E-commerce revenue is growing, and user penetration (how many people regularly shop online) is climbing above the European average. For exporters like you, The Netherlands’ e-commerce market is a promising target.2
*This is marginally below the European average of 9.97%, but nevertheless strong growth for a mature market.3
*This is well above the European average of 69%.4
*As of 20225
E-commerce share of retail spending in the Netherlands in 2022 and spending intention for 2027, by product category.6
Consumer electronics is the largest market right now.7
Online shopping is prevalent across all age groups, with the only drop of in use seen amongst the 75+ age group – where usage is around 50%.8
When shipping to the Netherlands, there are a few main challenges to consider:
Despite these challenges, the Netherlands has a well-developed infrastructure and efficient customs processes, making it straightforward to import goods compared to some other countries. Additionally, the Dutch population is generally open to international products and trade, making it an attractive market for exporters.
The Dutch embassy network, government, and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency will help you find the information you need. Business.gov.nl is the official Dutch government website for non-Dutch speaking entrepreneurs and is specially designed to help you do business in the Netherlands and working with Dutch companies. The website offers practical information on tax schemes, setting up your business, subsidies and more.
Note: 2019 figures. Current numbers may differ.9
Dutch consumers appreciate discounts and freebies, actively seeking ways to save money. Laptops and desktops remain their preferred devices for online shopping. Professional and reliable-looking e-commerce sites are favoured, and Dutch customers value personal contact. Fulfilling promises is crucial, as honesty and prompt responsiveness to inquiries and complaints are expected.
Fast and reliable delivery, a good returns policy, and user-friendly website navigation are important factors for Dutch online shoppers.
There is a growing emphasis on sustainability among Dutch consumers. A significant percentage of shoppers in the Netherlands prioritize the sustainability of products, particularly in the food sector. Eco-friendly food products, such as eggs and fish, have a strong presence in the market. Additionally, there is a notable increase in the adoption of zero-emission cars, with electric vehicles accounting for a considerable portion of newly registered passenger vehicles in 2020.
Like many countries, the Netherlands has a unique number of national holidays and events that e-commerce sellers should look out for:
Popular payment methods in the Netherlands:10
Consumers in the Netherlands value free shipping and free returns and prefer economy over express shipping. Delivery times around Europe of 2/3 days is still considered fast in comparison to the post/mail delivery which normally take much longer.
Whether you're a small business or a growing e-commerce merchant, we can help you reach new markets across the world. Our DHL Express Global Trade Services toolkit makes it easy to get your shipments through customs. Calculate duty, tax, and more to get upfront shipping costs, and find the latest import and export regulations.
Shipping services to/from the Netherlands
Flexible delivery options
Free updates and step-by-step tracking
Retail Channel with collection and drop-off points
A reliable logistics service provider is crucial in relieving both the sender and the recipient. For instance, if the logistics service provider can assist with customs matters, it saves a lot of extra handling. Additionally, a reliable logistics service provider contributes to a better brand image for the sender and ensures satisfied recipients, both in B2B and B2C contexts.
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