The First Dutch Ecommerce Benchmark by Ecommerce Foundation

NETHERLANDS | Maybe to no ones surprise, the larger retailers in the Netherlands perform better compared to their smaller competitors in the same industry sector. That results from research conducted by the Ecommerce Foundation in close cooperation with and Marktplaats Zakelijk (eBay owned site providing business insights). 276 businesses were examined in this first Dutch benchmark of pureplayers and omnichannel retailers.

Ecommerce Benchmark

The results are taken from the Ecommerce Benchmark, an online tool that allows businesses to compare their ecommerce performance against competition - for free and anonymously. For this particular Ecommerce Benchmark report, the focus has been on the Dutch online retail market, consisting of the industry sectors Fashion, Electronics, Department Stores, Home & Garden and Specialty Stores.

Size does matter

The ecommerce companies participating in the benchmark were requested to provide information on 21 key performance indicators (KPIs). Amongst others, they had to provide numbers and ratio's for average costs per clicks, abandonment rates, IT costs versus total turnover, turnover per FTE and Payment Service Provider costs (transactions). 

Based upon the analysis of the data, it appears that the larger Dutch businesses (more employees) perform better than their smaller competition. For example, the bounce rate - the percentage of visitors who enter a particular webpage and then leave rather than continuing - is substantially lower. Also with respect to the average shipping cost, the bigger players do better. Both can easily be explained by having more staff dedicated in optimising site traffic and conversion, and economies of scale to profit from.

Ecommerce Benchmark at a glance

Some of the other key findings include:
  • Pure players generate around 113.000 euro more per fulltime employee
  • 5,28 euro is the average cost for delivering goods
  • Over 55% of the shopping carts are abandoned
  • Almost 18% of the goods ordered are being returned
  • Just over 50% of webshop visitors click at least one product
  • Average conversion rate is 1.9%
  • Payment Service Provider costs share in turnover: just below 2%

Pure players vs. omnichannel players

When looking at the differences between pure online players and omnichannel retailers (web and in-store sales), it appears that the pureplayers do better in general. For example, they have less abandoned shopping carts: 50% abandonment rate compared to 60%. The higher basket abandonment rate could partly be explained by the fact that omnichannel websites are used more for orientation, whereas the actual purchase happens in-store.

Another important difference is the turnover per fulltime employee. For purely online businesses the average turnover per FTE is around 540.000 euro. For an omnichannel FTE that figure is around 426.000 euro.


However, in some areas, omnichannel retailers outperform the pureplayers. The omnichannel average return costs are around 30 percent less (6,57 euro vs 8,54 euro). This could easily be explained by the fact the omnichannel businesses have the additional option to return goods in-store.

Netherlands compared to other European ecommerce markets

During this benchmark, the Ecommerce Foundation also investigated how the Dutch retail performs compared to other European ecommerce markets. Some interesting differences were found. For example, the number of complete order shipment is fairly lower than other ecommerce countries surrounding the Netherlands. For more information and to download the full Ecommerce Benchmark report (only in Dutch available), please visit the Ecommerce Benchmark website. 


About is the Dutch home shopping association looking after the interest of businesses that are selling products and services remotely by means of internet and phone to Dutch consumers. represents her members on a national and international level, aims to promote consumers' trust in ecommerce and to ensure knowledge and specific industry information is shared among members and business partners.
Merchants can become a member and obtain their quality label called the 'Thuiswinkel Waarborg'. Merchants therefore need to comply to specific consumer protection rules as laid down in certification criteria, before they actually receive their quality label.

About Ecommerce Foundation

The Ecommerce Foundation is an independent non-profit organisation, initiated by worldwide national e-commerce associations and online and omnichannel selling companies from industries such as retail, travel & finance. By combining collective goals and efforts, the Ecommerce Foundation is able to realise reports on e-commerce facts and figures, e-commerce benchmarks, research, studies and publications that can not be realised on a national or individual basis.

Article sourced from Press Release by Ecommerce Foundation, July 1st, 2015

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