Online marketplaces are giving you a quick start in the world of e-commerce. In this blog, we will compare both, Bol.com and Amazon.nl, and we will help you with the first steps to set up your own marketplace business.
What are the online markets?
In order to let you become an online marketplace expert, we're going to start with explaining the basics first. The online marketplaces are e-commerce platforms linking sellers and buyers. You could think of Bol.com or Amazon.
Businesses are using these online markets to reach customers that want to purchase their products and services. These online markets are offering the supplier an increase in reach for a percentage of the selling price in return. The concept is comparable to an actual market where the supplier also pays money to rent a booth.
The offer in the Netherlands
The use of online markets increased significantly during the Pandemic in the Netherlands. Initially, Bol.com was mainly dominant in the Netherlands, but also Amazon.nl was added in March 2020. This means that you, as a supplier, will have more options for using online markets. We like to compare these two parties so that you can choose the marketplace that suits you best. Or, better yet, how you can spread your opportunities!
Bol.com is an online marketplace located in the Netherlands. The business gives suppliers the ability to show their goods to customers. Bol.com currently has 11 million active users in the Netherlands and Belgium and sells 23 million products annually.
At Bol.com there are fixed and varying prices (in percentage of the sales price). This percentage varies per category. Below is a list for some of the prices in the different categories:
Baby items € 1, - 15%
Books (new and second-hand) € 1, - 15%
Gift cards (food and drinks) € 0, - 4.8%
Electronics (small household appliances) € 1, - 6.0%
Games (software) € 1, - 15%
Accessories for the mobile phone € 3, - 8.0%
Toys (General) € 1, - 15%
Get started with Bol.com
You start by creating a regular user account, one that is also used for buying products on bol.com. After this, log in with this newly created account on the bol.com website and navigate to the sales account in the menu.
Once here, you can easily fill in your personal details and company details. Read and accept the terms and conditions and click continue. Bol.com will now automatically send you an email with the verification link.
In addition to the verification link, you will also receive a letter on your doormat within two working days. It contains a verification code that you need to complete the registration process.
After completing the registration process you can start setting up your bol.com seller channel. Upload the products you want to sell with complete information (Photos, Title, Description, Price, EAN code, Brand name, and possibly a link to your own website).
Advertising on Bol.com
In the spring of 2020, the possibilities for advertising on Bol.com have been expanded and improved. As a result, bol.com has booked a huge increase in which a quarter of the number of sales partners now use these functions.
If you also want to stand out with a new article or want to bring popular products under more attention, bol.com's sponsored products might be something for you. With “Sponsored products” you can make your articles at bol.com more visible and findable, whatever your budget is. In this way, your articles are easier to find when customers, for example, search for a similar product.
How does it work?
You select the articles that you want to give an extra boost, choose appropriate keywords, and indicate how much you want to spend on them through the bidding system. The bidding system is set up so that if advertiser A offers 1 euro and advertiser B 50 cents, advertiser A wins the auction and eventually pays 50 cents + 1 cent per click. Only when your ad is clicked on, you pay the amount chosen by you.
What we can do for you
The Next Ad is happy to help you set up the best possible advertising campaigns. Based on your industry, we know exactly what works and what doesn't work for your company. This way you can increase the efficiency and ROI of the campaigns.
Amazon Marketplace is an online marketplace that allows external sellers to sell new or used products for a fixed price. Amazon itself also uses the platform for the sale of their own Amazon line. Amazon has 300 million active customers worldwide and there are more than 2.5 million third-party sellers.
The professional account costs you € 39 per month and the individual account costs you € 0.90 per product sold. The difference between these two plans is explained below.
Get started with Amazon
If you want to start selling your products on Amazon, the first thing to do is choose between the two different sales subscriptions.
These two subscriptions are called individual and professional, and they distinguish small companies from larger companies.
The individual subscription suits you if:
- You plan to sell less than 40 products per month.
- You try to keep the starter's costs as low as possible.
- You don't need advanced sales tools and add-ons.
- You still want to decide what exactly you want to sell.
The professional subscription suits you if:
- You plan to sell more than 40 products per month.
- You want to access the advanced sales tools.
