Revealing insights in cross-border e-commerce

A working group responsible for 'Digitalization' within RVO suspects that Dutch entrepreneurs are missing opportunities to further internationalise with e-commerce. RVO does not offer any e-commerce related support or advisory to the Dutch business community. The problem is that RVO does not know yet how large the potential target group is and what their wishes, challenges, and needs are in the field of so called cross-border e-commerce.

This project aimed to get insights into the cross-border e-commerce activities of Dutch companies and to what extent support is needed from RVO. We have included the following topics in the research:

  • What is the size of international e-commerce among Dutch companies, as well as the trend/growth.
  • How many Dutch companies are actively involved in cross-border e-commerce?
  • To what extent, and in which areas, do Dutch businesses need (further) support in the field of cross-border e-commerce?
  • What is the approximate size of the group of (aspiring) users who need this.
  • Which sectors need support on cross-border e-commerce the most?





The Netherlands

Type of activity

  • Market Intelligence


Activities that have been carried out:

  • Desk research: analyzing existing reports and studies about cross-border e-commerce among Dutch entrepreneurs.
  • Developing and disseminating an online questionnaire among associations active in 7 different sectors.
  • Data analysis: analysing the results of the online questionnaire.
  • Interviews with 7 associations to get informed about the importance and needs of their members concerning cross-border e-commerce.
  • Interviews with 10 experts and entrepreneurs who are active in the field of cross-border e-commerce.
  • Reporting and presentation of the market research results to RVO.


Among the key results are:

  • 193 respondents have filled out the online questionnaire about cross-border e-commerce. This has been disseminated among the members of 7 Dutch sector associations.
  • We conducted 7 interviews with associations to get insights into the importance and use of cross-border e-commerce in different sectors.
  • We conducted 10 interviews with experts and entrepreneurs giving valuable insights into cross-border e-commerce on topics such as trends, wishes, needs, and challenges of Dutch companies, including advice on support programmes.
  • We reported on detailed information about cross-border e-commerce among Dutch companies: the size of the market, trend/growth, most important export markets, challenges of companies, companies’ needs for support, type of support programme needed, and conclusions and recommendations for RVO on a potential support programme about cross-border e-commerce.