Conversion and User Experience in the Netherlands
With a population of 17 million, 95% of which use the internet, the Netherlands can be an interesting market for ecommerce. Increasingly, the Dutch public is embracing the opportunities of ordering online, with 93% of Dutch internet users making an online purchase in 2015. Although to a large degree running a business in the Netherlands will be similar to other countries, there are a few things to keep in mind when tapping into this market.
The main consideration when running an online business in the Dutch market is payment options. Dutch debit cards do not have a CSC on the back, which means they cannot be used to pay online in the same way as debit cards in other countries. Although some Dutch customers will have a credit card that does allow them to pay online, for most customers iDeal is the preferred payment method.
iDeal allows customers to pay online directly through their bank, without the need for a credit card. The service has been around for over a decade, and in 2015 56% of all online payments were done via iDeal. Although other payment methods like PayPal and credit cards are all gaining ground, iDeal is still an unmissable payment method for the Dutch consumer.
An important aspect of the user experience of Dutch consumers is the availability of trust signals. There are a few market-specific signals that will help consumers trust your website. The most important one is the Thuiswinkel Waarborg. 90% of Dutch consumers are familiar with their trust mark. Online shops have to go through a certification process to receive it, during which Thuiswinkel judges the trustworthiness of a website. Although the trust mark can be given to international companies, it’s important to keep in mind that the certification process takes place in Dutch.
When it comes to collecting reviews for your website, you could also choose to have this done by Thuiswinkel. However, international websites like Trustpilot are also known in the Netherlands. These might make it easier to collate reviews across a variety of markets, without having to jump from one system to another.
When providing customer service to the Dutch market, the key is to have a wide variety of channels. Dutch consumers are used to being able to choose how to contact a company, whether that’s by phone, email or social media. For smaller companies, the least customers will expect is a phone number, an email address and a contact form.
Interestingly, WhatsApp is also commonly used as a customer service channel in the Netherlands. The chat service is the biggest social media platform in the Netherlands, with 7 million people using it daily. WhatsApp, therefore, has a huge reach in the Netherlands. More and more companies are adding this channel to their customer service. For customers, it feels as casual as contacting a company through social media, with the added benefit for the company that the entire conversation happens in private.
Most companies will be able to carry over the customer service they already have in the countries they currently operate. The only thing to consider is whether to add one or two more channels to offer more options.
Overall, the Dutch market does not have too many market-specific aspects that will aid or harm conversion. Generally, the Netherlands takes their cues from English speaking countries and will offer many of the same options. By far, the most important thing to keep in mind is to add iDeal as a payment method. Whether a company should then also add more country-specific trust signals or customer service channels, will differ for every ecommerce site.
If you need any more information on translation for the Dutch market, please contact us on 0113 468 9777.