Bol.com marketplace guide

--- Commercial Info

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

ChannelEngine bol.com Marketplace Information

--- How to request an account + costs

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).

If you are a direct bol.com supplier (1P), please contact us directly at support@channelengine.com and we will enable our bol.com supplier integration. This is a separate plugin next to the bol.com plaza plugin.

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 also 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 products such as food (with the exception of coffee and tea) 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.

--- Channel features

Supported Not supported (yet)
Product offers (EAN-matching) Purchase external fulfillment ("pakketzegels")
Product content Product variations (sizes / colors)
Orders Returns (merchant)
Cancellations
Shipments (including carrier-mapping)
Returns (channel)
External fulfilment (LVB)
Repricing

--- Channel setup

Setting up every channel in ChannelEngine follows the same steps/flow:

--- Specific Bol.com settings/configuration

Setup

Once a seller account is active, the required information that ChannelEngine needs can be found in your bol.com account. Note: the steps below are needed for the API v2.1 API we currently use. In the future, we will switch to the V3 API which uses a different method of authentication (OAuth, so you can simply use a one-time 'Authorization' button in ChannelEngine).

Bol.com
  1. Login into your bol.com account.
  2. Once logged in, go to ‘Settings’ by selecting your account name in the top right corner > ‘Instellingen' (Services).

  3. Select the option 'API instellingen' (API settings) in the 'Diensten' (Services) section.
  4. Scroll down to the 'API keys voor productie' (Production API keys) section. Please make sure you check and copy the production API keys (the test keys will result in issues and no products online). 

  5. If the above displayed API-key settings are not visible, 2 other steps might be needed:

    • You haven't entered information regarding the technical contact and haven't agreed to the Bol API Terms of Service.As most likely ChannelEngine is the technical contact regarding the API-connection, you can just fill in our information and agree to the API Terms of Service.
    • You haven't enabled displaying 'old API-keys'. You can find this option when scrolling down to the bottom section of the page.
ChannelEngine
  1. Copy both the ‘Public key’ and the ‘Private key’ and enter these in the relevant section in ‘Channel Settings’ > Setup in ChannelEngine.

    Warning: the public and private key are validated on the exact length these keys have (32 and 128 characters). If you get a red border / error, please check if you accidentally didn't copy a space or other extra character.


    These 2 settings are the only ones absolutely required to export offers and import orders to and from bol.com. However, if you want to use advanced options like repricing and product data export, more settings are needed.

    • Notify overdue orders after x hours - because Bol.com will automatically cancel orders if they exceed 3 days after the expected delivery date, this setting can be used to trigger a notification/warning if x hours have passed since the original 'expected delivery date' and the order is not yet marked as 'Shipped'.
    • FTP username - if you want to create new content or update you will need access to bol.com FTP-server to submit content files. More information on how to request Bol.com's FTP access can be found here. The username usually has a name like 'PLAZA_100000' or 'P_100000'.
    • FTP password -  if you want to create new content or update you will need access to bol.com FTP-server to submit content files. More information on how to request Bol.com's FTP access can be found here. The password usually is an 8 character alphanumeric string like 'Pa55W0rD'.
    • Saturday delivery - this used to be an option to let Bol.com know you also deliver on Saturdays. However, this has been removed and you need to set your delivery availability directly at bol.com. This option can be ignored.
    • Seller number (for repricing) - this is your bol.com seller number. If you want to use the repricer functionality for bol.com, this is needed to mark your own seller number so you aren't seen as a competitor when retrieving prices.
    • Open API key (for repricing) - bol.com does not supply competition prices through their regular API. For this a different API (the open API) is available, but this requires separate access with separate API keys. Because it is impossible for us to request and manage hundreds of these keys, you will need to request your own access. More information on requesting an open API key can be found here.
    • Default commission amount (for repricing) - commission information for products is retrieved and stored if available by bol.com, however, if it isn't you can still use a default commission amount to use during configuration of the repricer. This can be of use when determining your minimum price for example.
    • Default commission percentage (for repricing) - commission information for products is retrieved and stored if available by bol.com, however, if it isn't you can still use a default commission percentage to use during configuration of the repricer. This can be of use when determining your minimum price for example.

