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Learning about E‑commerce in the Netherlands

22.04.2020, 2m

The Netherlands is a lot more than bicycles and fried fish. Sure, the beautiful architecture, the canals of Amsterdam, and the millions of bicycles make this small country seem old-fashioned, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, especially when it comes to e-commerce. Keep reading to learn more about the Dutch e-commerce market!

A culture of directness

If you’ve ever had a discussion with someone from the Netherlands, you may have noticed they’re not very shy, especially if you ask for their honest opinion about something. In fact, they're quite direct.


This is a quality the Dutch really love about themselves. In their personal lives, it’s appreciated. In the business world, it’s essential. Unlike the UK or the US, where people tend to be a bit more sensitive to other people’s feelings, the Dutch don’t see much value in beating around the bush. 

Business shaking hands in front of modern building with copy space (selective focus)The thing to remember is that this is absolutely not personal; it’s business. Good business isn’t about feelings in the Netherlands. It’s about working efficiently and communicating clearly and directly. 

Although this may be off putting to some, remember that it’s nothing personal! 

E-commerce in the Netherlands

In case you didn’t already know, shoppers in the Netherlands are very well connected to the internet. About 10% of total retail sales in the Netherlands occurs online, placing it in the top 5 for European countries (hint: UK is number one!).

However, it might be interesting to know that nearly 60% of e-commerce website traffic occurs on mobile! Clearly, from a tech side, the Dutch market is very mature. 

Mobile_traffic_Ecommerce_Europe_PostNordSource: PostNord

The importance of online reviews in the Netherlands

As you might imagine, a market that is so mature also knows its way around the world of online shopping. According to research by Capterra, 71% of Dutch shoppers often or always read customer reviews before making a purchase. 

The same survey revealed that 44% of respondents would like to see responses to the reviews they submit. It might be a good time to ask yourself: Are you taking care of your negative reviews

Learn more about the e-commerce market in the Netherlands

We’ve put together a whitepaper with more insights into the Dutch market. Download it for free by clicking on the banner below or head to our download centre to check out our other market analyses and other free content!

E-commerce Market Analysis: Netherlands