A report was published last week that grabbed our attention. We mean seriously grabbed our attention. Think eyes popping out of our head and you’ll get the idea. The report was complied by ING Trade & Retail and the general gist was that in 2025 e-commerce in the Netherlands will be dominated by one or two platforms. We definitely had seen this happening, but not in such a short time frame. That is six years folks!
This is disheartening news – to say the least – for independent brands. But it could also just be the motivation that brands need to safeguard the future of e-commerce. They need to find a long-term solution that ensures consumers buy from them directly and not just on one or two platforms. Let’s explore why brands need to do this and how they can make it happen.
The future of e-commerce in the Netherlands
Believe it or not the Dutch e-commerce market is pretty unique. Up until now the Netherlands has miraculously managed to avoid many of the big e-commerce players taking over the market. Amazon is dominating e-commerce sales in the United States and the United Kingdom, but if you head over to the Dutch Amazon website and you will be met with a site selling mostly e-books. A far cry from the Amazon websites of other nations where you can buy pretty much anything.
All of Amazon’s activities in the Netherlands are carried our through Germany. Scarily enough with very little effort Amazon reached an estimated turnover of 250 million euros in 2016. So one can only image how they will disrupt the market when they actually arrive here officially.
The future of e-commerce in numbers
Okay let’s talk numbers. The report predicts that in just six years time 30 to 40 percent of Dutch e-commerce sales will be on these channels. So that leaves 60 to 70 percent of sales in physical shops and other online stores.
So unless brands make some radical changes today. We are all set for a pretty scary future of relying on third-party platforms for our online sales.
What can brands do to safeguard their future?
Many brands sell their products via a third-party platform such as Amazon, Bol.com or Zalando. It is an undeniable sales strategy that has ensured success in the past.
What must certainly not be forgotten is that many of these platforms also sell their own branded products. Seeing as they are the ones that control the algorithms and search functionalities they will undoubtedly try and push their own products first.
See what we are getting at? Whilst it is a good idea to be on the digital shelves of these platforms a lot of your sales are out of your control. So brands should work on a direct to consumer strategy in addition to selling via a platform.
How can brands increase their direct to consumer sales?
In a nutshell by providing a service which is as good as or better than that of the third-party platforms. When making a purchase online consumers want it to be easy. They want to pay via their preferred payment method. Customers also want to choose when and how the item will be delivered. They also want to know that if the item isn’t right – after all the have only seen a digital image of it – that they can return it easily, and preferably free of charge.
By providing a convenient payment and delivery service you will provide a customer experience like no other, which will keep your customers coming back for more.
Where does Paazl come into this?
Remember that convenient delivery service we were talking about? The one that is crucial for the future of e-commerce. That is where Paazl comes into play. We help e-commerce brands provide a delivery experience which will knock your customers’ socks off!
We give you the tools to offer real-time delivery data – such as estimated time of arrivals and timeslots. As well as all the delivery options they could wish for. We are talking nomintated-day delivery, same-day delivery, pick-up points, lockers and so on.
Want to take Paazl for a spin? Request a demo and one of our delivery experts will be happy to take you through our products.