Economic woes having “little impact” on Dutch ecommerce, says PostNL
Dutch postal service PostNL said yesterday that research suggests the continuing economic crisis is having “little impact” on the popularity of online shopping in the Netherlands. The company said according to new research, the peak in Dutch parcel volumes is expected to get even stronger in the run-up to Christmas this year than last.
PostNL has been involved in a joint study with ecommerce trade association Thuiswinkel.org and market research agency Blauw Research which suggests that online retailers will see their weekly revenue swelling to EUR 128m in the Netherlands, up 42% on revenue in normal weeks.
Last year saw expectations of a 36% increase in weekly turnover during the peak.
PostNL said the increasing use of online retailers for Christmas shopping in the Netherlands was expected despite survey findings that 27% of Dutch consumers expect to make fewer festive purchases this year.
Wijnand Jongen, the director of Thuiswinkel.org, whose 1,700 members contributed to the study, said it was “remarkable” that online commerce was continuing to grow so strongly during the current economic conditions.
He suggested that Santa Claus had clearly discovered the Internet for his shopping needs.
“At webshops, he can order 24 hours per day, which gives him the opportunity to work on during the night. Santa also feels drawn to the special offers that webshops provide in these harsh economic times. These benefits contribute to the extra online spending during the Christmas period,” added Jongen.
Within the PostNL study, convenience was cited as the biggest reason for consumers deciding to shop online, with 37% of respondents saying they did it to save time, 37% because of the ease of ordering online, and 31% attracted by Internet prices.
Some 25% of survey respondents said ecommerce allowed them to avoid the busy city centre when Christmas shopping.
The rise of tablet and mobile usage, as well as faster delivery, was also contributing to further growth in ecommerce according to PostNL.
Gerrit Mastenbroek, director of PostNL Parcels, said: “There is a strong 41% increase in parcel volume in the Christmas period, which is in line with the extra revenues from webshops. This means that the Dutch consumer is getting more aware of the convenience online shopping has to offer. We are developing ourselves continuously to service the needs of our consumer better and better and make online shopping easier.”
Thuiswinkel.org, which issues a Home Shopping Warranty certificate to its members (Thuiswinkel Waarborg) has now commissioned additional research from Blauw to look into the additional sales being seen in the weeks up to Christmas. The results should be published at the end of December.