Categorisation

Categorisation is only mandatory if you want to create or update existing product information on bol.com. Please note that categorisation and mapping will only result in updates if the content connection is enabled and the relevant credentials have been entered (see 'Setup' section). More information on requesting a content account for bol.com can be found here

In this overview, you map your own categories to the bol.com product type. Please note: these product types are not maximally specified and generic product type. Later in the ' Content mapping' for that product type, you can specify the exact item category. For example: in the 'Categorisation' an item is a 'Travel Suitcase' (Reiskoffer) and in the Content mapping this is mapped as a 'Trolley Briefcase'.

Mapping

Content:

To create new content or update existing content, you will need to 'map' required attributes. These required attributes will consist of 4 fixed attributes in 'All products':

  • Beschrijving (Description) - the product description for your product.
  • Hoofdafbeelding (Main product image) - the main image of your product. Please note that there are requirements in both size and background for your main image.
  • Interne referentie (Internal reference) - the reference id for your offer. It's strongly advised your MerchantProductNo / SKU on this attribute.
  • Productnaam (Product name) - the name/title of your product.

Next to these 4 fixed attributes, there will also be required attributes per selected product type available for mapping by selecting the name in the 'Content mapping' screen. 

To take 'travel suitcases' as an example, this has 9 additional required attributes such as the number of wheels, the target audience, the size, the colour, etc. which also need to be mapped. If a required field is missing data, it will not be exported to bol.com (as they would reject it).

Offer:

There are 3 required offer mappings and 2 optional offer mappings for bol.com.

Required

  • Fulfillment override - this setting is used to mark if the fulfillment of a product is done by bol.com (LVB), by the merchant or "Automatic". More information on switching fulfillment can be found here.
  • Price before (re)price rules - this attribute is the price that is used for exporting to bol.com (regardless if price rules or repricing are applied later).
  • Shipping time - this is the shipping time exported to bol.com. Please note that bol.com uses a specific format, so mapping to their exact values is required. 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).

Optional

  • Condition - this is the state / condition of your product. Unless you sell refurbished or used products, this can be left at the default value 'Nieuw'. 
  • Shipping costs - Bol.com has a requirement that a seller can not charge separate shipping costs for ordered products. However, you will most like have separate costs for the shipment not included in the regular product price. If you have these set on a specific attribute, you can 'map' this so these shipping costs are added to the exported price.
Warning: If you have 'Shipping costs' mapped in the offer mappings, please do not also add a price rule to add the shipping costs to your price. This will result in 'double' shipping costs, making your product prices most likely too high.
Carrier:

Bol uses a specific list of carrier names / tags, so carrier mapping is required (or at least strongly recommend). If you submit an 'unknown' carrier (method) we'll automatically convert it to 'Other', but this is unadvised for tracking purposes. 

Please note: Bol.com still uses PostNL's old carrier designation - TNT. Please map whatever name (PostNL, Post NL, PNL, Post.nl) you use for your carrier name to TNT. If your carrier is not listed, please use 'Other' as the shipment method. Don't forget to fill in a Track&Trace number, this is mandatory for almost all carrier tags, with the exception of 'Briefpost'.

Pricing

Bol.com is the only channel with 3 different tabs in the 'Pricing' section of the channel:

  • Price rules - you can / use price rules and currency conversion (only needed if you use a different default currency) the same way as for other channels. Please refer to the help article on setting up price rules / currency conversion for more information.
  • Reprice rules - you can use our repricer to dynamically change your prices based on your competitor's prices and set scenario's / rules. Configuring the repricer is rather advanced, so please consult our help article on how the repricer exactly works. Also, please note that in order to have the repricer fetch competition prices, at least 1 bol.com open API key is required. You can find more information on bol.com's open API and how to request a key here.
  • Fee reductions - these are (possible) reductions of the fee you pay bol.com for every order / transaction, if your sale price is below a certain threshold. More information on what these fee reductions exactly entail can be found here. Use our fee reductions module to get an overview of the products eligible for fee reductions, their current price and the maximum price in order to be eligible for the reduction. More information on how to work with the fee reductions can be found in the help article on fee reductions.

Listed products

In the 'Listed products' section you can 

Adding products (content)

If your products are still unknown on bol.com, you can find more information on requesting a content account for bol.com here

A detailed guide on how to 'map' the required categories and attributes for creating new content can be found here. There is always the option to manually 'enrich' or create content on bol.com, through their backend. Bol has a step-by-step guide on their website: https://zakelijkverkopen.bol.com/hoe-werkt-het/aanbieden/productinformatie-wijzigen/per-stuk/ (in Dutch).

The tabs ' Categorisation' and 'Mappings' > 'Content mappings' are only necessary to fill in if you wish to create new content automatically. 

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 (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.