times or more, versus 30 percent in 2019.

Spending on online purchases
JaarLess than 50 euros (% of e-shoppers aged 12 yrs and over)50 to 100 euros (% of e-shoppers aged 12 yrs and over)100 to 500 euros (% of e-shoppers aged 12 yrs and over)500 to 1000 euros (% of e-shoppers aged 12 yrs and over)1000 euros or more (% of e-shoppers aged 12 yrs and over)Do not know (% of e-shoppers aged 12 yrs and over)

E-shopping most popular among 25 to 44-year-olds

Online purchases are made by 25 to 44-year-olds in particular; in 2020, 86 percent of them bought goods or services via the internet. The increase was strongest among the over-65s. In the first half of 2020, 59 percent of 65 to 74-year-olds shopped online, while this was still 45 percent in 2019. Of those aged 75 and over, 25 percent made online purchases in 2020, up from 17 percent one year previously.

E-shoppers by age
cat12020 (%)2019 (%)
12 to 24 yrs72.766.8
25 to 44 yrs85.580.4
45 to 64 yrs75.768.2
65 to 74 yrs58.944.6
75 yrs and over24.817.5

People on low incomes less likely to shop online

There are large differences between people on high and low standardised incomes when it comes to online shopping. Of those in the highest income group (fourth quartile), 83 percent shopped online in 2020. Among people in the lowest income group (first quartile), this share stood at 57 percent.

Men are more active e-shoppers than women: 73 percent of men shopped online, against 70 percent of women.