Bol.com trials “return retrieval” service in Amsterdam

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2017-Nov-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Bol.com has introduced innovations in product returns that will offer customers more services and greater convenience in online shopping. In partnership with Dutch mail delivery company PostNL, bol.com is allowing customers in the Netherlands to return products using a digital barcode rather than having to print a mailing label. The brand is also piloting a “return retrieval” service in the Amsterdam area.

With the new print-free return option, bol.com customers receive a digital barcode. When they take their return package to a PostNL location, a PostNL worker scans the barcode on the customer’s smartphone and prints the label.

Customers additionally can arrange to have PostNL retrieve returns at their home via bol.com during a desired time slot as part of testing the new “return retrieval” service. If the pilot runs smoothly, the service may be rolled out to the rest of the Netherlands and the Flanders region in Belgium.

Through these new services, bol.com expects to lower the threshold for people to shop online and help further speed up growth in eCommerce. Bol.com also continues to work hard to reduce unnecessary returns by improving product information online and enhancing guidance to customers. The brand, which offers nearly 16 million items across more than 20 categories, already has a return rate that is significantly lower than the average for webshops.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Ellen van Ginkel
Director External Communications
media.relations@aholddelhaize.com
+31 88 6595134

SOURCE: Ahold Delhaize

Bol.com opens new BREEAM certified fulfillment center

Bol.com opens new BREEAM certified fulfillment center

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2017-Sep-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — On September 27 Bol.com opened its new fulfillment center, one of the biggest projects in its history that will help the brand ensure the most reliable and fast delivery of eCommerce orders in the Netherlands and Belgium.

The fulfillment center, which has space for around 7 million items, is a highly sustainable building and earlier this year received an international BREEAM sustainability award in the industrial buildings category.

Facts and figures

  • Construction of the facility started on February 16, 2016
  • Ground floor space is 50,000 square meters, the equivalent of eight soccer fields
  • Total floor space over three floors: 135,000 square meters
  • Total length of transportation belts: 7 kilometers
  • Expected production at peak times: ~30,000 items per hour

“Every day our customers order tens of thousands products and at peak moments even hundreds of thousands,” said Huub Vermeulen, Brand President of bol.com. “We believe it is very important that our customers can choose from a big assortment of millions of articles and that their orders are delivered to their homes within several hours. With this new fulfillment center we have the ability to grow and innovate in the future and provide our customers with maximum service.”

 

Huub Vermeulen officially opens the bol.com fulfilment center together with 13-year old Romy, one of our “customers of the future” and representative of bol.com‘s more than 8 million customers

The new facility distinguishes itself by combining fulfillment and sorting orders in one location, as bol.com partners with Dutch mail and package delivery company PostNL. The advantage is that the back-office process of online shopping is more efficient and powerful and customers receive their orders faster. Further, carbon emissions are reduced as less transport is needed to deliver the packages.

The fulfillment center will additionally have a positive effect on the local economy and the availability of jobs, including positions for people with disabilities. Expectations are that it will grow in phases and ultimately employ 2,000 associates every day.

 

Click here for more information (in Dutch), including a fact sheet.

Watch the video about the opening of the sustainable eCommerce fulfillment center below.

SOURCE: Ahold Delhaize

MEDIA CONTACT

Marjolein Verkerk
PR Manager
pr@bol.com 
+31 88 7124717

Bol.com announces same-day delivery service

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2016-Oct-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Bol.com has announced the largest expansion in its delivery options since the introduction of “next day delivery” in 2011. Starting October 6, bol.com customers can opt for same-day delivery to their homes. Orders placed on weekday mornings before noon can be delivered the same day, between 6 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. This new delivery option, “Delivered Today,” is available for 300,000 articles across all product categories. This is a global first: never before has it been possible to choose from such large number of items for as quick and low-cost delivery throughout the country. In addition, bol.com has expanded the availability of home delivery for regular orders to seven days a week, including Sundays.

Daniel Ropers, Managing Director at bol.com said, “Since our launch more than 17 years ago, we have focused on one thing: making the benefits of online shopping bigger and the disadvantages – like waiting for your delivery – smaller. After making free next-day delivery the standard in the Netherlands in 2012, we took another big step today with a global first: 300,000 articles available for delivery to our customers within a few hours. Nowhere in the world is a greater supply of products available more quickly or less expensively. Coupled with the introduction of Sunday delivery, we are making the benefits of online shopping – low prices, a wide range of information and 24/7 shopping – more accessible.”