- You want to use add-ons (such as Amazon Business, Launchpad, or Hand-made)
- You are an experienced E-commerce seller.
See which of the plans best suits your business and then register an account at an individual or professional level.
After creating your account you will enter the Amazon seller central page. On this page you can easily enter your personal details and company details. Read and accept the terms and conditions and click continue. Amazon will now automatically send you an email with the verification link. Your account has now been created and you can start setting up your online marketplace, Amazon has written an extensive guide where you will find detailed information about the best set-up.
Advertising on Amazon
Amazon has an extensive range of advertising options. Currently, sponsored posts gain 11% over the non- sponsored posts. This doesn't sound like a very high percentage, but it is good to know that the sales conversion of these messages is around 20 to 30%.
With nearly 77 million visitors per month, Amazon is an interesting platform for selling and advertising. As a supplier you can choose from a whole arsenal of advertising options that may suit you.
The Next Ad is happy to help you to see which of these options best suit your company and also with setting up the best performing advertisement campaigns. This way, you will achieve your goals faster!
The first steps for your online marketplace
Now that you have chosen whether you want to work with bol.com, Amazon, or both, it is time to create a clear picture of what the first steps are for using an online marketplace:
Research the target audience
Researching your target audience is very important. As an entrepreneur you have to think from your customer and your services. What are the products that you want to offer and which communication style is best for this? To determine the correct communication strategy, you can think of age, gender, place of residence, marital status, whether or not children have, education level, and income.
Determine the most suitable range of products
Before you determine which products from your catalog might be suitable for an online marketplace, it is important to research the current offering. Evaluate where you can distinguish and thus build a distinctive range between the search results. Think for example of how your products can contribute to the world (sustainability), or group prices by bundling multiple articles in the same range. How does your product and range make it? life of the customer better and what problems does it solve?
Build your marketplace platform
The right content on your channel is very important, below we give 3 steps to get the basics right!
Step 1: Correct product image:
A good photo of your product is essential, because this is what the customer first notices. When the customer sees your product, he should immediately see if it is what he is looking for. Therefore, make sure you have an image with correct lighting, resolution and colors. The image below shows a good example of how it should be done.
Step 2: Correct title and product description
This is also a very important part, as with a good title and product description you will also be found faster. It is important to use relevant text that people search for when they need your product.
You have to take into account the keywords that potential customers use. For example, if you sell cookware coasters, your title could be:
"Coasters pans black (6 pieces)"
In principle, this title says enough about your product, but the trick is to make this as specific as possible. In addition, there may also be a target group looking for coasters for specific pans. If you take this into account, yourtitle will be more powerful like this:
“Metal Coasters for Wok pan | Saucepan | Frying pan - 6 pieces ”
This will help you reach people who are specifically looking for a wok pan, saucepan or frying pan coaster. This is described in your title.
The same goes for your product description
ng, do it as extensively as possible and clearly describe what the customer can expect from this product. Also make sure that your product on Bol.com is completed as completely as possible, so do not forget to fill in the dimensions and weight.
Step 3: Set up fast delivery time
Nowadays it is almost normal for products purchased online to arrive at home within 24 hours and it is becoming an increasingly sensitive buying aspect for consumers. In addition, Amazon and Bol.com also strive to deliver the package to the customer as quickly as possible.
You can make good use of this by setting your delivery time to:
“Ordered before 17:00? Tomorrow at home!"
This can be set via your Excel sheet from your Bol.com seller account. It is of course the intention to make this happen, otherwise you will end up with dissatisfied customers. So only complete this if it is also feasible for you!
Online Marketplaces are interesting platforms to sell your products on. In the Netherlands we have Amazon.nl and Bol.com, which are seen as the most popular and largest. With bol.com you have an original Dutch platform with less reach, but also fewer sellers, while Amazon is the other way around. In terms of costs, Amazon and Bol.com are fairly close to each other, but you will have to advertise more on Amazon, because of the large number of competitors.
We have also provided you with a number of steps that you can easily perform yourself. It is possible to get much more help from The Next Ad, get in touch with our team, if you want to get advice on whether placement on online marketplaces is interesting for you!