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Amazon Netherlands: A new frontier of e-commerce in Northern Europe.


The e-commerce giant already has 6 official online marketplaces open across Europe, now a new subsidiary emerges to take its place on the firmament of Jeff Bezos’ empire. Amazon Netherlands is set to open their marketplace to Dutch customers this year and it already allows you to register your business to the website, but why exactly is that so important? Let’s find out.

 

Dutch adventures of the industry giant

Unless you’re a recluse living in the mountains or a citizen of North Korea you’ve likely heard about Amazon and the success it’s had in the fields of ecommerce retail and technology in the past two decades. This multinational corporation already operates subsidiaries in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain which together form Amazon EU. 

Especially Amazon Germany has been a sort of an international online retail space for countries in Europe that didn’t have their own Amazon subsidiaries. Customers from countries like Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic or even Portugal regularly shop on the company's German website and enjoy millions of products from a wide variety of categories.

There is one more country that could have made that list if we had written this article in December. This country is of course the Netherlands, but this year marks an important point in the history of local e-commerce, as the internet giant has confirmed to open the marketplace to physical products to be sold to Dutch customers through the localised website. 

Amazon Netherlands has been building up their services in the country for a long time now. Starting with the Amazon Web Services opening in 2013, to the Amazon ebook shop on Amazon.nl to finally offering Dutch customers their Germany based services in their mother tongue since 2016. After launching the Amazon Prime membership program to the Dutch market in 2017 they decided to open an office in Amsterdam in 2018. It was just a matter of time before they opened a full-blown Amazon website.

   

Ecommerce landscape in the land of windmills

Well, assuming that you didn’t skip the intro to this blog post you probably already know what happened next. They announced the website and marketplace launch for the Netherlands on the 16th of January 2020. Businesses from across Europe can now register to sell to customers from Holland as Amazon is gearing up to open its marketplace’s door in the first quarter of this year.

The country’s population is 17 million people and 96% of them are classified as internet users, so there’s a big market to be tackled by european e-commerce businesses and Amazon knows that. Just in 2018 the e-commerce sales figure for Netherlands was €23.7 billion and naturally the market is on an upward trend.

However some experts are sceptical about Amazon being ready to take on the Netherlands biggest retailers such as Bol.com and CoolBlue. Market research group Simon-Kucher stated that Dutch consumers will only switch to Amazon if prices are 10% lower than those offered by other e-retailers. Also, the rivals themselves are confident that they have what it takes to face the global e-commerce giant, while planning their own expansions in offering and nurturing the trust they were given by local customers. 

On the other hand it is worth noting that Amazon is already placed on the sixth position among the largest Dutch online retailers, selling €350m in 2018. With the sails set up for dominance in the Netherlands it will be difficult to stop the expansion of the online behemoth after the businesses from around europe start using Fulfilled By Amazon service for the country.  

The  one-day delivery option and the market analysis tools widely available to the European retailers will make it much easier to bring the right products and wide variety of options to Dutch customers. Even considering the warning of the Simon-Kucher’s research group about the need for lower prices it is easy to see how competition on Amazon marketplace will necessitate prices lower than those seen in other retailers. 


Of bold predictions and fresh opportunities

If you are a business owner that already sells on Amazon in other European countries this is a great opportunity to offer your services to a completely new market on a platform you’re already familiar with. Also the trust in the brand is established so you don’t have to worry about how reliable the Amazon Fulfillment Centres are or how the partnership with them will play out. 

However Amazon Netherlands’ expansion also offers unprecedented opportunities to businesses in the Netherlands that are new to the Amazon marketplace concept. From dropshipping, to FBA to simple online sales the marketplace will offer local businesses a way to reach and distribute their products across the country and most likely to the rest of northern Europe as well, without significant upfront investments.

Of course the expanding e-retailer will also be selling their own products on the website. The retail expert from Rabobank Group, Olaf Zwijnenberg in the interview with Financieele Dagblad stated that he expects to be the leader in the Netherlands with €10bn in sales annually. Considering the growing popularity of ecommerce, the strength behind Amazon’s brand and high rate of digitalisation of the Dutch society, this figure doesn’t seem like an unrealistic achievement in 10 years.

A person registering their business on the Amazon Netherlands website

Whatever your stance on the extent of Amazon Netherlands’ future success, one thing is certain: it will transform the way online businesses interact with Dutch customers in a similar fashion it already transformed the six other european countries in Amazon’s portfolio. Businesses that seize this opportunity by registering on that platform are sure to see the sales grow as soon as the marketplace opens to the public at some point in the first quarter of this year.

If you are looking to get into ecommerce in the Netherlands, or you’re already selling your products via Amazon in other countries they serve and want to expand your reach into Northern Europe, you will need to arm yourself with a whole lot of knowledge to make sure you’re successful. And there is no better way to gather knowledge and find out current trends in ecommerce sales than visiting the White Label World Expo in Frankfurt on the 6th & 7th May 2020. Register for tickets now and see you there!