Dutch online consumer spending on the rise, particularly due to a surge in demand for vacations

Press release by Thuiswinkel.org – Ede, December 19, 2023 – In the third quarter of 2023, online consumer spending has increased compared to Q3 2022. Dutch consumers collectively spent €7.44 billion online in Q3 2023, a 4% increase from Q3 2022. This growth is attributed to a rise in online spending on services (+16%), driven by an increase in package holidays (+32%) and individual flight tickets and accommodations (+20%).

The total number of online purchases stands at 81.7 million, remaining relatively stable compared to the third quarter of 2022 (+1%). Of all consumer spending, 29% is done online, and 11% of all purchases are made online. These findings are from the latest edition of the Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor, a study on online consumer spending in the Netherlands conducted by GfK on behalf of Thuiswinkel.org, with co-sponsorship from Retail Insiders and collaboration with PostNL, Betaalvereniging Nederland, and Currence.

While in Q3 of the previous year, online spending on package holidays and individual flight tickets and accommodations was comparable to 2019, the last year without Covid-19, the online spending on these categories has surged by an average of 24% in 2023. This increase can be explained by a significant rise in bookings in September, particularly last-minute bookings for autumn vacations. Additionally, the focal point of online spending on package holidays is shifting more towards online rather than physical outlets. In Q3 2022, 78% of spending on package holidays was done online, increasing to 85% in Q3 2023.

Expenditures on individual flight tickets and accommodations occur online in 90% of cases. Marlene ten Ham, director of Thuiswinkel.org, notes, “The majority of our travel bookings are made online. We observe that online spending on travel is rising faster than the number of online travel purchases (average +6%). This could be due to inflation, but also because people are opting for more expensive trips than before.”


Figure 1: Online Spending on Individual Flight Tickets and Accommodations & Package Holidays in Q3

Dutch are buying more for less

Online spending on products has slightly decreased (-2%), while the number of online-ordered products remains stable. The total number of online purchases is 81.7 million, holding relatively steady compared to the third quarter of 2022 (+1%). Categories that saw less online spending this quarter include Clothing (-13% compared to 2022), Consumer Electronics (-5%), and Telecom (-5%). Online spending on Media & Entertainment has increased by 13%, driven mainly by the sale of games and gaming accessories.

Cross-border spending is on the rise

Online cross-border spending has increased by 10% compared to the third quarter of 2022. This is primarily due to a 17% increase in spending on services, again fueled by expenditures on package holidays (+28%) and individual flight tickets & accommodations (+19%) abroad. “29% of online spending on individual flight tickets and accommodations is done abroad. For package holidays, this is 11%,” says Ten Ham. “We see vacation spending within Europe increasing, for example, in Germany and Great Britain (in Q3 2023, 20% and 9% of cross-border vacation expenditures were spent there, respectively), but also outside Europe, more is being spent on travel, such as to the United States (Q3 2023: +51%).

Online cross-border spending on products is also growing slightly (+3%), as is the number of cross-border purchases of products (+10%). Significant growth segments here are toys (+66% spending) and clothing (+23% spending).

iDEAL is growing, smartphones are becoming more popular

iDEAL remains by far the most widely used payment method for online purchases, and its share has even increased. The number of online purchases settled with iDEAL has risen from 69% in Q3 2022 to 73% in Q3 2023. This increase is rooted in the growing share of iDEAL within online spending done with a smartphone.

In the third quarter of 2023, 88% of Dutch people (15+) made an online purchase, a similar share to the previous year. The share of online buyers making their purchases with a smartphone has again increased, with 27% of spending now done via the smartphone (2 percentage points more than last year), and 35% of the number of purchases being made via a smartphone (1 percentage point more than last year). This is primarily at the expense of tablet usage.

Source: ANVR/GfK Booking Monitor October 2023

Download the infographic for Q3 2023 here.

Interested parties can download the light report here.

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