Opportunities for online stores: provide a personalized shopping experience

Koen van de Wetering
Dec 16, 2022

The E-Commerce market is booming. According to an estimate by Statista, nearly 81,000 online shops will be active in the Netherlands alone this year! In 2021 that would account for a turnover of over 30.6 billion euros. Bizarre right! The pandemic has certainly played a role in this as well.

It is mainly the big names like Bol.com, CoolBlue and ah.nl that provide these huge sales. Many webshops miss opportunities when it comes to the online shopping experience.

In the summer of 2022, we started working on profile enrichment for our partner MailCampaigns. With a multistep form, they provide veer valuable customer data for Undiemeister, among others. The impact by applying profile enrichment was huge! Therefore, we rolled out this new feature for all our users.

Very quickly it became clear that this new feature provided great results in webshops and other industries. With profile enrichment, the segmentation of your target group gets a completely different dementia and you can also offer your webshop visitor a personalized experience.

In this article we talk more about the e-commerce market in the Netherlands and how profile enrichment can contribute to the success of a webshop. At the bottom of this article you can also watch a webinar recording on this topic.

Nearly 81,000 web shops in the Netherlands
In 2022, 80,770 web shops will be active in the Netherlands. Source: Statista

The Dutch e-commerce market in figures

If you do a Google search for articles about the e-commerce market in the Netherlands, you get a lot of articles. However, many articles say something different. Therefore, the information is not always reliable.

That's why we recently started working with Statista. This is one of the largest providers of market and consumer data worldwide. More than 1,100 experts are collecting qualitative data every day.

From Statista we have extracted the most important figures of e-commerce in the Netherlands and listed them here for you.

  • In 2021, the e-commerce market in the Netherlands accounted for sales of over 30.6 billion euros.
  • Since 2005 (first figures of e-commerce market in the Netherlands are known), this market has grown almost 11 times.
  • The growth of recent years is expected to continue in the coming years. The Dutch e-commerce market is expected to continue to grow to revenues of $54 billion by 2025.
  • Based on annual net sales, Bol.com, coolblue.nl and ah.nl are the largest webshops in the Netherlands.
  • 82% of the Dutch e-commerce market is in the hands of the "big boys," only 18% is in the hands of the smaller parties.
  • The most popular items online are shoes, clothing and accessories followed by beauty products and books and magazines.
Graph revenue e-commere Netherlands 2005-2021
Sales growth of total e-commerce sales in the Netherlands from 2005 to 2021. Source: Statista
Expected sales growth -commerce in the Netherlands through 2025
Expected sales growth -commerce in the Netherlands through 2025. Source: Statista

Top 10 webshops in the Netherlands ob.v. revenue
Top 10 web shops in the Netherlands based on turnover. Source: Statista.

Market distribution based on purchases by brand
Market distribution based on purchases by brand. Source: Statista
Most sold products online
Most sold products online. Source: Statista.

Online shopping behavior

It is common knowledge that consumers always do research when making (large) online purchases. For example, you start comparing products and read reviews. The experiences of other users give more confidence and a more complete picture of the product. So make sure you always have this in order!

One point that many online shop needs, but that very few web shops are addressing yet, is the buying experience. Compare it to visiting a physical store. As a store owner, you welcome visitors to your store with enthusiasm. There is a nice music on, you chat and ask about their wishes. Your behavior and the atmosphere in the store determine the visitor's experience.

On a webshop this is of course a lot harder than in a physical store, but there are certainly possibilities! Both visitors (online and physical) want only 1 thing: to be helped well and to make the right choice. The better you can help them, the better the experience.

Many webshops are completely focused on sales and neglect the shopping experience. What if you shift the focus to helping your webshop visitor. Take a look at the mission of Coolblue. They do not focus on hard sales, but the experience of their customers. Not for nothing is their slogan: "Everything for a smile".

Behavior toward online shopping in the Netherlands
Behavior toward online shopping in the Netherlands. Source: Statista.

Improve the shopping experience on your online store

You've probably seen them before: a pop-up on a webshop where you leave your e-mail address. They are often combined with discount codes or other interesting promotions. The pop-ups are mainly used to collect as many e-mail addresses as possible.

These types of pop-ups often work well. A lot of e-mail addresses are collected that you can then run various mail campaigns on. With any luck, they'll also bite and make an immediate purchase, but chances are they'll also unsubscribe quickly. A shame, you lose your precious leads! What if you could make this experience more personal?

For example, take a look at Wijnvoordeel.nl. They own 1.86% market share when it comes to website visits to online supermarkets.

Apart from the fact that they sell good wine, there are some elements on their website that they do very cleverly. They are very clearly concerned with the visitor experience.

Of course you will find a menu where you can click to offers or view a specific wine. But besides that, they want you as a visitor to choose the right wine. Some examples that Wijnvoordeel. nl applies in the webshop:

  • At the top of the website you can directly choose the type of wine, where you can choose the color, flavor and country. With a few clicks get a selection of wines based on your taste. Very handy for the wine connoisseurs.
  • For the visitor who may be a little less knowledgeable about wines and have no idea which wine suits them best, they also have the wine test. Based on a number of choices, they compile your taste profile. Based on your taste profile, the best 'wine match' is shown.

Adding it this personal experience provides a number of benefits:

  1. They help visitors choose the right wine. By doing so, they create a favor factor.
  2. The result is based on the visitor's answers which then allows you to offer a personalized experience.
  3. Wine Advantage first gives something to the visitor in exchange for an email address. 'Receive your personal taste profile by email' is very different from directly asking for email address without directly giving a reason.
Wine picker on wineadvantage.com
Wine picker on wineadvantage.com

Taste test on wijnvoordeel.nl
Taste test on wijnvoordeel.nl

Another very nice example where the personalized experience is well implemented is at Superbikes. Based on a few simple questions, you find out which bike suits you best.

By having your customers answer a few simple questions, you gain insight into your customer's wants and needs. You know what their preferences are and based on that you can offer personalized and relevant content. This is guaranteed to have a positive effect on sales!

Personalized experience at Superfietsen.nl
Personalized experience at Superfietsen.nl

How do you improve personalized shopping experiences in your online store?

Decide carefully which answers you need to give good advice. Write it down once, put it away again for a while and complete further later.

Once you are clear on what information you need you start formulating appropriate questions. It is essential that the questions and answers be clear. The visitor should be able to go through the questionnaire quickly without having to think for a long time.

Implement your questions and answers into a Profile Enrichment Quiz in AdPage. In the video below, we explain how to create this in our tool.

After you create the quiz, you can link it to your email marketing system, Customer Data Plaftorm or CRM system. Based on the information you collect with the quiz, you can then make personalized offers.

Create a personalized shopping experience with our smart quiz

Do you need advice on creating a quiz for your webshop? Below you can request a consultation directly. We are happy to look at the possibilities with you.

Watch webinar back

We previously gave an online webinar on this topic. Check back below.