Bol.com has launched these new delivery options in the Netherlands and, together with its logistics partners, is exploring the opportunity to make the same services available in Belgium.

Ambition: same-day delivery for one million articles
Over a year ago, bol.com launched Pickup Today, allowing customers to order online and pick up their orders within a few hours at one of 200 Albert Heijn stores. This was a successful experiment, enabling the bol.com team to gain experience with same-day delivery and be ready to respond to customers’ needs for faster fulfillment. The bol.com team has the ambition to expand even further, to provide same-day delivery for one million items within the next few years.

Media Contacts:

Email: media.relations@aholddelhaize.com
Phone: +31 88 659 9111

Source: Ahold Delhaize Group

Bol.com named Best Web Store of the Netherlands in the annual Thuiswinkel Awards Ceremony

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2016-Mar-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Bol.com was named Best Web Store of the Netherlands in the annual Thuiswinkel Awards (Homeshopping Awards) Ceremony, both by an expert jury and a consumer panel.

According to the jury, bol.com deserved the prize as it bases its choices on what customers find most important rather than on what happens to be “cool” in the industry. Bol.com also won the public award for Best Online Department Store.

Improvements in specialty stores
Since 2010, bol.com has significantly expanded its specialty stores, increasing the assortment from 2.5 to 10 million articles. Bol.com’s assortment also grew thanks to the introduction and expansion of the “Sell via bol.com” business model and the addition of luxury beauty brands in 2015. In 2015, bol.com furthermore focused specifically on service and quality, adding more product information in its stores. In addition, several improvements were made on the mobile app, making mobile shopping easier than ever.

More choice in delivery
In 2015, customers ordered more at bol.com than ever before, with a record of 350,000 items in one day. They had more delivery options, as bol.com expanded the number of pick-up points, introduced evening delivery and a same day delivery service. Bol.com also developed a fulfillment service for businesses selling via their platform, ensuring customers can rely on bol.com service for an even larger part of the online assortment.

Daniel Ropers, General Manager of bol.com said: “All the appreciation we are seeing, from our customers and also the expert jury, gives us even more energy to continue on this road with full speed, and to become an even better store for our customers in 2016.”

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bol.com to start the construction of its own fulfillment center in Waalwijk, the Netherlands in 2016

In 2016, bol.com will start the construction of its own fulfillment center in Waalwijk, the Netherlands that will put it in a better position to keep growing and innovating. This expansion will enable customers to choose from an even broader assortment, while they will be able to count on the fastest delivery and the best possible service.

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2015-7-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — The new fulfillment center, which will have a floor space of some 50,000 square meters, will open its doors in 2017. It is expected to create around 1,000 new jobs in the Waalwijk area. Docdata, bol.com’s current fulfillment partner, will continue to support bol.com at the new location, and will be responsible for HR and day-to-day management, as well as innovation development.

Convenience and choice

“To make sure our customers and partners can keep relying on bol.com as the best online store, continuous growth and innovation are essential,” says Daniel Ropers, Managing Director of bol.com. “We’re always expanding our assortment, and our customers expect fast and reliable delivery. Our current fulfillment center’s capacity is limited. The new center will give us plenty of extra space to keep growing. We’ll also be able to develop even more innovative concepts that maximize convenience and choice for our customers.”

Innovative services

Examples of innovative services already introduced by bol.com are “Vandaag Ophalen” (“Pick up Today”), which allows customers to pick up orders they place before noon on the same day at Albert Heijn stores, and “Logistiek via bol.com” (“Logistics via bol.com”). The latter service makes it possible for bol.com’s selling partners to outsource their stock management and distribution. “Our own fulfillment center enables us to keep expanding innovative services like this,” says Daniel.

Sustainable solutions

The construction of the new fulfillment center will be characterized by sustainable and environmentally friendly choices and solutions, with a focus on energy efficiency and an optimized work climate. For example, the building will make use of recycled water and renewable energy.

