E-commerce in September: Purchase growth to further increase after early post-summer recovery, Fashion, Food and Travel/Transport take the lead


AfterPay Insights’ monthly forecast is back with this September outlook for e-commerce in the Netherlands, Germany and Norway. September marks the start of the post-summer period and Peak Season slowly comes into view. AfterPay Insight set out to map Dutch, German and Norwegian consumers’ shopping intentions during this period of transition. Do they intend to increase or decrease their online shopping in September? And which categories can we expect to grow or decline? Keep reading to find out.

Post-summer e-commerce growth picks up early in 2021

Our survey results show that consumers in all three countries intend to buy overall at a similar level in September as they did in August. But at the same time, consumers are more positive towards increasing online purchases than they were in August. This means they will likely shift some of their purchases from brick-and-mortar to online channels in September.

Trusting that consumers will act on their intentions, this development means that e-commerce in the Netherlands and Germany reaches a high-summer (and yearly) low one month earlier in 2021 (July, compared to in August 2020). When it comes to Norway, we can expect e-commerce growth to follow last years’ pattern, with online purchases reaching a yearly low in August.



Is the earlier than expected post-summer turn-up of e-commerce in the Netherlands and Germany a sign of an early run-up to online peak season? We will monitor consumers’ behavior in the coming month to find out.

E-commerce in The Netherlands in September: Fashion expected to drive growth and Travel/Transport to continue road to recovery

Our latest survey results indicate that the average Dutch consumer intends to buy at the same level overall in September, but is likely to increase online purchases. Fashion continues to dominate e-commerce from a numbers perspective in the Netherlands, upholding both offline and online purchases in September. Travel/Transport and Tickets are also expected to continue recovering as Dutch consumers say they will continue to increase purchases in these categories for the third month in a row. And for the first time since the start of the pandemic consumers state that they intend to increase (however slightly) online purchases of Tickets.

E-commerce in Germany in September: Fashion and Groceries expected to drive growth, but set-back for Travel/Transport and Tickets

Just like in the Netherlands, the average German consumer intends to buy at the same level overall in September, but are likely to increase online purchases. Looking across the product categories, and trusting that consumers act on their intentions, Fashion and Food/Groceries will uplift e-commerce purchases in September, with Fashion possibly growing slightly more than Food/Groceries.

But to the contrary of the expected development in the Netherlands and Germany, the biggest change in German consumers’ purchase intentions for September is in Travel/Transport and Tickets purchases. From intending to increase purchases in Travel/Transportation and Tickets one month ago, Germans are again hesitant to purchase more in these categories. Media/Entertainment is, however, a category that is expected to continue its growth journey in September – in particular when it comes to online purchases.

E-commerce in Norway in September: Travel/Transport expected to continue driving growth, with Fashion and Groceries in second place

Similarly, Norwegian consumers also intend to buy at a same overall level in September, but are likely to increase online purchases. What distinguishes Norway from Germany and the Netherlands is that Norwegian consumers state that Travel/Transport is the category where they intend to increase purchases the most in September. For a second month in a row this category is expected to outpace Fashion in terms of relative growth. The same trend also applies to Tickets, but where growth is expected to be lower. Fashion and Food/Groceries are expected to grow at the same relative pace overall, but where the bulk of the Food/Groceries growth is expected to come from brick-and-mortar stores.

Just like in the Netherlands and Germany, Travel/Transport and Tickets were impacted dramatically in March of 2020, though now show signs of definite growth. The change in Norwegian consumers purchase intention that we have seen for the past two months might be a sign of a long-awaited comeback for these two categories.

What is next?

Coming up next is a sneak preview of consumers’ shopping intentions during Peak Season. Stay tuned!