Ecommerce in the Netherlands: A Growing Opportunity?

Jacques van der Wilt gives his advice on Dutch consumer habits and selling in the Netherlands, and profiles the country’s main marketplaces

This post is by Jacques van der Wilt. Jacques is a shopping feeds industry leader and the founder of DataFeedWatch, a leading global feed management and optimization company that helps online merchants optimize their product listings on more than 1000 shopping channels in over 50 countries.

Selling products on international markets is a quick way for merchants to grow profits. The barriers for entering foreign markets have been lowered and the opportunities to expand overseas are better than ever before.

A market that holds great appeal thanks to its infrastructure and product demand is the Netherlands. It is currently ranked 18th in the world for retail ecommerce sales, and is continuing to grow, which is quite impressive for a country of its size.

In 2016, ecommerce sales in the Netherlands totaled €20.16 billion, up 23 percent on 2015 and ahead of market expectations. Increasing consumer confidence is one of the main reasons for the growth in ecommerce sales.

In addition, most analysts expect this increase in consumer confidence to continue, not least because GDP per capita is also rising.

But where do the Dutch shop online, and what are the current ecommerce trends?

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Crazy Customers and Bad Buyers: 10 Ways They Infuriate Sellers on Amazon and eBay

Wild threats, manic changes of mind, outright lies and childish acts of spite. It’s just another day at the office for online sellers.

If you ask a marketplace seller what infuriates them, a few things might come up. For example, trying to contact Amazon’s internal teams, anti-competitive behavior from their rivals, or making sure they comply with the ever-changing rules. But none of these can touch the level of annoyance, frustration and anger caused by bad buyers.

The majority of buyers are genuine. They order from you, pay promptly, and receive their goods with no fuss. But when bad buyers come along, they leave a trail of stress in their wake. Whether they’ve threatened you with negative feedback, made a false “item not as described” claim or cancelled their order after you’ve shipped it, the end results are usually the same – time, money and stock going to waste.

We’ve seen a lot of stories in the forum and blog from exasperated sellers, and distilled them here into the top 10 ways that bad buyers infuriate online sellers.

Thank you to Web Retailer members for your frank and insightful blog comments and forum posts.

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How Can I Put Multi-Channel Vendors on the Spot and Find the Right One for Me?

Channel and inventory management is one of the most competitive software niches. Matt Ferguson helps reader Seb find the best one for him.

Have a question for us? Send it to questions@webretailer.com. Readers’ Questions are in partnership with Emanaged and Online Seller Consulting.

Question

I got into “multi-channel” selling a couple of years back, to increase sales and reduce the risk of all my income coming through one marketplace. It’s going well with sales on Amazon and eBay, including international sites, and my own store. If any one channel went down tomorrow it wouldn’t kill my whole business in a shot like it would have before.

This year I’ve hit a roadblock. There’s a lot of admin overhead from running all these channels, we are overselling more and more often, and keeping listings in sync is an absolute nightmare.

I know I need a multi-channel management system but the more I research it, the more my head hurts. It’s impossible to figure out exactly what features they have, how much they charge, what the setup and support is like, and how well they actually do what they are supposed to. There doesn’t seem to be any clear market leader and some of them charge way too much.

How can I sort the wheat from the chaff and find the right solution for me, at a reasonable price?

— Seb S., Toronto

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How to Drive External Traffic to Your Listings Using Influencer Marketing

Alex Knight talks to Katie Palmer of etailz about the most effective way to generate external traffic and sales: working with “influencers”

We often hear from sellers who want to drive visitors to their Amazon, eBay or Etsy listings from outside those marketplaces – known as “external traffic”. Competition is fierce on the marketplaces, so if you can bring in buyers from elsewhere that really helps lift your products above the fighting on price, reviews and PPC advertising.

So far so good, in principle. But sellers struggle to find good, practical advice about using social media to drive traffic to their listings. They get bombarded with information about starting social pages and growing a following, but for many sellers it just doesn’t go anywhere. A lot of valuable time goes into it and they get very little reward.

How can sellers really leverage social media? The usual superficial advice to “use hashtags”, “post your listings on twitter” and “build a following” is of little help. Instead, for most sellers, the best way to gain significant traffic and sales isn’t from their own social accounts at all – it’s from working with people who already have a large following of their own: “influencers”.

Influencers are people who have a large blog readership or social media following (often both) within a particular niche such as nutrition or technology. They might write a blog post featuring your product, post a picture of them using or wearing it, or give out an exclusive code providing a discount to their followers. The overall aim is to get the word out about your brand to a large, but targeted, group of people who may then go and buy one of your products.

We spoke to Katie Palmer, the resident influencer marketing expert at etailz, a leading online retailer and service provider, to find out how to be successful with influencer marketing.
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Should I Expand to Amazon USA or Other European Marketplaces?

Matthew Ferguson advises Loris to put the Caesar mentality of world domination on hold and focus on conquering local marketplaces first

Have a question for us? Send it to questions@webretailer.com. Readers’ Questions are in partnership with Emanaged and Online Seller Consulting.

Question

I live in Italy and am currently selling on the five European Amazon marketplaces, but I want to expand further, to reach my goal of selling on all the markets served by Amazon. I think my next move should be to sell on Amazon in the U.S., because I think customers there are more used to buying products online than they are in Europe. I currently fulfill all of my orders using FBA and I would like to continue doing this for whichever marketplace I expand on to next.

My question is whether you think expanding to Amazon in the U.S. should be my next step, or if there is anything more I can be doing in Europe?

– Loris B., Italy

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