Dutch e-commerce purchases +32% during the corona outbreak

AfterPay Insights research among more than 3,400 consumers in the Netherlands since the corona outbreak reveals that e-commerce purchases are up +32% compared to Dutch consumers’ normal online shopping behavior, so preceding the corona outbreak. The increase of online purchases is largely driven by existing online shoppers buying more.

Compared to before the corona outbreak, e-commerce purchases in the Netherlands were up 7% after the second half of March. And purchases have continued to increase, by the second half of April they were up 32% compared to before the corona outbreak.


The % raise of online purches in The Netherlands

Why are Dutch consumers changing their e-commerce behavior?

The number one driver for Dutch consumers to increase e-commerce purchases is still to avoid meeting other people in physical stores, i.e. to prevent themselves from getting COVID-19. Among the reasons related to being locked down at home, the convenience of online shopping is the largest driver to shop more online. The share of consumers who motivate increased online shopping by ‘cannot leave home due to taking care of family’ has decreased since the corona outbreak. Reasons related to a reduced amount of available services (closed stores and restaurants, less public transport) are basically level since the corona outbreak.


Will Dutch consumers shop more or less in May?

We can still expect the number of online purchases in the Netherlands to grow in the month to come. This is because the share of consumers claiming they will increase online purchases in the coming month exceeds the share saying they will decrease purchases. But at the same time, we see an increasing trend in the share claiming they will buy at the same level as before – indicating that the current growth rate will likely be a bit dampened.


Which products will Dutch consumers buy more or less in May?

For most categories, the rate of recent growth is in line with the expected future growth. But there are some exceptions. Gardening tools and Hardware/Building materials has shown a dramatic increase, but the future outlook is pointing towards a dampened rate of growth. And Pet food/supplies has declined since the corona outbreak, but this category looks to be returning to growth numbers in May.


Which products will Dutch consumer buy more or less during Corona?

As described above, the main reason for the 32% total increase in e-commerce purchases in the Netherlands is that current e-commerce consumers have started buying more – as opposed to the increase being driven by offline consumers switching to online purchasing.


But we also see that online shoppers are expanding their repertoire by venturing into new categories online. This is especially evident in Fashion where 18% of the online shoppers made at least one purchase in the second half of March, and 28% have done so in the second half of April.


Dutch consumers indicate even higher demands of merchants

Currently, the most important reason for Dutch consumers to choose a webshop is if they have purchased there before. That the webshop is perceived as secure is the second most important aspect, which is also connected to having a previous experience with the webshop.


Consumers also think lowest price is important, but it is a distant third compared to the other two reasons for choosing a specific webshop, and this aspect is considerably less important in the Netherlands compared to in the other countries included in these analyses.


How are Dutch consumers’ changing demands affecting merchant performance?

Consumers are most satisfied with online merchants’ performance regarding shipping and delivery as well as the payment process. The lowest degree of consumer satisfaction is measured for customer service and the return process. But the aspect that has decreased the most since the corona outbreak is consumers’ satisfaction with fast delivery time; this drop is mainly driven by the heavy shoppers segment.