‘Selling in marketplaces starts with visibility’

Online entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes are trying to find buyers in marketplaces with their millions of audiences. Their products may appeal to a segment of that target audience, but how do supply and demand find each other? According to Jory Scharff, marketplace specialist at Dwarfs, visibility is paramount for sales partners. ‘If your potential customers do not see your products, they can not buy them. Fortunately, as an entrepreneur, you can do a lot to increase your visibility in marketplaces and achieve scalable growth. ‘

Jory Scharff has extensive experience in online marketing. Already as a teenager, he launched websites with links to other sites from which he could make money: ‘I tried to attract as many visitors as possible and see how I could entice visitors to click on with the right texts. So I worked early on with visibility, content and conversion. I later put that knowledge into practice at various agencies. Then I became an online entrepreneur myself. ‘

Fighting upwards

Scharff started a new brand of maternity pillows, tapestries and related products: Litollo. ‘I had studied sales in marketplaces, and that’s how I started as a sales partner at bol.com. I managed to build a brand by focusing on visibility. I fought, so to speak, on bol.com. ‘ It did not go unnoticed: Last year, the Dwarfs knocked on his door, a young Dutch company that recruits and professionalizes promising marketplace salespeople. ‘Dwarves offered me the opportunity to keep larger stocks and take advantage of their expertise,’ says Scharff. ‘I decided to sell my brand and start working for Dwarfs myself.’

Visible through marketplaces

According to specialist Scharff, marketplaces have become very important in the e-commerce landscape in a short time. ‘There are also more and more marketplaces where you can sell relatively easily thanks to feed management tools such as Channable and ChannelEngine. Sales in different channels naturally contribute to your online visibility. For example, you can put on your own website that you sell in marketplaces. More visibility means more credibility, more eyes and more sales. By connecting to marketplaces as an online provider, you give your brand more power. I would therefore advise e-commerce companies to research which marketplaces fit their products and just start selling, see how it goes and then optimize and scale up. If it does not help, then it does not do much harm.

Connecting is one thing, but it requires attention to make sales in marketplaces, at Scharff. To do that, start targeting the right product with the right audience: “You need impressions, you need clicks, and you need conversions in that order. Traditionally, many online providers focus on optimizing the conversion, more at the end of the customer journey. This is of course important, but you will first need to ask yourself how people get in touch with your products in the first place. It starts with visibility, with impressions. It’s so important that you differentiate yourself from other providers on a search results page so that people click. Because unlike in a normal online store, your competitors are on the same page. ‘

Three techniques

Scharff distinguishes between three different techniques to stand out from the competition in marketplaces, and more specifically on bol.com; the main platform for most Dwarfs labels: ‘First and foremost, the content should be on point, as we call it. Many people use bol.com as a search engine. A good main image for a product that matches the search behavior is essential to attract attention. It has helped Litollo a lot to present a gift box with our tapestries, to make it clear with a moment how heavy the rugs are, and to make it visible that they are made of bamboo. This way you stand out from all the views. Keywords are another point of attention that needs to be optimized. The more specific the better. For example, a term like “hotel carpet” is too broad for Litollo. ‘

If the content and keywords are in order, the third technique comes into play to become visible to visitors with a buying intention: to promote the ranking through ads. Scharff: ‘The larger marketplaces provide the opportunity to bid on sponsored positions in the search results, such as sponsored products on bol.com. Thanks to a digital auction system, you can target people who are in the market for your products. For example, it helps you to appear on the important first page, which is responsible for most conversions. ‘

Sponsored products

Sponsored products are available through the bol.com Partner Platform – the place where (potential) sales partners can find all kinds of relevant information. They only pay when customers click on a sponsored item and they can set their own budgets. With e-learnings, tutorials, webinars and white papers, which are available via the Partner Platform, among other things, bol.com helps to increase the effect of the ads.

Due to the extra visibility with product sponsorship, sales partners can generate extra clicks, sales and reviews, at Scharff, so they will rank better organically in the long run. The relevance of the offer is always of great importance for the visibility of products, unpaid or paid. Therefore, you must always first have control over your content and your keywords. Relevance is also crucial for promotions, bol.com, for example, allows the commission discount to depend on this. ‘

Campaigns and brand-driven advertising

Bol.com offers all sales partners with a rating of 6 or higher the opportunity to start campaigns from their account whenever they want, allowing them to choose assortments and durations. Under certain conditions, they can also participate in bol.com campaigns around, for example, bol 7-day or Black Friday. The larger sales partners can also participate in product-specific campaigns such as around Mother’s Day or the barbecue season. Other advertising options are also available for these providers, such as display advertising and social advertising. This allows them to attract a wide range of potential customers without a specific buying intention, even outside bol.com. For example, bol.com offers more and more space for brand-driven advertising, in addition to revenue-driven advertising.


Sponsored products are and will be the basis for advertising on bol.com, Scharff emphasizes. It is self-service, scalable and available to all sales partners. ‘If the basics are right, then when the content and keywords are in order, you can immediately boost your sales. It is perhaps more important that you also get the flywheel started.

This is the fourth article in a series on corporate sales via bol.com. The first three articles focused on logistics. In the following articles, you can read how sales partners have increased their visibility on bol.com. More information can be found here!

This article is published on the initiative of bol.com
Text: BNP Media | Image: Clean image

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