'Test, learn and accelerate; through marketplaces you see immediate results’

Rethinking the potential of marketplaces as media channels to build brand awareness.
Marketplaces aren't only selling platforms: they can also serve as media channels to build brand awareness and reach. Marly van de Ven-Brons shares how a new ShoppingTomorrow expert group aims to provide answers and insights on this relatively new phenomenon.

profile_marlyMarly van de Ven-Brons | Business unit manager ecommerce at Bolsius


ChannelEngine and Bol.com are hosting one of the ShoppingTomorrow expert groups this year, chaired by 10XCREW. Marly van de Ven-Brons, Business Unit Manager Ecommerce at Bolsius, is one of thirty experts in this group.


Marly has a broad range of ecommerce experience gained from eight years at both brands and e-tailers. And that comes in handy when solving this year's central issue: How can companies build their brand successfully through different marketplaces? 

You can read more about it in this blog by Marly.


By now, most companies know how to sell items on marketplaces and there's widespread information on how to do this. But as a result of their rapid growth, marketplaces have also become hugely interesting media channels, and so they’re a perfect environment to build your brand. But how exactly do you achieve this? Because this is a relatively new phenomenon, many brands don’t have a good answer to this yet. So the goal of our expert group this year is to help you find the answer.

We are going to explore this topic through practical case studies of four companies. Because they have diverse challenges, I think almost every platform entrepreneur will soon be able to learn something from our expert group's bluepaper and thus get something out of it.


'Other experts thought this was such a good idea that they also started working on it'

And we ourselves at Bolsius have also had challenges in growing through marketplaces.

Candles, of course, are relatively cheap and comparatively large and heavy. This makes shipping costs so high that selling a single item is not profitable for us. But we very much wanted to sell through marketplaces, as more and more consumers purchase from there. To solve this, we created special ecommerce bundles. So now customers can buy beautiful sets of six different candles in a variety of colors and sizes. For the customer, an interior solution, and for us, a profitable way to sell our candles through marketplaces.

Whatever new assortment we want to sell via marketplaces, we test it first on bol.com. Does it catch on? If it does, we roll it out to other marketplaces. That's how we did it with these sets. What’s nice is that a number of members of the expert group found this such a good idea that they also started working on it.

That is my golden tip for platform entrepreneurs: test, learn, and accelerate. Marketplaces allow you to test things very easily and quickly, such as new articles or other product information. You see immediately what the result is. Is it positive? Then you roll it out further. Is isn’t working? Then you go back to the drawing board.

For example, I packed the first 600 candle sets for bol.com together with two colleagues by hand. Now that’s done in the factory!


More about Marly van de Ven-Brons - Business unit manager ecommerce at Bolsius

  • Won the Marketplace Seller Award with Bolsius at the Shopping Awards last month!
  • Also worked at bol.com for 3 years
  • On weekends, Marly enjoys cooking and good food...with a candle lit, of course!

Go further

Explore 'Scaling internationally on marketplaces', our latest bluepaper from ShoppingTomorrow.

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