Marketplaces are a great way to experiment with new products and existing products in different European countries.
You never know when you might run into an emergency, but you can always prepare! We spoke with Rik Roorda from Allprepare, the webshop for emergency supplies.
"Allprepare was born out of a personal desire to be well prepared for emergencies. When the financial crisis started in 2008 and there was a lot of uncertainty, I wanted to buy emergency rations just to be sure. At the time, there were no webshops in the Netherlands that sold these kinds of products, but they did exist in America. Because it was rather cumbersome to have products shipped from America, I decided to do it myself. I then founded Allprepare: a webshop where you can buy all kinds of items that can help you survive an emergency. Think of emergency rations, emergency packs, water filters, survival gear and much more.“
"Selling on marketplaces is a great way for us to generate additional revenue. With Amazon we can easily sell throughout Europe and with Bol.com we can make our products visible to a large audience in the Netherlands. These are customers who might not have found us otherwise.
Marketplaces are also a great way to experiment with new products and existing products in different European countries. With the help of marketplaces we can look for opportunities in markets where there is not much competition. If there appears to be a lot of demand, we often build our own webshop for that country. So we now also have Allprepare.de and Allprepare.fr. We try to respond to the needs of specific countries. For example, we've also created separate websites for water filters in the Netherlands and France under the name Berkeyexpert.nl and Berkeyexpert.fr, so they respond specifically and efficiently to the issues that consumers face in these countries. In this way marketplaces can function as a springboard for Allprepare.”
"Our target group are people who want to prepare themselves because of increasing tensions in the world. These people want to buy long-life food or water filters, for example, just to be on the safe side. But the biggest challenge with these products is the language. For example, for emergency rations in French, there are many words that people may use and that people search for in Google. However, we don't know exactly which words are the best fit for our products for this target group right now. So it can take years before a shop really starts to work well but if you are lucky you can also have a hit quickly. We try to use native speakers, but the question is to what extent they feel and understand our market. We often see that even native speakers do not know exactly how to name or describe a product. This is something we regularly encounter in foreign markets.
We also see that the culture of a country can have an influence on the success of our shops. For example, we feel that the German culture focuses more on preparing for unforeseen circumstances compared to the Dutch culture. Furthermore, German people do not easily buy from a foreign webshop, which we tackle by setting up webshops in each country.”
"A rapidly growing group of people recognizes that it can't do any harm to be well prepared, which is why we see our revenue grow considerably each year. But when an emergency situation suddenly arises, that's when we get really busy. The recent events in Ukraine but also increasing tensions between China and the United States are examples of this, but you can also think about floods, storms or a pandemic like the one we saw with Covid. To be able to help our customers properly, we always keep a very large stock in our warehouse.”
"From the start we decided to have all orders that come in via marketplaces directly forwarded to our own shops so that, logistically speaking, they are simply included in the process and sent out. This is also very efficient in terms of administration. We came across EffectConnect on the internet. They immediately had an integration available that worked for many marketplaces.
We started with Bol.com and Amazon in 5 countries in Europe. In the future we want to expand this with other marketplaces. A feature within EffectConnect that we also like to use is the fulfillment manager. This handy tool automatically switches between the stock we have at bol.com and our own stock. This way we don't have to sell no and we keep the buy box!“
"EffectConnect makes it very easy for us to sell on many marketplaces in Europe. With the help of the software we were able to sell all over Europe in one go, which brought us a lot of extra sales. By being more active on marketplaces we could also spot opportunities for new products and find new markets for our own webshops.“
Do you want to grow exponentially by selling on marketplaces? Download the free whitepaper 'Growing exponentially on marketplaces', with input from entrepreneur Bas Urlings.