Netherlands: online developments

Date : 16 June 2016

As Albert Heijn’s Selma Postma discusses the benefits of omni-channel shoppers to the retailer’s sales line, we look at initiatives from a range of retailers in the Netherlands’ online market that are driving the channel’s evolution for shoppers.

Albert Heijn spotlights the benefit of the omni-channel shopper

In a presentation at the Provada event in Amsterdam Albert Heijn’s general manager for online, Selma Postma, has highlighted how its omni-channel shoppers are aiding the retailer’s sales growth at the moment. Postma’s presentation echoed statements from Ahold’s chief commercial officer, Hanneke Faber, when speaking at Commerzbank in May, when she noted that the retailer’s most valuable shoppers, who buy both in-store and online, spend twice as much annually as a store-only shopper.

Growing scale across the market

After a comparatively slow start, online has grown strongly in the Netherlands in recent years as retailers have looked to grow their skill and scale through the channel. In her presentation Postma noted how Albert Heijn had been expanding its online range, launching the Allerhande box and adding new items, such that its online store now carries about 28,000 SKU’s, of which 3,000 are from Etos and 1,000 from Gall & Gall, making it the largest store by products that Albert Heijn operates. Albert Heijn’s franchisees are also expanding their number of collection points, taking orders from existing stock, creating a new growth avenue for their stores.

The emergence of pure play online specialist, Picnic, has also provided further impetus to the growth of the channel. According to Picnic, since its launch at the end of September 2015, it has added 10,000 customers, who enjoy free delivery in Amersfoort, Leusden and Utrecht, with the latter launched recently using two hubs that enable orders to be transferred to small delivery vehicles. Looking to the future, Picnic’s co-founder, Frederik Nieuwenhuys, has said that the company will look to add further scale by adding a distribution centre on the main road between Amsterdam and Den Bosch.

Meeting the needs of B2B customers

Meanwhile, as it looks to build volume sales through its online store, to help drive efficiencies in its supply chain, Jumbo has been expanding its delivery service to businesses, including offices and healthcare companies. One of the larger scale companies that has begun using Jumbo’s service is childcare organisation Korein, which operates more than 250 nurseries in the country. Jumbo’s business clients are able to have their orders delivered or collect them from some of the company’s nearly 250 pick-up points.

Expanding availability of same day delivery

As shoppers’ range of choices has grown, so standing out has become key for retailers. Same day delivery of orders has become a main area of competition for companies, with Vomar recently adding the service, whilst also maintaining its low price offer. Vomar has guaranteed that shoppers, who order before 12.00, and who live in specific parts of Amsterdam, will receive their orders between 19.00 and 21.30. Shoppers have to spend more than €35 to have orders delivered, while if they spend more than €100 there is no delivery charge. SPAR has also launched same day delivery, offering it at no extra cost. Orders will be generated from in-store stock, with no minimum order and free delivery for orders over €50.

Identify, build and hone your set of online capabilities at

Click here >>