The Dutch spend € 817 million on foreign web stores
Dutch consumers bought € 817 million from foreign web stores * in 2017. This is a growth of 28% compared to the previous year (2016: € 637 million). China is still the largest cross-border market; 30% of all cross-border spending is spent through Chinese web stores. This is according to figures from the Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor, the study into online consumer spending * in the Netherlands. This research is conducted by GfK, commissioned by Thuiswinkel.org and in collaboration with PostNL.
Nearly three in ten Dutch people aged 15 years and older made one or more purchases via foreign web stores in 2017. In total, 3.8 million cross-border buyers spent € 817 million on foreign web stores in 2017. This means cross-border spending increases by 28% compared to 2016. This means that the growth of the cross-border channel is higher than last year (2016 vs 2015: + 24%). At a total level, 4% of Dutch consumer spending goes to foreign web stores (2016: 3%).
China also the largest cross-border market in 2017, France and Spain are gaining popularity
China is also the largest cross-border market for Dutch consumers in 2017, because 30% of all spending at foreign web stores goes to China (2016: 30%). The Dutch spend a total of € 248 million on Chinese websites, a growth of 31% compared to 2016). This growth did weaken slightly compared to the growth seen last year (2016 vs. 2015: + 59%). China is especially popular for buying consumer electronics, IT, home & garden, telecom products and toys. For consumers who have never ordered from Asian web shops, the threshold for this lies mainly in the fact that they do not trust product quality and find it easier to order via a Dutch website (Source: GfK ShoppingTomorrow Consumer Research 2017).
"China is once again the most popular destination for Dutch cross-border shoppers, especially due to the low prices and delivery costs," says Wijnand Jongen, director of Thuiswinkel.org. “Chinese companies have had great advantages over many years over European retailers, which has enabled them to market their products cheaper in the European Union. However, from January 1, 2018, cheap shipping of packages as a letter piece has come to an end. A new international tariff system now applies, which makes sending commercial mail from China more expensive. In addition, from 2021, Chinese web stores must also pay VAT for cross-border shipments with an order value of less than € 22. This puts an end to China's long-standing exceptional position and the associated VAT evasion. Two measures that were taken partly at the insistence of Thuiswinkel.org and that contribute to a level playing field for Dutch (web) stores. ”
Neighboring Germany After China, Germany is the most popular for Dutch online shoppers. 17% of Dutch cross-border spending goes through German web stores. Great Britain is in third place with a share of 14%. Striking climbers this year are France and Spain. Spain has (still) a relatively low share of 4% in cross-border spending, but is almost doubling Dutch cross-border spending. France is also gaining in popularity (+ 84%).
Of all cross-border spending, € 486 million (59%) goes to the purchase of products and € 331 million (41%) goes to services. Spending on products, such as telecom, clothing and toys, increased by 27% compared to last year, where cross-border spending on services, such as airline tickets, grew by 31%. The growth in cross-border spending is therefore due to the fact that Dutch people have started to buy more products and services from abroad.
The strongest growth in cross-border spending can be seen in the Package Travel segment. Cross-border spending within this segment increased by 67%. IT (+ 51%), Food / Nearfood / Health (+ 44%) and Home & Garden (+ 41%) also show strong cross-border growth.