Dutch online expenditure 3.63 billion euro in first quarter 2014

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Online is good for 22% of total consumer expenditure
During the first quarter of 2014, Dutch residents aged 15 years and older spent €3.63 billion (incl. VAT) on purchases made via internet. This brings the online share of measured consumer expenditure up to 22%. For services this share is 66% and for products it is 11%. In total almost 26 million online purchases were made. This can be seen from the new Thuiswinkel Market Monitor, the research into online consumer expenditure in the Netherlands carried out each quarter by GfK and published by PostNL. The research is commissioned by Thuiswinkel.org, the organisation that promotes the interests of about 2200 (web)shops in the Netherlands.

During the first quarter of 2014, the Dutch made almost 26 million online purchases.

In the first quarter of 2014 consumers made almost 26 million online purchases. In total this means that 5% of all purchases that took place within the total retail market for products and services were made via internet. More than three-quarters of these online purchases were for the purchase of physical products, such as clothes, telecom and toys. As many as 6 million online purchases (23%) can be traced to purchases of services, such as tickets for attractions and events, flights and package holidays and insurance.

Expenditure shows a different picture. Of the total €3.63 billion that was spent online (including VAT), 58% was for the online purchase of services. Within this, the largest online turnover can be found in the market segments seat-only airplane tickets and accommodation (€700 million) and package holidays (€677 million). Of all online expenditure, 42% comes from the purchase of physical products. In comparison with the markets for physical products, the service segments generate more online turnover with fewer online purchases.

Wijnand Jongen, director of Thuiswinkel.org: “The most recent statistics on online consumer expenditure show that the impact of online expenditure on total consumer expenditure is much greater than was thought to date. During the first quarter, the impact and the share of e-commerce in the Dutch economy, the e-GDP index, was in the region of 4.83%.

In the new research we compared online expenditure of consumers with total expenditure, measured in 18 market segments and 106 product and service categories. We made use of the GOMSEC, the ‘Global E-commerce Standard for B2C E-commerce’, of the European umbrella organisation, Ecommerce Europe.”

Seat-only airplane tickets & accommodation the largest segment in absolute online expenditure

During the first quarter of 2014 consumers spent most money on seat-only airplane tickets & accommodation. Media & entertainment is the largest market segment for number of online purchases (6.88 million). This segment also includes music downloads and paid apps.

Seat-only airplane tickets & accommodation is also the biggest market segment in online share based on purchases: 76% of all purchases within this segment were made via internet. Based on expenditure, the market segment tickets for attractions and events has the greatest online share: 83% of all purchases within this market segment come from online purchases.

76% of the Dutch population made an online purchase during the first quarter

76% of the Dutch population aged 15 years and older made one or more purchases via internet in the first quarter of 2014. This amounts to a total of 10.5 million online purchasers, of whom a quarter of a million made their first purchase via internet in the first quarter. The proportion of the Dutch population that purchases something online now and again has now exceeded the 90% mark.

Since people started purchasing online, 90% of all online purchasers are (extremely) satisfied with online purchasing. The comfort of ordering products and services while at home, sitting on your own settee and the possibility of placing orders 24 hours a day are regarded as the most important advantages of online shopping. In the first quarter of 2014, half of the online purchasers regard the fact that they cannot feel or see products they have purchased online in advance as a disadvantage of online shopping.

Carlos Mendes Aguiar, Commercial Director of PostNL Packages: “The growing number of orders shows that barriers to online purchasing are being removed. We see that an enormous growth can be realised by ensuring every comfort throughout the entire ordering and delivery process. Consumers decide how, where and when purchases will be delivered. Since recently, this can also be in the evening or before 08:30 hours from a PostNL package service point.”

Historical trend mapped out since the second quarter
Since the first quarter of 2014, the Thuiswinkel Market Monitor has been implemented in full by GfK. Various GfK sources are used to realise the reports. GfK has permanent access to market data and takes these as point of departure for the Thuiswinkel Market Monitor. Alongside this, ad hoc consumer research is also implemented.

This results in full insight into the Dutch online consumer market, whereby the online market is currently also being examined in relationship with the total market of consumer purchases. In addition, the renewed Thuiswinkel Market Monitor offers, per market segment, an overview of important indicators, such as the average online expenditure per online purchaser and the online share within the total market segment (based on expenditure and purchases). The group of over-65s is also currently being included in the research. This offers the Dutch e-commerce market new insights and opportunities for strategic decision-making.

Gino Thuij, GfK: “The great thing about the new Thuiswinkel Market Monitor is that it is now possible to see how the online share of each sector develops in comparison with the rest, which makes it possible to effectively compare the various sectors with one another.”

Changes in methods and definitions of market segments reflect a change from the Thuiswinkel Market Monitor that used to be published by Blauw Research; this is unavoidable and makes comparison difficult. Trends based on the new set-up of the Thuiswinkel Market Monitor will be available as of the second quarter.

As of 2014, the Thuiswinkel Market Monitor will be published every quarter.

For more information about the Thuiswinkel Market Monitor and to order the report, please contact Gino Thuij, GfK (Gino.Thuij@gfk.com).

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