The Netherlands may seem like a place where Amazon would be quite the popular choice for e-commerce, but actually, Bol.com is the place to go for those looking to do some shopping online in their native language. One of the first indications last year that Amazon was going to up their services in the region, was when they opened their doors to external vendors in at the start of 2020.
In 2014, when Amazon launched its site in the Netherlands, they only sold e-book and e-readers (their famous “Kindle” e-reader). This has been the case since, so when they did open up to external vendors everyone speculated this meant that they were going to expand and open the full Amazon platform in 2020. They are now selling products across all categories including consumer electronics, fashion, toys, DIY items etc.
(Amazon.nl now offers a several different services - image source: amazon.nl
What does this mean for customers?
Dutch customers will get the benefit of being able to sign up to Amazon Prime, which is now available after the launch. This means they get faster delivery on products shipped by Amazon and access to streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, which has not previously been available in the region, despite being popular in places like the UK.
(Amazon.nl will now offer Prime to customers - image source: amazon.nl
How will Bol.com try to compete with the Amazon launch?
Bol.com already has a service in place that is similar to Amazon Prime. It is 9.99 Euro per month and doesn’t include streaming services like Amazon does. In April, Bol.com started a partnership with We Fashion to expand the fashion section of their platform
. Could this have been a response to the Amazon launch? Fashion is quite a popular part of the Amazon platform, especially for third-party sellers.
(Bol.com are the most direct competitor for Amazon in the Netherlands - image source: Bol.com)
What does this mean for brand protection?
Now that the platform has opened up to third-party sellers they will have brand protection controls in place similar to their other regions. But with Amazon being classed “notorious”
last year, is this enough to protect sellers?
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