01.09.2016 by Benjamin Kircher

Country of the month: Netherlands

Would you like to establish your online businesses abroad and to widen your knowledge in crossborder selling? Then, our monthly blog article "Country of the Month" will be useful for you. In this guide, you will find tips and information regarding the e-commerce market of different countries. For September, our featured country is the Netherlands.


With approximately 17 million inhabitants, the Netherlands is not the most populated country. Nevertheless, it offers great potential for online retailers because the Dutch are extremely online-savvy: 96 percent of Dutch people have internet access and nearly 92 percent of the population is shopping online.

It is no question that the Netherlands is one of the leading online markets in Europe. In 2016, the share of online trade sales in total trade turnover in the Netherlands is about 8 percent. Joining UK, Germany, France and Sweden, the Netherlands is one of the leading online markets with a high growth rate of 16.1 percent.

An advantage for online retailers selling to the Netherlands would be the location and proximity. The Netherlands is a relatively small region with high population density which makes the transport distance a lot shorter. Therefore, the shipping costs is comparativey low.

Even though many Dutch people also understand English in addition to their own language, it is recommended to localize your online shop and to learn about the legal conditions within the market.


During the localization process, it is also important to take note of the different payment methods in the Netherlands. The most used payment method in Netherlands is iDEAL (the Dutch version of direct debit), which is used for 56 percent of all transactions. Credit cards come second but the usage of them trails behind by 12 percent. Therefore, it is strongly advisable to add iDEAL as one of the payment methods within your online shop. By adding this payment method, your brand can appear more local and trustworthy for the Dutch customers.


If you are looking to sell in the Netherlands, you should consider the following:

  1. Dutch consumers prefer linguistically adapted online shops. Therefore, it is worthwhile to translate your online shop into the local language.
  2. It is essential to provide iDEAL as a payment method.
  3. Detailed description of the products and clear price information are also important.
  4. Adding a seal of approval can also provide competitive advantage to your online shop because it helps develop trust with the brand for Dutch customers.
  5. Dutch consumers place high importance in the flexibility of the delivery. They also want to decide for themselves where and when their order can be delivered such as time, date and place. In addition, Dutch customers also prefer to track their shipping statuses.
  6. Ensure that you offer free and simple return policies
  7. If you sell airline tickets or fashion, then you will have higher chance iof success within the market because they are the most popular industries amongst online consumers in Holland.
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