Bol.com marketplace

Quick Info:

Active countries: The Netherlands + Belgium
Visitors per month: ~ 15 million
Fee: Fixed + percentage  (~15%, depending on category)
Payment: 21-28 days
Product categories: 16 – Media, electronics, toys, etc.
Input language (titel + descr.): Dutch
Input currency: Euro
Content connection: Yes

Request and configure account

To start selling on bol.com you first have to create a business account at bol.com. More information on creating a business account can be found here (Dutch).

While bol.com is mainly an ‘open’ marketplace, there are requirements that should be met before creating a business account and being able to sell products via bol.com. The most important requirement is that your company is registered in the Netherlands or Belgium and you possess a registration at the Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel (NL) of het Handelsregister (BE)). A German or French company, for example, therefore can not sell products via bol.com, unless it’s registered in the Netherlands or Belgium.

If you possess a business account or are able to create one, the following requirements are also of importance:

  • Do your products fit any of the existing categories that bol.com offers?
  • Do your products have an EAN (GTIN) or ISBN number?
  • Is it possible to deliver orders within 1 – 8 working days?
  • Is it possible for your customers to return a product within 14 days, should they desire this?
  • Are you able to answer questions of customers within 24 hours?
  • Do you meet the service levels that bol.com requires?

Please note that for example products such as food or gift cards are not allowed on bol.com.

Do you meet all of the above-mentioned requirements? You can convert your business account to a seller account here.

Once this has been completed, the required information ChannelEngine needs can be found in your bol.com account. To do so, go to ‘Settings’ by selecting your account name in the top right corner > ‘Services’ > ‘API settings

BolCom_SDD_Settings

BolCom_SDD_Api_2

Copy both the ‘Public key’ and the ‘Private key’ and enter these in the ‘channel settings’ in ChannelEngine.

Please note: Copy the “API keys voor productie” (API keys for production) and not the ‘test’ keys, otherwise there will be no live access which is necessary to sell products on bol.com. The switch labeled ‘Ik gebruik de API voor het beheer van mijn aanbod’ (I’m using the API to manage my offers) should remain set on ‘Nee’ (No); ChannelEngine uses the latest version of the “Offer API”.

Once entered in ChannelEngine press ‘Save’ in order to save these API settings. With these API keys we can connect to bol.com’s systems on behalf of your account.

Before you start creating a listing with the desired products, 2 things are important that need to be configured first: shipping time and shipping costs.

Shipping time:

Via the tab ‘Mappings’ in the channel settings in ChannelEngine you can “connect” certain attributes of your product information to values/attributes that bol.com requires. As shown in the image below you can select a general value in a dropdown, that will then be applied to all of your products on bol.com. It is, however, also possible to set shipping time rules based on specific product attributes.

When a product can be delivered the next day when it’s ordered before, for example, 22:00 h. you could set a rule that would set “24hours-22” as a value for products which fulfil the rule in question (for example those that have a shipping time value containing ‘22’). Bol.com uses an ‘ordered today, delivered tomorrow’ rule with times in a 24hours-x format.

Important to know: the shipping time you set is in working days. However, bol.com will always display the delivery time in regular days on their website. A product submitted with a shipping time of “24uurs-22” which is shown on a Saturday, will have a delivery time shown of 1 to 2 days instead of ‘delivered tomorrow’ (which is shown on a weekday).

Shipping costs:

Bol.com has a requirement that a seller can not charge separate shipping costs for ordered products. To cover the costs for shipment, you could use a ‘price rule’ to add shipment costs to the price of products exported to bol.com.

In the example above an amount of €4,95 is added to all prices exported to bol.com and a commercial rounding is applied. With the set rule, a product priced at € 8,60 in ChannelEngine will be listed for €13,95 (€8,60 + €4,95 = €13,55 → €13,95) on bol.com. On our website, you can find more information about price rules in general.

Important to know: when you’re planning to use the bol.com ‘repricer’, please note that the automatic repricing will overrule the normal price rules.

LVB:

Bol.com offers the possibility to store your products in their warehouse and handle the logistics of the delivery. Check the website of bol for more information on these ‘Logistics via bol.com’. A guide on how you can configure products for ‘LVB’ can be found on our website.

When everything is configured to your wishes, you have to create a ‘Listing’ in order to push selected products to bol.com for sale.

Adding product (offers)

To actually list products on bol.com you have to create a filter via the tab “Listing” in the channel details. When creating the channel, an automated task will be created which exports all products from your listing to bol.com by means of an ‘offer’ export. This offer export is submitted to bol.com via their API.

An ‘offer’ only exists of some mandatory attributes such as SKU, EAN, title, price, stock and delivery time. In the case of bol.com, the products EAN (GTIN) is used to try to connect to existing content on bol.com. This is content that is already known on bol.com.

Is a product unknown on bol.com? Chances are high that this product is placed under ‘Onvolledig aanbod’ (Incomplete offers). Often certain product attributes of the product group/category for your product are still unknown.

Please note: if a product is in your listing, but isn’t in ‘Mijn aanbod’ or ‘Onvolledig aanbod’, it will be rejected by bol.com for some reason. This reason can usually be found in the tab ‘Listed Products’ (the last tab) with the reason displayed when hovering over the status.

Adding product (content)

To list unknown products on bol.com, you have to add the content yourself. This means you have to provide bol.com with as much information as possible to make sure the product information is complete. 

There are currently 4 methods for adding content to bol.com (bol.com is working on a fifth option by means of a content API):

  • Adding information/content via bol.com’s web-based backend.
  • Adding information/content via a (CSV) template that needs to be uploaded.
  • Uploading content via an FTPS connection. This places an above mentioned template file with all relevant product information on the FTP server from bol.com.
  • Automatic content mapping in ChannelEngine

Important: when using an FTPS connection the complete offering on bol.com is overwritten with the information from the CSV file. When using this method, please note that manual additions and changes will be overwritten.

Bol.com uses distinct mandatory product attributes for each product group/category, which are divided into 3 different sub-categories:

  • Minimale informatie (‘Minimal information’: when these attributes are not added, the product will not be listed for sale).
  • Aanvullende informatie (‘Additional information’: when these attributes are filled in, the quality and findability of your listing will increase).
  • Optionele informatie (‘Optional information’: not mandatory, but can be added to make a product better saleable).

Once all attributes have been filled in (or at least the minimal information) you can save these changes. Please note! Processing (new) product information is never instantly available at bol.com. Take into account a minimum of 24 hours before all changes are processed and a previously unlisted product will be available for sale on bol.com.