Online Consumer Spending Increases, Especially Due to Surge in Holiday Bookings 

Ede, 19 December 2023 - In the third quarter of 2023, online consumer spending in the Netherlands saw an increase compared to Q3 2022. Dutch consumers spent a total of €7.44 billion online in Q3 2023, which is 4% more than in the same quarter of the previous year. This growth is attributed to a 16% increase in online spending on services, driven by a surge in package holidays (up 32%) and individual flight tickets and accommodations (up 20%).

The total number of online purchases was 81.7 million, remaining relatively stable compared to Q3 2022 (up 1%). Of all consumer spending, 29% is done online, and 11% of all purchases are made online. This is according to the most recent version of the Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor, a study of online consumer spending in the Netherlands conducted by GfK, commissioned by and co-commissioned by Retail Insiders, in collaboration with PostNL, Betaalvereniging Nederland, and Currence.

Last year, in Q3, online spending on package holidays and individual flight tickets and accommodations were still comparable to 2019, the last year pre-Covid-19. However, online spending on these categories in 2023 has shot up by an average of 24%. This increase is explained by a significant rise in bookings in September, especially last-minute deals for autumn holidays.

We also see the focus of online spending on package holidays increasingly shifting from physical to online. Whereas in Q3 2022, 78% of spending on package holidays was done online, this has risen to 85% in Q3 2023. Spending on individual flight tickets and accommodations is conducted online in 90% of cases. Marlene ten Ham, director of, states: "The majority of our travels are booked online. We observe that online spending on travel is rising faster than the number of online travel bookings (an average of +6%). This may be due to inflation, but also because people are opting for more expensive trips than before."

Online Spending on Products Declines Slightly

Online spending on products has decreased slightly (down 2%), while the number of online ordered products remains stable. Categories where there has been less online spending this quarter include Clothing (down 13% compared to 2022), Consumer Electronics (down 5%), and Telecom (down 5%). Online spending on Media & Entertainment has increased by 13%, particularly due to sales of games and gaming accessories.

Increase in Cross-border Spending

Online cross-border spending has increased by 10% compared to the third quarter of 2022. This is mainly due to a 17% increase in spending on services, again driven by spending on package holidays (up 28%) and individual flight tickets & accommodations (up 19%) abroad. "29% of online spending on individual flight tickets and accommodations is done abroad. For package holidays, this figure is 11%," says Ten Ham. "We see holiday spending within Europe increasing, for example in Germany and Great Britain (in Q3 2023, 20% and 9% of the holiday spending abroad was respectively spent in these countries), but also outside Europe, more is being spent on travel, such as to the United States (Q3 2023: +51%)."

iDEAL Grows, Smartphone Increasingly Popular

iDEAL continues to be the most widely used payment method for online purchases, and its share has even increased. The number of online purchases settled with iDEAL has gone from 69% in Q3 2022 to 73% in Q3 2023. This increase originates from the growing share of iDEAL within online spending done via a smartphone.

In the third quarter of 2023, 88% of the Dutch population (aged 15+) made a purchase online, a similar share to last year. The share of online buyers making their purchases via a smartphone has again increased, now accounting for 27% of the spending (up 2 percentage points from last year) and 35% of the number of purchases (up 1 percentage point from last year). This is primarily at the expense of tablet usage.