The Dutch spent € 33.3 billion online in 2022, a growth of 9% compared to 2021. This increase in spending is striking, as the number of purchases fell by 5% to 347 million. The average amount spent online per purchase has therefore increased by 15%. This is evident from the latest figures from the Thuiswinkel Market Monitor, the study of online consumer spending in the Netherlands. This research is being carried out by GfK, commissioned by Thuiswinkel.org and Retail Insiders and in collaboration with PostNL, the Dutch Payments Association and Currence.
Growth for online purchasing services, decrease for products
The share of Dutch people who order online has remained the same in the past year: 97% of the Dutch population buys online. There is an increase in the number of online purchases of and expenditure on services during 2022 (respectively +49% and +54%), but a contraction for products (respectively -10% and -7%). Especially Q1 (+125%) and Q4 (+49%) of 2022 show strong growth in online spending on services compared to 2021.
This can partly be explained by the difference in market conditions: there was no lockdown in Q4 2022 (there was a lockdown in Q4 2021 – with associated travel restrictions) and in Q1 2022 it was shorter than in Q1 2021. As a result, Dutch consumers have purchased more in the services category. The Dutch did, however, had to deal with new crises: the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and high inflation.
“The increase in the services sector is mainly caused by the many purchases of tickets for attractions and events and travel-related purchases. We also bought insurance online more often in 2022 than in 2021, and at a higher price,” says Marlene ten Ham, director at Thuiswinkel.org.
Share online in total number of purchases decreased slightly
The decrease in the number of online purchases and spending of products was visible in all quarters of this year.
“The contraction for products applies to all categories, except for food/near food (+3% compared to 2021). Due to an increase in the number of online purchasing households and the amount spent per online purchase, this category continues to grow steadily. Online shopping remains popular in the Netherlands, and this is reflected in the online purchases and spending for this category,” says Ten Ham.
There is a slight shift in purchases to physical retail.
Where in 2021 the Dutch still made 13% of all their purchases online, in 2022 that has dropped to 12%. The share of online spending in total spending actually grew from 31% to 32%. The absolute growth of expenditure on services can again explain this. The Dutch, therefore, buy their products and services slightly more often in the physical store, but we typically spend more on services that we buy online.
“We see that the share of online for both purchases and spending is still higher than in 2019, the time before corona, and even than 2020, during corona,” says Ten Ham.
More spending online across the border
With online purchases abroad, we see the same trend as with online purchases within the Netherlands: the number of purchases is falling (-5% compared to 2021) and spending is rising (+20% compared to 2021). The increase in expenditure is mainly due to the growth in expenditure on Package Travel (+164%) and Individual Airline Tickets & Accommodation (+74%) that were purchased abroad, especially in the United States, Austria, Great Britain and Germany.
More e-commerce via smartphone and iDEAL
The use of the smartphone has increased sharply in recent years when placing orders online.
In 2022, the number of online purchases made with a smartphone increased from 29% to 33%. “If we look at the growth in smartphone use over the past 5 years, we see a clearer picture: in 2017, only 13% of online purchases were made with smartphones. 5 years later, the use of the smartphone has therefore increased by 2.5 times,” says Ten Ham.
iDEAL is still the most used payment method for online purchases. 70% of online purchases are settled with iDEAL, the same percentage as in 2021. iDEAL also has the most users: 96% of online buyers will have used this payment method at least once in 2022. Because services are often purchased with a credit card, and spending and purchases of services have risen sharply, the number of consumers who have used the credit card has also increased compared to 2021 (from 28% to 31%). Afterpay/Riverty shows a decrease in the number of users (from 23% to 19%).