Who does not know the blue webshop? You can almost hear the cheerful tune of the commercials in your head as soon as you hear the name of the webshop. Bol.com started in 1999 as an online bookshop (at that time from a portakabin in a parking lot), but has since grown into the most famous online store in the Netherlands and Belgium. The 11 million customers per month can now find products in more than 20 product categories.
What many consumers do not realize is that this enormous product range is not all from Bol.com itself, but is largely offered by merchants like you. Why should you consider a Bol.com sales account as a merchant? And what costs are involved?
Bol.com is popular and has only become more popular in corona time. Every day an average of 2,5 million people visit the online store in search of a specific product. These figures alone mean that you should in any case consider a Bol.com sales account.
Due to the enormous range and good service, Bol.com is a favorite with many Dutch and Belgians. Not only do the products in the webshop score well in search engines such as Google, there are also plenty of people who directly type Bol.com in their search bar.
Nowadays there are many unreliable web shops on the internet, which means that consumers are increasingly careful with ordering from web shops they do not know. At Bol.com vertrouwen they insist that their order will actually arrive, because they have probably already ordered something from the webshop before.
At Bol.com you can put your products for sale without start-up costs. Only when you have actually sold a product do you pay commission. This allows you to set up a free extra online webshop, as it were.
Although you do not pay to offer your products for sale, you naturally hope to sell a lot on Bol.com. That also means that you have to pay a commission on all those products. What amounts you have to count on differs, and depends on which product you sell. Here you will find everything about the commission at Bol.com, including an overview of the percentages.
Good to know: the commission you pay consists of a fixed amount and a percentage of the sales price. These amounts differ greatly per category. For example, for each toy item sold, you pay a fixed amount of 3 euros and another 6 percent of the selling price. In comparison: for jewelry you only pay a fixed amount of 1 euro, but the percentage is 25 percent.
There are a number of conditions attached to creating a sales account on Bol.com. For example, you must be registered with the Chamber of Commerce, your products must fit within a existing product category, and your articles must have a barcode (EAN) or an ISBN (for books). You must also be able to deliver the products within 1 to 8 working days.
There is also a reason that those millions of visitors visit Bol.com every time: because of the service that the platform offers. That is why a number of conditions are attached to this. Bol.com expects you to handle customer questions, cancellation requests and returns within 24 hours. Otherwise, this will have a bad impact on your performance score, a score we'll dive into in a moment.
Logically, Bol.com also expects that you deliver orders within the agreed delivery time and that you are available by telephone for customers (at least between 9:00 AM and 17:00 PM).
If you want to sell successfully via Bol.com, it is essential that you ensure a good performance score. You can always check this in the 'Performance' tab. Your performance score shows how you performed compared to the week before. This is not about how many sales you have made, but how satisfied your customers are.
Are you starting out as a seller? Then you have an average performance score. The better that performance score is, the more likely you have to rank high in the search results. Bol.com finds the performance score more important than, for example, the price. The score is determined, among other things, on the basis of many good reviews, a better delivery time and the number of questions that customers ask.
Does the number of questions from customers exceed 5 percent? Then this has a negative influence on your performance score. To prevent this, it is therefore important to offer your products as completely as possible via your Bol.com sales account. Think of a clear product description, many pictures and all specifications.
Some products can still be placed manually on Bol.com, but if you have dozens or even hundreds of products, this is an enormously time-consuming job. In addition, the stock is not automatically updated if you do not link your webshop. This is dangerous, because it can happen that you cannot deliver items.
Fortunately, there are a number of tools in the Shopify app store that can help you out. With the Bol.com Order Connector app you can automatically import your Bol.com orders into your Shopify store. Even if you sell a product through your own webshop, the app ensures that this is automatically adjusted in your Bol.com sales account.
Do you want to offer your products not only at Bol.com, but also at other online marketplaces such as Amazon, Facebook and Google Shopping? Then you are at tools like Koongo en Channable to the right place to synchronize your stock.
This isn't the only benefit of one, by the way product feed marketing tool like Channable. With this you can also set, for example, that the price on Bol.com is higher than in your own webshop. Consumers are willing to pay more if they trust the webshop, and in this way you can earn just as much from a product sold on Bol.com.
Before you enthusiastically start offering products through the blue webshop, it is also good to be aware of the disadvantages. There are, after all.
First, of course, there is the committee. In itself it is logical that you have to pay this in exchange for the brand awareness, but because you have to offer free shipping via Bol.com (and therefore have to bear the shipping costs for your own account), it is expensive to sell on Bol.com.
Of course you can raise your prices a bit on Bol.com, but there are products where there is strong competition on the price. If your product is also sold by other providers, this can just cause customers to shop at the competitor instead of you.
Another big disadvantage of selling on Bol.com is that you do not build a customer relationship. If customers are satisfied with your product, they are more likely to shop at Bol.com again, instead of you. And because you don't even get a customer's email address, you can't send fancy discount promotions to get people to make another purchase.
The third disadvantage is that there is a chance that you will compete with yourself in search engines. On the one hand, it is an advantage that the products of Bol.com score high in the search results, but that can just ensure that your own webshop does not win for certain search terms.
Finally, the number of returns is much higher than with your own webshop. Nobody can say for sure why that is exactly. But it is true that Bol.com has nice conditions for the consumer when it comes to returns (30 days to change your mind and return for free, for example). That also means that you have to bear these costs again.
Enough to think about. Do the drawbacks outweigh the benefits? Would your products sell well on Bol.com or is there too much competition to make money? Whether a Bol.com sales account is a good idea depends entirely on your company and your strategy.