Amazon unleashes price war in Benelux, against bol.com and Coolblue

Photo Amazon

In order to gain market share in the Benelux, Amazon charges significantly lower prices than direct competitors such as bol.com, Coolblue or MediaMarkt. And that pays off: the webshop attracts more customers.

 

Large price gap

For frequently sold products such as electro and toys, amazon.nl is 7 to 9 percent cheaper than bol.com and MediaMarkt, 15 percent cheaper than Wehkamp and 18 percent cheaper than Coolblue. This is shown by measurements of price comparator Omnia Retail that appeared in Dutch business newspaper FD. The Dutch competitors do respond: when Amazon, for example, lowers the price of an iPhone, bol.com follows. As a result, the price difference narrowed during Black Friday week, but the price gap widened structurally during the course of the year.
 

This has everything to do with the strong growth of e-commerce due to the corona crisis: local webshops did not have to lower prices to grow strongly, they can barely even keep up with orders. "But after corona, these differences can start to hurt," thinks Sander Roose of Omnia Retail.

 

Market share gain

It is not immediately clear whether this price war is also giving Amazon a large gain in market share: figures are not available. Indirectly, however, observers see some signs. On price comparison websites, consumers click through to go to amazon.nl as often as to bol.com. This indicates that Amazon is gaining market share. The number of visitors to amazon.nl has also doubled in recent months. Bol.com says that it hardly notices anything of another webshop and that service, quality and delivery options are also important.
 

When Amazon started offering more than one hundred million products in more than thirty categories in its Dutch webshop at the beginning of March, there was still some scepticism, but that is gradually fading away. Retail expert Dirk Mulder of ING expects that Amazon will gain further share and that there will be a competition between one international and one local platform. "Amazon has its own brands but also products that you can't buy at bol.com, for example," he says to radio station BNR. Retail professor Kitty Koelemeijer of Nyenrode Business University does point out that Amazon has an image problem. But a ten percent price gap remains very attractive to consumers.