Purpose – This paper seeks to analyze the buying behavior of internet users in two European countries with different cultural backgrounds, Spain and The Netherlands, assessing the influence of online experience factors on the choice of an internet vendor. It also aims to identify and compare the influence of personal and behavioral characteristics on the e-vendor choice. Design/methodology/approach – The study simulated a realistic virtual shopping activity in the computer laboratory; participants had to complete an online shopping assignment and an online questionnaire. Findings – The findings indicate that the basic traits of the online consumer behavior of internet users in the two countries are quite similar. Most of the disparities observed are attributed to different levels of experience with the internet as a commercial channel. Research limitations/implications – The outcome could suggest the emergence of a global virtual village, an issue worthy of further research but also of particular importance for global web vendors and website designers. The basic limitation of the study is that it is conducted in only two European countries and refers only to online purchasing of a standardized tangible consumer product. Practical implications – The findings of the study can be translated to web design guidelines useful to online organizations operating in different cultural or ethnic environments. Originality/value – The paper presents one of the first studies comparing the influence of online experience factors in two culturally different countries.