The Netherlands has been very digitally advanced for quite a while, and ecommerce and digital buying are maturing. According to July 2014 polling by GfK for Thuiswinkel and PostNL, the country’s 11.76 million digital buyers made 53.5 million digital purchases in H1 2014. Total sales hit €6.58 billion ($8.77 billion) in the first half of this year, representing year-over-year growth of 5.6%.
In all, digital accounted for 18% of all sales in the Netherlands in H1 2014, according to the research, which forecast that 110 million total purchases would push digital sales in 2014 up 6% to €13.53 billion ($18.04 billion).
eMarketer’s estimate for business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce sales in the Netherlands this year is lower, at $11.47 billion, with projected growth of 11.6%. This figure includes products and services ordered and leisure and unmanaged business travel sales booked using the internet via any device and excludes event tickets.
Mobile buying lags far behind when it comes to purchases and sales. Thuiswinkel and PostNL reported that in Q2 2014, while 51% and 40% of digital buyers in the Netherlands made at least one digital purchase via desktop and laptop, respectively, just 21% did so on a tablet, and an even smaller 11% said the same about a smartphone.
When digital buyers do order something via mobile, it’s probably not too expensive. Smartphones took in just 2% of the €2.92 billion ($3.89 billion) spent online in the second quarter of this year, while tablets accounted for 10%. In comparison, laptops and desktops grabbed respective shares of 46% and 39%.
May 2014 polling by IDG Global Solutions found somewhat more promising results for mobile buying among smartphone and tablet users in the Netherlands—especially tablet users. According to the study, 59% of tablets users in the country used their devices to purchase products and services. Meanwhile, 34% of smartphone owners used their phones to buy such items. Still, the Netherlands trailed the UK, France and Germany for tablet buying—ahead of only Spain—and lagged behind all four of those countries in smartphone purchasing activity.
In terms of spending, estimates released in April 2014 by Blauw Research in conjunction with Thuiswinkel and iDEAL put mcommerce sales in the Netherlands for full-year 2014 at €2.00 billion ($2.67 billion).