A UN index has ranked the Netherlands the most ecommerce-ready nation, as European countries took eight out of the top 10 places.
The country rose from fourth place to reach the leading position, with a high proportion of online shoppers and a large number of secure servers.
Titled the UNCTAD B2C E-commerce Index, the report measured account ownership at financial institutions or with mobile money service providers, individuals using the internet, postal reliability and presence of secure internet servers.
Major retailers in the Netherlands include Bol.com, Zalando and Albert Heijn Online. Online stores are supported by iDEAL, the interbank online payment system, with many shops providing QR codes that buyers can scan with their mobile banking app.
The report noted that the Netherlands could improve its postage networks, with late delivery of online products cited as the main complaint by shoppers.
Switzerland took third place, although the report noted that internet use there is below average and the prevalence of online shopping therefore lags behind its index score.
The UK was in fourth, with the report saying its high score in the index is reflected in it having the world’s highest proportion of B2C revenues to GDP.
Singapore and New Zealand, placing second and ninth respectively, were the only non-European entrants on the list. The remainder of the top ten was made up in descending order by Norway, Iceland, Ireland, Sweden and Denmark.
Germany featured in 16th place, with France at 23rd, Spain at 38th and Italy at 43rd.