Bol.com has been described as the Amazon of the Netherlands (it even started as an online bookstore) – it is the biggest ecommerce site in the country. Much the same as Amazon, it also sells direct retail and facilitates third party sellers. Currently (and with no signs of change), Bol.com ships only to the Netherlands and Belgium. Despite the small geographical area, in 2019 it saw revenue of 2.8 billion euros – a 33% year on year increase.
It is yet to be seen what effect of the introduction of Amazon.nl will have on Bol.com, and how attached the Dutch consumer is to the brand. The Dutch tend to prefer to buy from local companies rather than international sellers; not only is Bol.com a household name, it offers Dutch payment methods and is completely in Dutch (with a French site being introduced later this year). However, when Amazon first announced its launch in the country, Bol responded by launching their largest missing category: men’s and women’s fashion.
- Consumers can subscribe to Bol.com Select (the site’s fulfillment service) for €9,99 a year
- 3rd party sellers are increasing on the site – 3PS revenue increased 55% YOY in 2018 and continues to increase
Selling on Bol.com – need to know:
- You must open a legal entity in the Netherlands or Belgium – Netherlands is generally preferred as it costs much more to open a Belgian company!
- Register your company with the Chamber of Commerce – Bol.com will allow you to register as a seller after you’ve had your Chamber of Commerce number for a minimum of 10 weeks so this should be an early step
- You need a Dutch address – a virtual address with forwarding is sufficient
- Register for VAT number
- All customer service must be in Dutch and responded to within 24 hours
- Bol.com’s seller support speak English and they’re great if you need support
- Need to decide between vendor and seller models
- Products must have a valid EAN number
- Delivery must be within 1-8 days
- Sellers must accept 14 day returns to a domestic address
- Bol.com have strict guidelines for titles, images and content to maintain their customer experience onsite
- Selling on the site is managed on a fixed fee + % commission basis
- Categories include: Books, Toys, Jewellery & Accessories, Household & Cooking, Music, Film & Games, Baby & Child, Sports & Leisure, Garden & DIY, Electronics, Health & Beauty, Office & School, Pets, Fashion
- Bol Partner Program is it’s own affiliate programme for boosting sales
Logistiek via Bol.com (LvB)
LvB is Bol.com’s own fulfillment service – until 2019 they only had one warehouse but have since opened more due to rapid growth. Customers get a wide variety of free delivery options: next day, evening only, Sunday, same day, 2 hour and pick up points. From a seller perspective the benefits are also compelling: Bol.com takes care of returns and all customer service. Additionally, using LvB is said to increase conversion by 30%.
There are a few restrictions on products eligible for LvB:
- Only new products with shelf life of longer than 100 days after sale
- Maximum 75 x 75 x 45cm, 10kg
- No hazardous substances
The site provides a handy fee calculator to compare LvB costs to your own logistics setup.
Advertising on Bol.com
Bol.com offers a number of advertising options. Sponsored products and banner ads are available, similar to other marketplaces. Additionally, Bol.com also offers targeted mail campaigns using their customer data to reach your target group. Furthermore, you can also purchase online magazine ads, either in the form of a traditional advert or in editorial form.
Are you interested in selling on Bol.com and looking for support? Do you want to know more about the opportunities for your business on Bol.com? Get in touch today and drop us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.