Online St. Nicholas purchases bring 47% additional revenue for webshops

Consumers opt for convenience and control

Ede / The Hague – St. Nicholas is doing more and more of his shopping online. Online retailers expect additional revenue of €225 million between 1 November and 5 December due to St. Nicholas purchases and gifts, which translates into €45 million (47%) on top of the average weekly sales in the weeks prior to the holiday season. This was the result of a joint study by, PostNL and Blauw Research into St. Nicholas purchases.
<>The expected additional turnover for online retailers is increasing each year. Whereas last year's extra weekly sales were 42%, online retailers now expect an average of 47% more weekly sales in the five weeks prior to the St. Nicholas holiday. Average weekly online sales during the St. Nicholas period will therefore total €140 million. For PostNL, this is reflected in 45% more delivered parcels compared to an average delivery week.

Wijnand Jongen, Director of "Once again, online shops are doing very well during the St. Nicholas period. The online channel has become an established buying channel for St. Nicholas purchases. St. Nicholas places plenty of orders for gifts from his steamboat and, thanks to his smart phone and tablet, he can shop online 24/7 and place orders quickly and easily."

Consumer convenience and control contribute to online channel growth

Consumers are primarily interested in convenience, speed and 24/7 shopping. Package deliveries are also faster and more flexible than a few years ago, when consumers were concerned about whether the parcels would arrive before St. Nicholas came knocking at the door. These advantages have contributed to the large numbers of online orders placed during the St. Nicholas period.

Online consumers also increasingly opt for a pre-selected day of delivery. This pre-selected day of delivery is usually three days later, with Friday and Saturday being favourite delivery days. This becomes clear from consumer use of PostNL MijnPakket, which allows online shoppers to determine during the order process where and when their purchase is to be delivered.

Toys and tablets at the top of the wish list

St. Nicholas does not have to spend much time coming up with ideas for gifts. This year’s wish list is once again filled with traditional gifts like toys, books, games and music. Tablets (Apple and Android) and smart phones are also popular gadgets to give and receive. Top 10 expected online St. Nicholas purchases:

  1. LEGO train, Star Wars, Playmobil shopping centre
  2. PlayStation 4 and games: PlayStation: Call of Duty Ghosts, FIFA13
  3. Toys: Furby
  4. Tablets and smart phones
  5. Space Scooters
  6. Books: Saskia Noort (Debet) and Fernando Ricksen (Vechtlust)
  7. Monopoly Millionaire
  8. Tool sets
  9. Marco Borsato (CD), Despicable Me 2 (DVD), Kinderen voor Kinderen 34 (CD), television series (such as Borgen and Penoza).
  10. Skylanders game and action figures

Shift in purchases from St. Nicholas to Christmas expected

Almost a third of online retailers expects consumers will spend more money on Christmas gifts than on St. Nicholas gifts in the future. The estimates for Christmas purchases will be announced shortly before Christmas.

About the study

The study was conducted by research agency Blauw Research on behalf of among around 2,000 members of this association. The study did not include service suppliers, such as providers of insurance, travel or tickets.