The well-known Belgian-Dutch online shopping platform bol.com launches its French-language website today. The Ahold Delhaize subsidiary is now shifting up a gear in French-speaking Belgium. Via the website, Walloons and French-speaking residents of Brussels now have full access – in their own language – to millions of items: from electronics to household goods to luxury products such as perfumes. Local Belgian business owners are also represented in the bol.com product range. They have already expressed their delight with the launch, including Doomoo, baby products distributor based in Wallonia.
Bol.com has been active in Flanders since 2010, and that has proven to be a true success story. Millions of Flemish people now know their way to the online shopping platform. “So, it’s a logical step to make our extensive online shopping offering easily accessible to French-speaking Belgians too,” says Boukje Taphoorn, Marketing Director (CMO) at bol.com. “We launched our French-language app back in 2020. That caused quite a stir. In the meantime, one in three French-speaking Belgians knows us and the app has been downloaded more than 200,000 times. At the moment, however, we see that about 50 percent of our French-speaking customers mainly surf to the Dutch-language website. That is why we decided to go the extra mile to launch the full website in French, so that everyone can now shop in their own language. This way, we want to make everyday life easier for our French-speaking customers too.”
An analysis of the purchases shows that French-speaking customers are mainly looking for electrical goods, home, garden and DIY items, as well as luxury products, such as perfume at bol.com. This corresponds to demand in Flanders.
Dropping local roots
We’re not stopping with the launch of an entirely French-language website. The shopping platform also wants to engage more local Walloon and Brussels sales partners to offer their products via bol.com. “Being a local player is important to us”, Taphoorn says. “We believe that Belgian and Dutch companies are stronger together. What’s more, being a local player is usually more sustainable and climate-friendly. Also in 2021, we have seen a further increase in online purchases, partly driven by the effects of the covid pandemic. This has also led to closer cooperation with local independent entrepreneurs in the Benelux. Two years ago there were some 20,000 sales partners active on bol.com, today this has grown to 47,000. At the end of last year, these accounted for 60 per cent of sales on our platform. So acting locally certainly pays off, not just for us, but particularly for them.”
Bol.com is also working on expanding the number of physical pick-up points in Wallonia and Brussels. This way, customers can not only have their parcels delivered to their home, they can also opt to collect it from a Delhaize supermarket, for example.
The Wallonian SME Doomoo, which sells baby products, is affiliated with bol.com and seems to be pleased with the launch. “Our entire collection is now available online at any time of day or night. We initially joined bol.com to reach the Dutch market, but the fact that French-speaking customers can now find us more easily is clearly an added bonus. We are present on many e-commerce platforms because this is an important part of our business strategy. But at bol.com, we have a great deal of freedom regarding how we present our products and we can set the prices ourselves. What’s more, communication is very smooth: we always receive an answer to our queries within two hours.” Oriane Grégoire, Digital Communications Manager at Doomoo
Take a look at the French bol.com website van bol.com here: https://www.bol.com/be/fr/
 Data Aided Brand Awareness from MeMo2 Brandtracker
 In the last 18 months, the app has been installed 215.000 times
 Data from November 2021