Growth in e-commerce in the Netherlands
Consumer purchases of goods and services via the internet have grown sharply in recent years. Compared with 2014, the amount spent online in the Netherlands went up by 16% in 2015 to reach EUR 16.1 billion, in a trend that continued into 2016. Market research bureau GfK estimates a further EUR 3.7 billion increase in 2016 to EUR 19.8 billion, representing 23% growth. This means that e-commerce accounts for 49% of the increase in total private consumption seen in 2016.
Despite buoyant growth, the Dutch e-commerce sector has potential for further expansion, given that it lags behind internationally. Figure 1 shows the average amount spent online per consumer in 2015 for several countries. At EUR 3,600, the highest amount was spent in the United Kingdom, while the average Dutch consumer spent about one-third (EUR 1,242). Likewise, the share of online spending in actual individual consumption is relatively low in the Netherlands, standing at 3.9% in the Netherlands in 2015, against 4.2% and 7.9% in France and the United Kingdom, respectively.
Figure 1 Annual amount spent online per consumer (2015)