Sales of the largest online stores are falling for the first time

Sales of the 300 largest online stores in the Netherlands have fallen for the first time. In 2022, total sales exceeded 26 billion euros, a decrease of 2 percent compared to the previous year. This emerges from the annual Twinkle100, an overview of the Netherlands’ largest online retailers.

The top 5 online stores are largely unchanged. Just like last year, is at the top with a turnover exceeding 4 billion euros, followed by Albert Heijn and Coolblue. They reached sales of 1.7 and 1.5 billion euros, respectively. Zalando surpassed Amazon and placed fourth.

Back to the shopping street

After strong sales growth of 27.5 percent in 2021, growth stalled in 2022. Daniël Verheij, editor-in-chief of Twinkle, explains: “The corona crisis has given online commerce a boost compared to five years of normal growth.” “Growth cannot continue like this forever.”

Verheij believes there are still sectors with growth potential. He points out that there has been a significant increase in sales in online supermarkets.

Shop sustainably

This year, for the first time, Twinkle also examined online retailers’ return policies.

9 percent of the top 100 online stores always offer free shipping. At 60 percent, this applies to the minimum order value, and at 27 percent, standard shipping costs apply. As for returns: About a third of online stores typically charge fees, and just over half cover these costs as standard.

Verheij points out that companies known for their free returns policy, such as Zalando, have introduced return shipping costs. “Consumers have become accustomed to the convenience of online shopping and are accepting this change,” he says. He also notes that consumers are making more informed choices and are increasingly choosing more sustainable transportation options, such as bike delivery and electric vehicle delivery.


“Marketplaces” are growing rapidly. These are platforms such as and Amazon, which offer products from external providers in addition to their own product range.

Verheij emphasizes the growing popularity of these online marketplaces: “Four years ago we had only six such webshops on our list. There are 22 this year.”

Source: NOS