 

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bol.com to start the construction of its own fulfillment center in Waalwijk, the Netherlands in 2016

bol.com to start the construction of its own fulfillment center in Waalwijk, the Netherlands in 2016

bol.com names Margaret Versteden as its new SVP Marketing

Margaret Versteden has been appointed as the new SVP Marketing of bol.com. As of June 1, Margaret will succeed Michel Schaeffer, who is leaving the company to pursue a new phase in his career. He will stay on until August 1 to help ensure a smooth transition.

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2015-5-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — Margaret brings with her enormous experience, both in management and in the fields of e-commerce and marketing. Margaret joins bol.com from Bain & Company, where she was managing partner, specializing in FMCG, retail and e-commerce. Before that, she worked as a strategy consultant for BCG for 10 years and also gained valuable experience at Nike, where she was responsible for its e-commerce and online customization business and for the Central, Eastern and Northern European region.

Michel leaves bol.com after 14 years of leading its marketing and business departments. In that time, he played a crucial role in the rapid growth of bol.com, making it now one of the best-known and most trusted brands in the Benelux.

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bol.com names Margaret Versteden as its new SVP Marketing

bol.com names Margaret Versteden as its new SVP Marketing

Bol.com’s store partners achieved sales in excess of €100 million in the past twelve months

Estimated joint annual sales add up to a spot in Top 10 largest web stores in the Netherlands

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2014-11-5— /EPR Retail News/ — Bol.com’s store partners together achieved sales in excess of €100 million in the past twelve months. With estimated joint annual sales its store partners would be eligible for a place in the Twinkle Retail Top 10, which lists the largest web stores in the Netherlands, proving the strength of the bol.com format. Whether they own a webstore or not, retailers have been able to sell their products via bol.com since 2011 in the Netherlands and since September 2014 in Belgium. By opening its doors to outside retailers, bol.com has increased its offering by over 2.5 million items and customers can now choose from over eight million in all. In addition, customers are offered more choice in price and products can be delivered faster than ever before.

Retailers do not need to have their own webstores to sell via bol.com. Even owners of a single, small brick-and-mortar store can offer their products to bol.com’s over 4.5 million customers in the Netherlands and Belgium. By selling on the bol.com platform, store owners can expand their market area and generate additional sales. On average, sales increase by 10-30%, but in some cases retailers have seen their sales surge by over 50%, or occasionally even 100%. To make sure that end-customers are always offered the best possible options, bol.com will showcase a store partner’s offering above its own if it is a better fit with what the customer is looking for. Bol.com is open to partnerships in all of its product categories, including recent additions such as Baby & Toddler, Jewelry & Watches, Sports & Leisure and Furniture & Homeware. Currently, one in six products ordered at bol.com are supplied by a store partner.

Extra sales channel

These days, retailers need to be where our customers are – and that’s online, more often than not. Many companies that did not start as e-commerce players find it quite a challenge to meet the growing expectations consumers have of stores and webstores. These days, retailers are expected to be accessible 24 / 7, through various devices, including smartphones and tablets. In addition, we need to offer a wide range of products, deliver fast and offer impeccable customer service. Daniel Ropers, bol.com’s General Manager, comments: “That’s why we offer both small and large store owners the opportunity to sell through us, creating an extra sales channel and enabling them to benefit from our marketing activities, innovation, e-commerce expertise and investments and our customer base. In turn, our partnerships with other retailers help us offer our customers even more convenience and choice in terms of product range, price and availability. We truly feel that this kind of partnership between companies, drawing on mutual expertise, is extremely important if we’re to meet consumer requirements and stay one step ahead of trends in our markets. We therefore expect our share of store partner sales will further increase. Since September 2014, Belgium store owners have been able to sell products via our website, and with dozens of applications from store owners, we are seeing the sales model resonate well in the market.”

Marcel Joosten, online director at Plaza partner Centralpoint.nl says: “The most important reason for us to sell products via bol.com, since March 2011, is to draw new customers. We have managed to service 51,000 bol.com customers and we’ve expanded the bol.com assortment by 40,000 products. Together with bol.com we create new marketing activities and exclusive deals. This great synergy instantly increased our sales and brand presence.”

No win, no fee

Retailers can use content provided by bol.com when putting up their wares, including images and product descriptions, but are free to add products and enrich content any time they like. What’s more, retailers set their own prices. Store partnership is based on a “no win, no fee” arrangement: putting products online is free of charge and store partners only pay bol.com a fee for items sold.

