The Dutch made more than a quarter more online purchases in 2020

Online consumer spending Q3

The Dutch made more than a quarter more online purchases in 2020

Dutch consumers spent €26.6 billion on web shops in 2020, an increase of 7% compared to a year earlier. The total number of online purchases increased by 27% to 335 million. This growth was mainly caused by the corona crisis and the accompanying government measures, as e-commerce growth appeared to be leveling off in 2019. In addition, the enormous differences between products and services (both in online spending and in the number of online purchases) were striking in 2020. 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 conducted by GfK, on behalf of and Retail Insiders, and in collaboration with PostNL, the Dutch Payments Association and Currence.

The growth of the overall e-commerce market can be attributed to several causes. The main reason is that more purchases were made per online buyer; where a consumer made an average of 19 online purchases in 2019, this was 24 last year. In addition, the number of online buyers increased by 2% last year to 13.8 million.

High peaks, deep valleys

“It is clear that the e-commerce growth of the past year is caused by the enormous online boost within the product categories,” says Wijnand Jongen, director of “In 2020, online spending on products increased by 43% and the number of online purchases by 41%. This somewhat compensated for the major blows that, among other things, the travel and leisure sectors; Due to the corona restrictions, the services sector saw online spending decrease by 39% and the number of online purchases by 37%.

Due to the various restrictions from the government, consumers have spent more time at home and were able to make fewer trips. This is reflected in an unprecedented growth in online spending within Home & Living (+83%), DIY/Garden (+74%), Sports and Recreation (+62%), Food/Nearfood (+58%) and IT (+56%) . Within these categories, online penetration has sometimes doubled, which means that many more Dutch people have started buying online within these categories. Incidentally, we see that almost all product categories show strong growth figures. However, we see other extremes in the service categories. For example, online spending on package holidays shows a decrease of 72% compared to 2019 and individual airline tickets and accommodations a minus of 37%.

Spending growth rates 2020percentage

iDEAL continues to grow

The share of iDEAL as a payment method for online purchases will show a strong increase in 2020: from 60% to 69% in the number of online purchases. This increase is mainly due to the increased use in the online purchase of products. In the Food/Nearfood segment in particular, the iDEAL share increased sharply (+11 percentage points), mainly at the expense of debit card. Other means of payment, such as gift cards, have been used less often as a method of payment for online purchases.

iDEAL is also the most commonly used payment method for cross-border purchases, although the share of the number of purchases with 46% is lower than in the domestic market. International payment methods such as credit cards (22%) and PayPal (16%) are used more cross-border than for purchases at Dutch web shops. The fact that a typical Dutch payment method such as iDEAL is also often used at foreign web stores is because more and more large foreign parties with many Dutch customers offer iDEAL as a payment option.

Download the infographic Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor FY 2020 here

Download the infographic Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor Q4 2020 here


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