Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor: Dutch online consumer spending increases in Q2 by 12% to €6.36 billion
Ede, September 25, 2020 – As expected, the outbreak of COVID-19 has had a greater impact on the e-commerce sector in the second quarter of 2020 than in the first three months. Online spending on services, such as travel and tickets, declined even more sharply (-45% compared to Q2 2019), but this was more than offset by the growth in online spending on products (+52%). As a result, total online consumer spending increased by 12% to €6.36 billion and in the first half of 2020 by 4% to €12.40 billion. This is apparent from the most recent version of the Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor, the survey into online consumer spending in the Netherlands. This research is being carried out by GfK, on behalf of Thuiswinkel.org and Retail Insiders and in collaboration with PostNL, the Dutch Payments Association and Currence.
The total number of online purchases has also grown strongly due to corona: by +36% in the second quarter and by +22% in the first half. As with online spending, we also see an opposing picture between products and services. While 35% fewer online purchases were made in the second quarter, for example airline tickets, accommodations and package holidays, compared to the same period last year, purchases in the various product categories increased on average by 52%. Over the first half year, service purchases decreased by 32% and product purchases increased by 34%.
Due to the partial lockdown earlier this year, the number of online buyers has increased. The figures from the Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor also show this: in the second quarter of 2020 there were 7% more e-shoppers than a year ago (from 11.7 million to 12.5 million).
“The past few months have shown that e-commerce plays a vital role in the Dutch economy,” says Wijnand Jongen, director of Thuiswinkel.org. “Many people had to stay at home and turned to online stores for their purchases, resulting in many new online buyers and a higher amount spent per buyer. This is also substantiated by the growth figures in the number of online purchases in and online spending on products, and thus by the increased share of online in the total retail trade. This will be 12.3% in the first half of 2020, which is an increase of 2.2 percentage points compared to last year.”
Strong decline in services sector, Food/Nearfood largest product category
Both online spending and online purchases have plummeted in the travel and leisure sector. The restrictions imposed against the spread of the coronavirus resulted in a lower number of online buyers for, for example, airline tickets, package holidays and tickets for attractions and events. For example, online spending on package holidays decreased by 81% and that on individual airline tickets and accommodations by 24% compared to the second quarter of 2019.
In contrast, the product categories showed growth in both online spending and online purchases in the second quarter. The largest growth percentages in online spending can be seen in DIY/Garden (+121%), Home & Living (+105%) and Sports & Recreation (+85%). Online penetration has also (almost) doubled in these categories, which means that many more Dutch people have started buying online.
Another product category that has really taken off is Food/Nearfood. The Dutch have started ordering more groceries via the internet, partly because of corona. Nearly 12,000 online purchases were made in this category in the second quarter, representing an increase of 57% over the same period last year. In total, consumer spending on online shopping amounted to €704 million (+69%).
“This puts Food/Nearfood over the Clothing category (€646 million) as the product category in which the most online spending was spent in the second quarter,” says Wijnand Jongen. “In addition, the share of online within total spending on Food/Nearfood products grew from 4% to 6% during this period.”
Growth in smartphones and iDEAL continues
In terms of the devices used for the online purchase of products or services, we see that the rise of smartphones has once again continued. While 37% of online buyers used their mobile phone to make a purchase in the second quarter of last year, this year it was 43%.
The corona outbreak also has an impact on the online payment methods used. As online spending in products has increased and that in services has declined, products have taken on a larger share of total online spending. This ensures that the share of iDEAL – which is especially popular when purchasing products – has also increased: from 61% in the second quarter of 2019 to 68% this year.
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