For more information about selling via bol.com, go to bol.com/verkopen (for retailers and private individuals).

bol.com marks the opening of its new sportswear store; launches auction of items signed by some of the Netherlands’ best-known sportspeople

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2014-10-23— /EPR Retail News/ — To mark the opening of its new sportswear store, bol.com today launched an auction of 14 items signed by some of the Netherlands’ best-known sportspeople. All proceeds will go to Spieren voor Spieren (“Muscles for Muscles”), the Dutch charity that raises awareness for spinal muscular atrophy as part of the charity’s “Wintertime Challenge” appeal.

Bol.com expands range with new sportswear store

Bol.com’s new sportswear store goes live today with 55.000 items of clothing and footwear. To date, bol.com’s Sports & Leisure category has been the place to go for all of customers’ sports and leisure equipment needs, from suitcases and bicycles to camping and hiking gear – some 20,000 items in all. By adding sportswear, bol.com has massively expanded its range and now offers both novice sportspeople and pros all they need to practice their sport.

Auction for charity

The collector’s items will be auctioned at a special page: bol.com/sportveiling. Bidding is open to anyone looking for a chance to own a signed item of clothing belonging to their favorite sports star and support a great cause at the same time. People can bid as often as theylike and don’t need to be bol.com customers.

The auction will close at Spieren voor Spieren’ Wintertime Challenge, the fundraising drive on October 25 and 26 that will see over 130 locations in the Netherlands host sporting events. Bol.com has committed to top up the auction proceeds with a €10,000 donation. The charity uses donations to invest in ground-breaking research into muscle ailments affecting children, setting up centers of expertise and funding fun days out for young sufferers and their families.

Daniel Ropers, bol.com’s General Manager, comments: “We’re delighted to have 14 special items of clothing to auction off at the same as opening our new sportswear store. So join us and rise to the Wintertime Challenge: help us raise as much money as possible for Spieren voor Spieren!”

Marjolein Bolhuis-Eijsvogel, Director of Spieren voor Spieren, adds: “This is the fourth year in a row that we’ll be running the Wintertime Challenge when the clocks are turned back from summertime to wintertime. The Challenge encourages companies and private individuals to take part in some kind of sporting activity to raise money for more research into muscular diseases in children. We truly appreciate the effort that bol.com is putting into this event and hope that by reaching their many millions of customers it’ll get even more people eager to contribute.”

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Bol.com and Kobo launch the world’s most seamless shopping and reading experience

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2014-9-17— /EPR Retail News/ — Bol.com, the largest provider of eBooks in the Netherlands and Belgium, has joined forces with Kobo, one of the world’s fastest-growing eReading services, to revolutionize how readers enjoy digital books by introducing the world’s most seamless shopping and reading experience.

Dutch and Flemish gain access to two million Dutch-language and international eBooks

Starting today, all of Kobo’s eReaders and tablets are available via bol.com. Moreover customers will have access to the combined Kobo and bol.com selection of eBooks – two million eBooks including a full selection of international titles. Over the next few months, bol.com and Kobo will launch innovations to make digital reading even more user-friendly.

As a result of this partnership, eBooks purchased on either bol.com or Kobo are automatically accessible on Kobo devices. In addition, eBooks will be available via the bol.com-Kobo reading app coming in a few weeks, which will allow people to read on any tablet or smartphone – giving readers access to their libraries anywhere, anytime, on any device. This makes the experience of buying and reading eBooks even more of an optimal reading experience.

One in seven non-fiction books sold is digital

Bol.com introduced digital reading in the Netherlands and Belgium five years ago, and since then has experienced amazing growth. In addition to the 1.2 million eReaders sold in the Netherlands, customers can also read their eBooks digitally via tablets and smartphones. The selection of eBooks has grown enormously over the past few years. One in seven non-fiction books sold in the Netherlands is digital*; at bol.com it is as many as one in four. Daniel Ropers, Director of bol.com: “We see that the interest in digital reading is increasing every year across all genres. We therefore believe strongly in the potential presented by digital reading, and we are convinced that investing in innovation is the ideal way to encourage digital reading, and by extension reading in general.”

