EffectConnect has been instrumental in scaling up to new marketplaces
We spoke to Keshav Balram, E-commerce Manager at Timmermans Tuinmeubelen.
“Timmermans Tuinmeubelen was founded more than 50 years ago from a shop where household items, toys, stationery, Christmas products, carnival articles and also garden furniture were sold. In the 1990s, an extra shop was opened where CDs and photography equipment were sold. All this from the centre of Tegelen.
In 2010, the decision was made to focus even more on the sale of garden furniture and in the winter period, outside the garden furniture season, only the familiar Christmas and carnival products. From that moment on, we have been growing rapidly. We now have seven branches and a logistics centre."
Like most retailers, we did not start with a webshop, but with an online storefront. When we had several branches, we built a maintenance-free website to show the assortment of the shops and to be found online. At some point, however, we decided to start with a webshop, so that customers could order directly. When we had everything set up and optimised, we noticed that online sales did have an impact for us. We then started thinking about what else would be possible.
Many other companies outside the industry were selling on marketplaces and making a lot of profit, until we found out that bol.com started with the product category 'garden furniture'. This was the reason for us to take the step of selling on marketplaces. After the success of bol.com, we have also been present on marketplaces such as fonQ and Blokker for the past two years. As soon as we have a strong presence on these marketplaces as well, we will look to be active on even more marketplaces.
It started out as an online storefront, but it grew to a point where we started selling on marketplaces
"Like everyone else, you start with stock and order management. So the stock has to be constantly updated and the orders have to come in to the cash register system and be handled properly. But before you know it, you also start thinking about creating products and updating products. And if you sell via marketplaces, that quickly becomes extra work. On top of that, selling via marketplaces is uncharted territory for us and many other industry players. You often don't have the knowledge in-house yet, because it's all new.
Eventually, automation was necessary because of our capacity. The manual processing of products and orders was costing us a lot of FTEs. By automating, we work much more efficiently and the supply is also more reliable. This gave us extra time to focus on optimising our activities. So now we can carry out our e-commerce activities with a small team and reflect on how we can sell even better: both in our webshop and on marketplaces."
We want to grow online and the marketplaces are making us a lot smarter
Selling on marketplaces has also provided us with valuable information from the market. We can now see on a national level how much demand there is for certain products and what our target group looks like. So if we want to expand outside the region, it is possible to analyse national data. For example, we can see which brands or subcategories are popular nationwide and focus on those. This allows us to set up targeted SEA campaigns based on the knowledge we have gained from the marketplaces.”
"There were many solutions on the market, but we had no experience with them. Plus we also heard stories that not all providers were suitable for our purposes. We ultimately chose EffectConnect, because it's a familiar party within the marketplace landscape and they're basically around the corner. That felt good and familiar. It's nice that we can easily call EffectConnect and talk to someone who knows exactly what the rules are at bol.com. This is not something you do only once: once in a while the marketplaces themselves make changes or new issues arise with new marketplaces.”
With other companies, almost everything goes through email, but with EffectConnect you immediately get to speak to the person who will help you.
We are also very satisfied with EffectConnect as a knowledge partner. For example, we know everything about garden furniture and our web shop developers know everything about web shops. EffectConnect understands specific marketplaces and that's evident in the software, because a lot is possible within the settings and dashboard. Our web shop, for example, has a lot of hurdles to overcome when it comes to communicating with marketplaces and how fields are set up due to the custom-made link with our cash register. EffectConnect's flexibility and possibilities in design make this very easy.
EffectConnect also thinks together with us. If, for example, certain things are not set up right, our account manager calls us to discuss how we can improve it. We are also contacted when there are opportunities within the market or on certain marketplaces. What we probably appreciate the most is our account manager Jenny who calls at least once every quarter to ask if everything is as it should be, that's when you really feel at home!
A monthly fee is not only for the working technology, but also for the included consultancy: that's what you want most.
Do you want to grow exponentially by selling on marketplaces? Download the free whitepaper 'Growing exponentially on marketplaces', with input from entrepreneur Bas Urlings.