06 February 2023

Starting an e-commerce business through bol.com: challenges and opportunities

If you are planning to start an e-commerce business, there is no better place than bol.com. It is one of the largest online retail platforms in the Netherlands. It offers a wide range of opportunities to sell your products. In this text, we will discuss how to buy successfully, the different ways to sell through bol.com, what sells well and what alternatives there are besides selling online.


Purchasing through wholesale

This is an excellent way to buy products at a lower price and then sell them at a higher price. However, Bol.com does not allow products to be shipped directly from wholesalers to customers. This is because dropshipping is not suitable for Bol's image. The seller needs to manage the products themselves first. This does not test the reliability and quality of the product.

However, forwarding your stock from wholesalers to Bol's department stores is allowed. This is called LVB and prevents you from packing hundreds of packages and taking in piles of stock yourself daily. Finding a good supplier or wholesaler does present a challenge. However, it requires researching reliable wholesalers and a good purchasing policy.

E-pickr has a tool to help you find reliable suppliers through Alibaba. Here you can find more than 200,000 factories that can produce your products. Still, only some factories are equally good and equally faithful. So to avoid investing in low-quality or late-delivered inventory, you can use the tool first to research whether your supplier fits your values.


What sells good

What sells well on bol.com varies by season and product group. Popular product groups include electronics, home and garden and fashion and accessories. It is essential to keep an eye on trends and sales figures and adjust your product range accordingly. More than 30 million products are now sold on Bol. So that's a lot, especially considering the number of sellers who sell through Bol (50 thousand). So on average, a seller has a portfolio of 600 different products. Unfortunately, this number is so inflated because picture frames and clothes with multiple colours or sizes are considered different products.

So if you sell 3 picture frames made of wood, plastic and aluminium, with three colours and three different sizes, you are already selling 27 other products. So there are sellers with more than 1 million products they offer, but in this case, mass is not a checkout.

It is better to maintain a catalogue of products that are diverse in demand and category. For example, toys, tools, decorations, electronics, garden accessories and gadgets. It's also better to focus on ten products with high demand and low supply. That works better than investing in 600 different products where half are languishing on the shelf.

To find the best-selling products, it makes sense to expand Bol's assortment and find niches with more competition. For example, by finding products on Amazon and starting to offer them on Bol.com, you can find the right products from a larger market that still need to be found on Bol. You avoid price competition and immediately take a significant market share. When your competition penetrates the niche, you've already made money and built the strongest brand in that category!

With e-pickr, you can quickly and conveniently compare hundreds of Amazon products and determine which ones sell best. If you bring the demand for those products to Bol.com, you are building your niches. At the same time, competitors don't even know about the existence of the niche!


Bol affiliate vs online sales

Another way to sell through bol.com is to start with the bol affiliate program. You sell products through a link on your website or social media accounts and earn a commission on each sale. Selling online through bol.com offers more control over your products and sales process but requires more effort and investment.

So if you promote the products that sell the most on bol, that's where you can make the most money. Making promotions for products that sell poorly makes little sense. Still, create content for the products already selling well and link many consumers to Bol.com. You can earn money very easily!

The product research of e-pickr is also beneficial for affiliates. So you only make promotions for products that sell well!


Other e-commerce services

Besides bol.com, there are many other e-commerce services where you can sell your products. These include Amazon, Etsy and eBay. It is essential to consider which platforms best suit your products and target audience. Etsy might be a better fit for your sales if you have more homemade products. Still, suppose you prefer a larger market of 300 million buyers. In that case, you should expand your adventure from Bol.com to Amazon!

Wherever you sell, your most reliable data for product research is done with e-pickr. That way, you can be sure that you only invest time and money in the products that sell well.

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