In terms of mission and focus, Kobo and bol.com are aligned and share a vision for serving the book-buying customer. Kobo is a Canadian-based company founded in 2009 with a mission to serve the world’s avid readers by striving to offer the best digital reading experience possible. Like bol.com, Kobo believes the best solution to ensure reading is by getting technology out of the way so that ideas and stories can make their way from author to reader with as little friction as possible. People simply want to read more. The company has quickly expanded globally, bringing its eReading services and technology to 190 countries around the world. It entered the Dutch market in 2012 and has become the leading device- and the second largest eBook-seller in the Netherlands, where its eReaders were top rated by the Dutch Consumer Association (Consumentenbond) in 2013 and 2014.

Next phase of innovation

Daniel Ropers, Director of bol.com: “Over the past five years, we have invested in expanding our selection of eBooks and in improving their ease of use and the experience of reading. For instance, we’re taking part in the recently introduced industry initiative LeesID that creates the opportunity to automatically collect all of your eBook purchases in your own personal digital bookshelf – even those bought from other retailers. The partnership with Kobo takes us to the next phase in innovation, in which we combine the world’s best eReaders and reading systems with the largest eBook retailer in the Netherlands and Belgium. Thanks to our close cooperation, we can now offer our customers a wider selection of eBooks and the very best eReaders. We are also working together on a series of improvements and innovations that we hope to announce over the coming months. I expect that these initiatives will allow us to give digital reading its biggest boost of the past five years.”

“We are pleased to be in partnership with one of the pioneers and innovators of eReading in the Netherlands and Belgium,” said Michael Tamblyn, President and Chief Content Officer, Kobo. “Like bol.com, we believe that success comes from loving books as much as our customers do. The adoption of digital books in this market has been tremendously successful and we expect this growth to continue — we are thrilled that bol.com and Kobo will be working together to give consumers the most content-rich eReading experience possible.”

International eBooks

Thanks to the partnership with Kobo, bol.com has expanded its catalogue, including international business titles and bestsellers. These titles are available with a variety of payment methods, including iDeal and bank transfer.

Open digital reading system

With Kobo, bol.com continues to offer an open digital reading system, meaning customers can decide for themselves on which device they would like to read their eBooks – a Kobo device, or their own tablets or smartphones. Customers who have previously purchased a Sony Reader™ from bol.com can continue to access their library and purchase new books while enjoying the convenience of all of the applications for digital reading that bol.com offers.

* GFK, KVB-smb rapportage e-boeken, July 2014

Bol.com names Belgian national Patrick Wauters as director of Buying & Merchandising

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2014-9-15— /EPR Retail News/ — Bol.com has recruited Belgian national Patrick Wauters (45) to head up Buying & Merchandising, responsible for the day-to-day operations at all of bol.com’s stores, from Books & Music, Films & Games to its latest additions Baby & Toddler and Jewelry & Watches. As Director of Buying & Merchandising, Wauters will lead a team of over 200 employees including category managers, purchasing managers, product, pricing and supply chain specialists.

Webstore ready for new growth phase

With a wealth of international commercial experience gained at Fatboy among other companies, Wauters got Fatboy back on a profitable growth track when serving as its CEO. He acquired a great deal of knowledge about the online retailing business in the process, and is intimately familiar with the challenges and opportunities this market offers to manufacturers and suppliers. Before joining Fatboy, Wauters was responsible for Chiquita’s fresh products in Northern and Eastern Europe and oversaw the European rollout of Bertolli at Unilever.

Daniel Ropers, bol.com’s General Manager, is delighted: “Patrick is strong on strategy and likes action. He’s got lots of experience managing people in a rapidly changing environment and his personality is a great fit for bol.com. We’ve enjoyed the substantive, inspiring and humor-filled talks we had as part of the recruitment process. Patrick will complete our management team and help us get bol.com ready to move into a new growth phase, strengthening our position in e-commerce.”

“I’m really proud to be the first Belgian national to join bol.com’s management team and to contribute to the company’s continued success as the leading online retailer in both Belgium and the Netherlands,” Wauters said. “Bol.com has a lot of great people on board and the best talents to help achieve its ambitious goals for the future. I look forward to doing my bit and joining my many colleagues to help pull this off.”

Wauters has spent the past few months as interim manager at a toy retailer in Belgium and will start as Director of Buying & Merchandising at bol.com on 1 October. He will join Michel Schaeffer (Marketing), Marijn de Wit (Finance & Support,) Jurrie van Rooijen (IT), Huub Vermeulen (Operations) and Daniel Ropers (General Manager) on the webstore’s management team.

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