The aggressive introduction of Amazon.nl: 5x push & pull marketing

The arrival of Amazon to the Netherlands, we can no longer ignore it. With the introduction of Amazon.nl earlier in 2020, the American tech giant also managed to set foot on Dutch soil. Many small e-commerce players in the Netherlands will undoubtedly have already looked with suspicion at the impact this could have on them. But Bol.com and Coolblue can also get their breasts wet. What exactly can we expect and what do we know so far? A small overview of the launch in figures.

Unfair fight?

First of all, a look at Amazon’s approach, because it can safely be called unconventional. Not only does Amazon offer many benefits that current ecommerce players don’t offer with Amazon Prime. They also have the opportunity to stunt with much lower prices, with a much larger offer.

The offer at launch would, in its own words, immediately amount to more than 100 million products. Their premium member service was also offered directly for a stunt rate of € 2.99 per month. What do you get for this membership? First of all, always free delivery. In addition, you get access to Prime Video (Amazon’s own Netflix counterpart) and you get instant access to Twitch Prime which allows you to stream and play games for free. Finally, with Amazon Photo you have unlimited storage capacity.

With Amazon’s own AWS (cloud infrastructure), Amazon has an important asset in its hands. The massive revenue stream doesn’t just allow Amazon to fund its Prime benefits. It also provides Amazon with deep pockets to be able to stunt (even with its own products) at low prices for long periods to put other retailers out of the game.

An enormously strong proposition, with which the Amazon mission should eventually become reality: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company“.

Amazon’s push & pull marketing

If we look at Amazon’s strategy to gain market share in the Netherlands, we see a number of important components. For the sake of convenience, I make a distinction between pull and push factors. Actively pushing your brand versus attracting customers to your brand.

1. Push to the app

First of all, we see a large campaign from Amazon to increase the volume within its app as quickly as possible. This is actually very much in line with offering Amazon Prime, namely becoming the ‘go-to platform’ for people. Once you have the Amazon app on your home screen and can go to the tech giant for almost all of your purchases, why would you go to another site to order your products? Moreover, once you are the ‘go-to platform’ for many people, the costs that Amazon has to incur to attract new customers decrease. A good example in the Netherlands of a party that has become a ‘go-to platform’ is Thuisbezorgd.nl (Takeaway.com), where many Dutch people order their delivery meals.

Screenshot: Amazon App mobile ad example

2. Push naar Amazon.nl (premium TVC)

Amidst all the familiar advertising violence of Lidl, Jumbo, Albert Heijn and Bol.com, Amazon suddenly arrived with their very first television commercial in the Netherlands.

Perhaps something uncomfortable, given the non-Dutch character of the commercial. Where competitor Bol.com comes out with typical Dutch Sinterklaas nostalgia or parcel evening stress, Amazon came up with the cool uncle Shane who of course had done his Christmas shopping at Amazon for a long time and could make a splash with all kinds of exotic gifts.

This one push towards Amazon.nl as the platform to do all your Christmas shopping is of course well thought out. Traditionally, December purchases are a time of stress for many consumers. The convenience of Amazon could well cause a cultural change in this, is the underlying idea. We no longer have to scour the shopping streets for the best gifts, but can simply order them from our armchair.

3. Pull to product pages: prices just below ‘the big boys’

A wide range and competitive prices, that is Amazon’s core promise. The difference between Amazon and Bol.com and Coolblue is that Amazon will make it easy to admit international suppliers from outside the Benelux. This will create additional competition, which will have a further depressing effect on the price (source: Businessinsider.nl).

Amazon will also choose to always be just below the price of the competition. See the prices below for the latest iPhone (source: Tweakers Pricewatch). With such a ‘guarantee’ for bottom prices compared to the large Dutch e-commerce players, Amazon presents itself very clearly as the dominant party. This will also mean that the other dominant players have to be very competitive on the price.

Screen: Tweakers Pricewatch 20-1-’21

4. Pull to product pages: increase organic traffic

If we zoom in a little more on the total traffic to Amazon.nl, the increase in organic traffic is particularly noticeable. We are seeing a massive increase in referring domains. It is not entirely coincidental that we also see the underlying keywords ‘rank’ more and more dominantly on Google. This large increase has led to about 3 million keywords, on which Amazon has recently become visible within Google. It is true that not all these keywords rank in top positions yet, but it does give a good picture of the scale at which Amazon is entering the Netherlands.

Screenshots: SEMRush Domain Analytics.

5. Pull to product pages: ‘paid volume’

Looking at paid search volume, we don’t yet see any ‘hockey stick curves’ that indicate aggressive Amazon growth. It is striking that Amazon is quite dominant, especially on generic keywords. These are the searches where, for example, no specific indication is given of model number (iPhone 11 or 12?) Or other specific properties (64GB or 128GB?).

Another striking detail is that Amazon offers an alternative to competing products (in this case from Google) on which they can count on a competitive price. In the case of the Tado thermostat, this is a price that is about 25% below that of Coolblue (source: Tweakers Pricewatch).

Amazon versus Bol.com and Coolblue, who will win the battle?

A hot battle awaits – as expected – between the current players in the Netherlands on the one hand and Amazon as a tech giant on the other. The first signs, as described above, are that Amazon has made significant catch-up in its market share, partly due to its competitive pricing policy (source: Omnia Retail). In particular, the first analyzes look at the references from comparison sites, where Amazon is now as big as Bol.com in terms of the number of references.

But recent research also offers hope for Bol.com. According to Review Platform Capterra 89% of Dutch consumers still prefer Bol.com to Amazon. It is not known whether this is due to the advertisements with ‘the nostalgic Sinterklaas on the roof’ versus the somewhat smoother advertising with Amazon’s uncle Shane.


Source: Frankwatching by feedproxy.google.com.

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