Unlocking success in cross-border e-commerce: Destination Netherlands


Discover the potential of the Netherlands, a thriving e-commerce hub and the largest market in Benelux, in terms of consumer spending. With 31 % of Dutch consumers making online purchases every two weeks, this market is ripe for expansion.

Mastering Shipping and Returns in the Netherlands

Shipping and returns can make or break an e-commerce business, especially in the Netherlands, as online shoppers demand fast and reliable delivery.

To thrive in this market, offering competitive shipping options, including fast and free delivery, is crucial.

A recent survey by IPC revealed that 71% of consumers benefitted from free cross-border delivery, and 58% strongly agreed that free delivery will become a more important part of their online shopping. 71% emphasised the importance of information about delivery charges pre-purchase.

Businesses must also be prepared to handle returns. In the Netherlands, 3% of cross-border purchases are returned, with 4% returning part of the order. Most returns occur at a courier's parcel shop or post office. Interestingly, 82% of Dutch consumers enjoy free returns, while 18% incur costs.

For businesses to succeed, they will need well-defined shipping and returns policies.

Understanding the Significance of Customs Clearance

Customs clearance may complicate cross-border e-commerce, but it is vital to success in the Netherlands. Dutch consumers value fast customs clearance, with 79% emphasising its importance.

Businesses should ensure compliance with EU import regulations and maintain proper labelling and documentation. By prioritising customs clearance and partnering with reputable experts, companies can ensure swift and efficient delivery of their products to the Netherlands.

Seizing Cross-Border Opportunities

Despite the challenges, the Netherlands presents numerous opportunities for businesses seeking to expand their international sales. With 12% of Dutch cross-border consumers making purchases from the UK, there is a visible demand for international products and brands.

Businesses must be willing to invest in essential infrastructure, including robust shipping and returns policies, efficient customs clearance procedures, and a keen understanding of the local market.

Spring GDS is part of PostNL and provides unrivalled 2-day door-to-door delivery service to the Netherlands, returns and customs clearance solutions that make it easy to ship internationally with fast and transparent processing.

With 12 offices and worldwide coverage, we handle all your cross-border deliveries through smart and sustainable solutions.

Contact us today to learn how we can help your business succeed in the Netherlands and beyond and receive our free VAT and duty guide on exporting goods worldwide. Click here


  • RetailX Benelux e-commerce region report 2023
  • IPC 2023 report