Online orders grow by 8.5% to € 10.6 billion

Almost 100 million online orders in 2013 | Higher growth in online orders expected in 2014

Dutch citizens spent € 10.6 billion on internet purchases in 2013. This is 8.5% more than online consumer orders in 2012. Turnover in the online shopping market continues to grow. This was shown in the 2013 Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor (Home-Shopping Market Monitor); biannual research on online consumer ordering conducted by Blauw Research and sponsored by PostNL. The research is calibrated to GfK’s retail panel and is carried out on behalf of, the association for almost 2,100 webshops in the Netherlands.

Ed Nijpels, Chair of "Online purchases are increasingly becoming the norm for consumers. As association we are now focusing our pillars on improving the market. We try to use new initiatives to give our members and the entire e-commerce market that extra boost, enabling them to be future-proof. For example, there’s Shopping2020, the research and action programme in which we researched how consumers will shop in 2020. Giving practical tips to retailers enables them to stay one step ahead of the market. And, of course, the goal is to continue this growth."

Online orders grow by 11% to 100 million

As in 2012, the increase in the number of orders is the most important driving force behind the growth in turnover. Last year, consumers placed almost 100 million orders via internet; 11% more than the year before. Gerrit Mastenbroek, PostNL Parcels Director: "As the consumer can exercise more and more influence on the online purchasing process, certainly as far as delivery of orders is concerned, I am convinced that further market professionalisation will be the motor for future growth." Online purchasers placed an average 9 orders per person in 2013. In 2012 this was 8 online orders. Frank Sibbel, Blauw Research Managing Partner: "Previously online ordering was something special but has now become 'the norm' for consumers. They order via internet more frequently, for smaller amounts too." The average order cost was € 109 in 2013, while this was € 111 in the previous year.

10.8 million Dutch citizens purchase online

Over the past year 10.8 million Dutch citizens have purchased items via the internet. This is slightly higher than last year (+2%). The growth in new online purchases is levelling out; it is mostly due to experienced online shoppers purchasing more and more online.

Turnover growth mainly from sales of products

As in previous years turnover growth is mainly from online sale of products, such as clothing, tablets and toys. The sales turnover of products increased by 12% compared to 2012. The Toys segment (+27% to € 105 million) is again the online shopping market’s fastest increasing segment, followed by Music (+19% to € 123 million). The largest product segment, Telecom, (+16% to € 1.5 billion) and Clothing (+16% to € 850 million) continue to do well and are increasing faster than the total online market. The turnover from the online sale of services is not increasing so quickly (+5%). This is partly due to the Travel segment’s relatively low turnover growth (+2%). Travel, however, is still the largest online shopping market segment with a turnover of € 3.9 billion.

Continued growth in 2014

The market for online consumer orders continues to grow. This growth is the result on the on hand of further growth of the mobile channel. Increased smartphone and tablet use means that consumers are online more often. Over 2 million Dutch citizens already make purchases via smartphones and tablets and this number is increasing rapidly. Mobile commerce’s (m-commerce) share in the total online turnover will continue to increase. On the other hand the boundaries between on and offline channels continue to blur. Consumers can switch more easily between channels. Browsing with the smartphone in the morning, searching further at the office in the afternoon and using the tablet to place orders that can be collected from the shop. This will mean that online channels will be used more quickly and often. Growth will also result from existing purchasers making more online purchases, also in the relatively new categories such as Cycles and Optics.

Increasing consumer confidence and the growing economy will bring a further increase in online shopping market growth in 2014 compared to 2013. Across the entire year online consumer spending will increase to between 9% and 10% to almost € 12 billion.

Thuiswinkel Markt (Home-Shopping Market) Monitor Design:

Online shopping via internet is defined in this research as consumer purchases of products/services for personal purposes from companies (B2C), in which the products were ordered via internet (online), but not necessarily paid for online. Online orders for business purposes (B2B), online sales between consumers (C2C) and the purchase of shares and telebanking are not considered as online shopping.

The figures were obtained through collecting sales figures in cooperation with and a large number of online retailers, including members of Cross-checking via online and telephone consumer research (n=2000) makes calibration of market figures possible to enable reliable statements to be made about the total online shopping market. Sales figures from more than 3,500 retail organisations have been calibrated with the GfK retail panel since 2009.

More detailed information is given in the Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor 2013 (Home-Shopping Market Monitor) report regarding other market developments, different market segments, payment methods and consumer profiles. As well as these market figures, the reputation and appreciation of the most important online webshops is also measured within the different market segments.

Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor is sponsored by PostNL. PostNL has been main sponsor of Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor since 2009 and makes it possible for all members of to receive a free copy of the Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor.