Are you a seller seeking to hike your business in the Netherlands and Belgium? Bol.com can help you with this. What kind of a marketplace is Bol.com? Bol.com enables shoppers to buy things from the comfort of their homes for the past 20years. According to Similarweb, Bol.com is an e-commerce marketplace based in the Netherlands which also holds big shares in Belgium’s e-commerce market. In this blog, we have brought all the details of bol.com FAQs.
Finding any of the following topics?
- Why sell on bol.com?
- What to sell on Bol.com?
- How to Sell on Bol.com
- Register as a partner
- Benefits of selling on Bol.com
- Product feed specification on Bol.com
- Bol.com Repricer Tool
- Marketplace Optimization tips
- Bol.com is not a plug-n-play solution
- The process of sales on bol.com; explained
- Commissions and Reductions
- Policies of bol.com for sellers
- Sponsored Products on Bol.com
- Additional Sales Conditions on bol.com
- How can CedCommerce help you to sell on Bol.com
Why and how to sell on bol.comadvantages of selling on bol.com, and other important selling related information.
The E-commerce market in The Netherlands was worth € 25.8bn last year. Bol.com works in Belgium as well. Belgium’s e-commerce market in the same year skyrocketed to € 11.46bn. So it provides a huge scope for the people involved in the Dutch and Belgian e-commerce markets. Bol.com is the Netherlands’ largest marketplace and Belgium’s third-largest online retailer.
Why sell on bol.com?
- With huge traffic, Bol is a potential market for sellers.
- Apart from clothing, accessories, beauty, household, and cooking, Bol.com has space for those who love books, music, films, and gaming.
- Bol.com marketplace has got a partner service for its sellers, where they can get advice, support, and also the answers to their queries.
- Another advantage for merchants is the shipping service. Bol.com provides shipping to their sellers, ie. The seller need not worry about shipping and fulfillment.
- The marketplace also runs a partner Program that enables around 30,000 merchants to promote their products on the Bol website.
- Advertising options are a major plus point on Bol.com. Sellers can advertise on several of Bol.com’s online magazines like Tech magazineStyle magazineand Home magazine. These magazines have a vast audience in the Netherlands. Bol.com provides options for sponsored product ads and banner ads as well.
- Apart from these, bol.com also provides targeted mailing campaigns, in which the website uses customer data.
What to sell on Bol.com?
You need to first decide what products you need to sell on Bol.com. Books, e-books, and kitchen utensils are some top sellers on Bol.com. Remember making huge profits, in the beginning, is not possible, profits happen with time.
Deciding a suitable product to sell is based on several factors. But two are most important to consider. The product should be high on demand and the product should have hassle-free handling and should give you better margins.
You can also do little research before you begin. How? First, make a list of a few products that you can sell with ease. Now put a countable amount of product in your basket, say 400 from other sellers on Bol.com. Now next day try to place an order, if the product count is less than 400, they will give you an error message and tell you that they have only “X” number of items remaining, so now you know the numbers, this way you can tally it for a few days and shortlist the item based on demand.
As a seller, you need to consider selling the products you know about. You should know how to handle the problems related to your product. This way you can provide better customer support.
Prefer products with fewer competitors and higher demand so that buyers have lesser options to choose from.
Aim for bigger margins. The products should be easy to handle and have a fair strength to bear jerks and shocks during handling. The customer not being satisfied due to either your fault or the fault of handlers is ultimately bringing a bad impression to you.
Try not to choose seasonal products, because that will result in a fluctuating sales graph and everyone wants stability in business. In case it is necessary to sell a seasonal product, keep in mind the timing of getting the product upon the marketplace. That matters a lot.
How to Sell on Bol.com
Checklist before registering on bol.com
What you must have
- Firstly, you should be a registered seller in the Netherlands or Belgium. You should have a registration at the Belgian Trade Register or Chamber of Commerce and have a VAT number.
- Your product should also have a valid unique Product Identifier, such as ISBN (International Standard Book Number) or EAN (European Article Number)
- Sometimes Bol.com asks for additional sales rights on select products like perfumery, and a statement must be signed before you start selling them. Please check beforehand if your product falls in this category
- Your product listings should meet the assortment policy of the bol.com website
What you must know
- Luckily bol.com doesn’t charge you for listing your product on the website.
- Be ready to offer competitive prices so that you can establish yourself in the already stable market.
- Any product(irrespective of size and weight) sold on bol.com is liable to free returns within 30 days of its sale.
- Be ready for returns, but you are not liable to pay the cost incurred in product returns.
- The delivery time of orders is 1-8 business days.
- Payments are made monthly directly to the linked account.
- Customer queries need to be answered in Dutch within 24 hours.
- You also need to pay some commission on the sale of your product.
- Is your answer yes to all the points mentioned in the checklist? If yes, then you are ready to register on bol.com as a seller or merchant. Now you need to create a business sales account.
Register as a partner
- You can use an existing customer account for this, if you don’t have it, create one.
- Now log in with your customer account on bol.com
- Click on “Sales Account” option given in the dropdown menu
- Enter the contact and payment details
- Accept the terms and conditions of the bol marketplace
- Bol.com will now send you an e-mail for the confirmation
- Bol marketplace also sends a letter to your postal address within two days of registration and this letter contains the verification code needed to complete registration
- Enter the verification code and you are ready to go as a seller on bol.com
- You can also have multiple sales accounts if you wish to have segregation between the sales in Belgium and the Netherlands.
- If due to some reason you wish to change your address, make sure the address is updated with the Belgian Trade Register or the Chamber of Commerce.
Bol marketplace also provides its helpline numbers for both Belgian (02-7885990) and Dutch (030-3104996) sellers. Sellers can also mail at (business email@example.com)
Benefits of selling on Bol.com
- The biggest advantage of selling on Bol.com is the free listing opportunity provided by the marketplace.
The marketplace doesn’t charge you a single penny until the sale happens.
- Bol.com marketplace gives you access to a faithful customer base based in the Netherlands and Belgium.
- If you are not a seller, still you can have a tie-up with bol.com by providing storage and shipping services.
- Bol.com’s repricing engine constantly helps you to modify your price with the sales.
- You can give special discounts and daily deals to attract customers.
- Anything ranging from groceries and pet supplies to clothing and accessories can be sold on bol.com
- You can get access to bol.com product targeting and statistics to better identify potential customers.
- A dedicated team of the bol.com marketplace answers queries relating to the partner program. Several free of cost whitepapers are provided at the end of the bol.com marketplace. Apart from this, you also get access to over 15 million articles available for the partner program.
- Promotional tools provided by Bol.com give you real-time insight into the performance of your campaigns.
Bol.com feed management/ Product feed specification on Bol.com/ Bol.com FTPS
You can sell on Bol.com if your product fits into the provided product categories of the marketplace. The products to be sold should also have an ISBN or EAN number.
Create a tab-delimited file of a maximum of 10 MB capacity for the product feed. Files need to be submitted in CSV format through the bol.com FTPS. Not more than four CSV files can be submitted in a day.
The articles you plan to sell need to be present in the marketplace’s catalog, in case it is absent from there, you will have to add it. This happens through the FTPS. You do need an IT professional to customize files for the bol.com product feed.
The following details are compulsorily required in the Product Specification of Bol.com-
- ISBN or EAN
- Condition of product in terms of new, as new, good, fair, poor
- Product count in stock
- Price of product
- Delivery method
- Delivery time
- Product description
- Product image
Bol.com Repricer Tool
The repricer tool helps you to automatically adjust your price based on the prices of your competitors. Bol.com repricer changes your prices automatically according to predetermined parameters. You can now pay attention to more important things because the repricer tool will help you keep the costs at check.
The bol repricer tool is designed to scan the costs of the competing products across the marketplace and adjust the product prices according to your requirements. For example, if other competitors cut their costs, the repricer tool will also do it for you according to your predetermined parameters. And later, if the competitors increase the cost, the repricer tool will also do it for you and give the best price to your customers.
Bol.com just like other marketplaces gives buy box to those sellers who sell at pocket-friendly prices, delivered on time, sell good products, have lesser cancellations, and have an extensive stock. Bol.com repricer tool positively impacts your buy box as it keeps your product up with a competitive pricing strategy. It becomes easier to get the buy box with the repricer tool.
Bol.com repricer tool helps you to increase sales, adjust prices, and also save time by doing the selling price according to the market trends like demand and the prices offered by competitors.
Bol.com Marketplace Optimization tips
This is much similar to other marketplaces. Product descriptions, titles, etc are optimized to make them SEO friendly. Product feed should be up to date and high-quality images should be uploaded.
A product title with strong keywords increases product findability in a marketplace. A good product title should contain the following-
- Brand name
- Product name
- Physical attributes like shape, dimensions, color, etc.
You should not write all the synonyms of the product name in an attempt to increase its findability. Search algorithms of marketplaces are already designed in such a way that all the synonyms are included in the algorithm itself.
Nowadays most of the purchase is made on mobile phones and the display of mobile phones commonly shows only the first 35 characters of your product’s title. You need to optimize your content to suit that format.
Considerations for product title-
- Special characters like !@#$ should not be included in the product title
- An all caps title is not applicable
- Seller information should not be present on the title
- Numbers(In case of quantity, pieces, etc)should not be in words
- Cost indication is also a big no in the product title
The first and foremost requirement in product images is to have a light background(preferably white) and atmospheric images so that the customer can understand what the product would look like when used. Images of minimum 1200*1200 pixels and a maximum of 6000*6000 pixels are acceptable on bol.com. No logo/watermark is allowed the image should not be downloaded stock photo.
Like other marketplaces, Bol.com also closely monitors the seller performance and expects you to have a lower number of cancellations and delivery time.
Bol.com is not a plug-n-play solution
Selling on bol.com needs technical know-how, and for that, you need a group of developers to work for you. Remember that bol.com is not a plug-and-play marketplace. Knowledge of software development and programming is necessary for working with the bol.com marketplace and this is difficult for a merchant.
As described earlier, being registered as a seller is important to sell on the bol.com marketplace. You can not sell with a regular buyer account.
Several other technicalities like tab-delimited files, txt format files, files of maximum 10MB capacity and so on, make it tough for a regular merchant to get through without technical help. FTPS connection is provided by the bol.com marketplace. It helps to add new products.
EAN, a necessity for selling on Bol.com
The product you want to sell on bol.com must have an EAN/ISBN without which it is impossible to sell on bol.com. EAN stands for European Article Numbering code.
The process of sales on bol.com; explained
This section works on two things; namely the addition of products and Managing the Product Information. To modify or add products and product information, the seller needs to buy the FTPS connection of bol.com
Automated data feeds manage product information. Bol.com processes product feeds every 30 minutes.
Adding offers to bol.com
You can insert several offers in your account. Sellers can also Set the stock, price, and delivery time in this section. You also need to first get your offer verified by bol.com, here you also need to understand that you are liable to pay commission to bol.com for each sale.
Start selling and processing of Orders and cancellations
Regularly track the undelivered orders. As a seller, you need to keep a track of the following-
- Retrieving orders
- Shipping order items
- Canceling order items
- Retrieving shipments
- Updating the transport of a shipment
Keep a regular track of your returns and their handling. As soon as a customer files a return request on his bol.com account, you get the information and the customer gets a return label.
Prepare for more sales
Keep the marketplace updated with the stock of products so that the customer doesn’t have to face any problem while shopping on the platform.
Keep adjusting your price according to your sales and pay utmost importance to the delivery timing promise made to the customer. This will retain your buy box position.
Commissions and Reductions
Bol.com cuts its share of commission on each sale. Bol.com deducts the amount from the selling price of the product. The category of products affects the percentage of commission. Electronics like television, garden mowers, desktop, etc are sold on a minimum commission of 4.20% while accessories are sold on the highest 20.70% commission.
Though the reduction in commission is applicable if you are ready to sell your products at a competitive price.
Bol.com marketplace encourages the sellers who are ready to give attractive offers to the buyers. To enhance a trend of competitive pricing, bol.com offers a reduced commission rate on the products with competitively low prices.
If you set the price of your product lower or equal to the indicated price of a category, you can get a reduced commission cut. In this case, bol.com notifies you for the same in your ‘to-do’s’ list of sales accounts. By clicking on the notification you get the list of your products that are eligible for reduced commissions.
Policies of bol.com for sellers
- After the product is delivered to the warehouse, it is checked for quantity and quality, ie, the number of pieces, condition(broken or proper), shelf life, expiry, etc.
- Broken, incomplete, expired items are marked delivered unsaleable. Also, note that you can send only the articles and parts you have already notified about. Bol.com doesn’t allow linking an unknown item with the pre-notified product.
- Bol.com marks the shipment received as soon as it is delivered at the distribution centers (Maximum three days) located Waalwijk. You can check in the ‘My Lvb Stock’ section of your sales account.
- The product is now scanned for dimensions, rates, packaging, etc., and added to stock.
- Now you can find it in the ‘View my offer’ of your sales account.
Labelling Policy: bSKU label
Bol.com offers a bSKU label, ie, Logistics via bol.com label. With this label, Bol.com recognizes what item is sent from which merchant.
Storage space policy: Stock ceiling
The stock ceiling is the maximum number of pieces that can be stored at the bol.com distribution center at a given time. This policy helps bol.com marketplace to make optimal use of their distribution center storage space. It depends on factors like your expected or historical sales or growth adjustments. It also depends on the storage space available in the distribution centers.
Bol.com fulfillment policy
- You can either deliver it on your own by the ‘Own Delivery’ option or choose ‘Logistics via bol.com’ and let the marketplace take responsibility.
- In case an item is lost in the shipping process between the customer and distribution center, the marketplace will notify you by ‘lost in drop shipper’ or ‘lost in the mail’. In this condition, bol.com will reimburse you for some part of the resale value of the product and the cost incurred for Logistics via bol.com. This does not apply to the ‘Own Delivery’ option.
- You are liable for sending the VAT invoice to the customer in case the customer demands it. You need to send the invoice directly to the customer on the address mentioned in the ‘Orders’ page of the bol.com marketplace.
Bol.com Packaging and Shipping policy
Bol.com does the packaging and shipping for the ‘Logistics via bol.com’. Logistics via bol.com adds packaging box size dimensions, protection(if required), fillings, etc., depending on the category of product.
Packed or unpacked shipping comes into consideration counting on factors like the value of the item, risk of theft, or damage. The distribution center checks this regularly.
For example, you can send a box of baby diapers in unpacked form as it has a low risk of damage or theft, but, you can’t send a set of crockeries that way because of the high chances of damage.
- The customer can return the purchase without mentioning the reason and get a 100% refund up to 30 days of delivery. But this does not apply to e-books/games, software subscriptions, gift cards, etc. You can refuse the return of hygiene goods with a broken seal. You must mention this beforehand on your product page.
- The returned items(if in saleable condition) are refurbished and again packed and brought back to deliverable condition.
- Bol.com returns some part of the resale value and the cost incurred in Logistics through bol.com if the item is lost during returns.
- If the item return is late, ie, after completion of 30 days and is still saleable, it will be placed back to the stock after being refurbished. It will be placed along with the unsaleable stock if it becomes unsaleable.
Sponsored Products on Bol.com
Bol.com just like all other marketplaces lets you promote your products over others. This is a way to gain the spotlight on the marketplace. The bidding system lets you provide how much amount you are ready to spend on an advertisement. You pay only if someone visits your product page.
Product sponsoring on bol.com provides you with several benefits-
- You reach the customers at the right time, ie, before they are about to end their customer journey.
- Automatic optimization makes you reach the best place for advertising. Manual optimization based on the CPC bids is available in this.
- You can select budgets according to your comfort based on campaigns, days, and months. You can adjust the settings at any time.
- Increased traffic to your product improves ranking on the marketplace in the long run, tools to track the advertising campaign’s success.
Sales Rights/Additional Sales Conditions on bol.com
Some fashion accessories, bags, sunglasses, and fragrances fall into this category. The seller has to sign a statement that the product he is offering is permitted to be sold in the European Union.
This is a preventive measure to protect both, the marketplace and the seller from any future complications. Thereby it guarantees the quality of products offered on bol.com as a platform. This takes a maximum of five working days.
How can CedCommerce help you to sell on Bol.com
CedCommerce-Bol Integration provides an ability to synchronize the orders, products, pricing, and inventory through establishing the interaction between the Bol marketplace and the e-commerce platforms such as PrestashopMagentoMagento 2WooCommerceetc. CedCommerce integration also offers advantages while managing both the store from a single e-Commerce platform easily.
Integration also offers management of inventory, with greater flexibility, providing you with several ways to manage it at discrete levels with Bol.com.
CedCommerce offers the following features-
- Import product listings to bol
- Synchronize inventory
- Automate selling
- Manage orders of Bol from your store
- The solution records errors while uploading
- Informs LIVE/UNDER REVIEW status of products
- The solution tracks and updates inventory changes
- Bulk Upload
Why CedCommerce Bol Integration?
To boost your sales and sell your product on one of the biggest marketplaces, Cedcommerce offers free support from API activation to the selling of products on Bol store.
CedCommerce deals in highly specialized E-Commerce products for smoothening the merchandising process. This way, you enjoy much more than you pay for the product that includes end-to-end FREE Support from API activation to any other technical assistance that you need as we are highly concerned about your success.