EC is what we expected it to be, everything is automated. Without EffectConnect, we would never have gone this far with marketplaces
We spoke with Pieter Houba and Sylvester Roest of Smeeing Mobility.
“Smeeing Mobility originated from the company Auto Smeeing. We've existed for over 50 years now, but over the years this has expanded considerably. The organization is now not only a universal car dealer but also a leasing company, bicycle store and seller of bicycle batteries. This way, we have increasingly moved towards general mobility; for example, we now also offer special (electric) bicycles for people with disabilities. We also sell all kinds of parts and accessories for the mobility market such as protective equipment, bicycle carriers and roof boxes."
"The idea to start selling on marketplaces came from an advisor. He was closely involved with our bicycle battery webshop and together we were brainstorming about where we wanted to go in the future with our webshop. We concluded that web shops still have their value, but that marketplaces are something that is booming. On the one hand, it's always good if you have something to gain, but on the other hand, there is the danger that the success may wane. That's why we thought it would be good to engage on both platforms, to see where we can best position which products. That's why we added the marketplaces as an extra sales line. Turnover growth has always been the primary goal here.
EffectConnect also regularly brings marketplaces to our attention that might be interesting for us to connect to. With EffectConnect that choice is easily made because you can easily scale up."
Expanding to other marketplaces is very easy thanks to EffectConnect
"In the beginning, automation was not yet necessary with the first few products, but from the beginning the plan was always there to move towards automation. We were going to experience what is involved when you connect to marketplaces. In our case, it was primarily bol.com, which we started with. Then our partner Vendit, who supplied our entire inventory system, gave us the tip to ask EffectConnect to take care of the entire automation. We had heard of EffectConnect before, so at the Webwinkel Vakdagen we spoke with them at their stand.
With EffectConnect, no one is left with a lot of FTE time and costs to do manual work.
We wanted a system that could be linked to our inventory system, so that you can automatically have your stock 'tangible' on bol.com at all times. Because for our logistics department, it makes little difference if a product is sold through the webshop or a marketplace, as long as an order comes in and the product is in stock. By automating, you don't leave someone working full-time on manual work. It is also about a piece of convenience and reliability.”
"What should I say about it? The fact that I am in doubt as to what to say indicates that things are going well! On the back end, it's simply working; orders are coming in, they're being put into Vendit, the stock is being kept up to date with bol.com, so that's working properly.
Of course, there were some learning moments here and there. For example, we were wondering how to configure EffectConnect to indicate different delivery times for the Dutch and Belgian versions of bol.com. EffectConnect's support team is quick with these kinds of questions. Our colleague who works the most with EffectConnect often opens a chat when he has a question and gets a quick response. Or if I have a question, I quickly make a call and then I get an answer too. So we are satisfied with that."
Do you want to grow exponentially by selling through marketplaces ? Download the free whitepaper 'Exponential growth on marketplaces', with input from entrepreneur Bas Urlings.