Bol.com vs. FindTheBest.com -Group 15 Technology of the Week
Our Technology of the Week Project focused on B2C e-commerce. We have critically analyzed the e-commerce platforms Bol.com and FindTheBest.com (FTB). Nowadays, increasing consumer informedness has changed consumer’s buying behaviors and also has led companies to provide more products or services online to satisfy their customers. To influence buying decisions and willingness-to-pay, ‘pure’ online sale channels are no longer sufficient. Potential buyers are not only interested in viewing what people with similar preferences have bought but also what their experience with the product was. Furthermore, they expect personalized product suggestions based on their browsing history and discounts.
Bol.com is one of the largest online retailers in the Netherlands. On Bol.com customers can compare products, see reviews and ratings. It is also possible to buy second-hand goods there. Moreover, it uses ‘Plaza’, a platform to sell third-party products. It is a way to expand its offered product range by allowing competitors to sell their products on it. In addition, Bol.com earns a percentage and fixed amount from them.
FTB.com is more like a search engine. It allows product comparisons based on prices, smart rating and other product specifications. The biggest difference here is that it does not own the product but it will provide links from trustworthy and affiliated online shops to purchase the selected product. FTB.com goes beyond a traditional search engine and comparison engines. Besides aggregating the data from a wide variety of sources, it also offers a ‘smart rating’ system that combines the expert rating and its own quantitative rating systems based on attributes.
Both companies use big datasets to simplify and customized customer search results. Bol.com reviews are mostly made by consumers. On FTB, however, there are many analytic graphs and processed information to elaborate on the comparison of prices or product properties. In addition, FTB has launched a function that allows users with blogs to embed the exact product information from its page on their own blogs. This way of blog marketing causes a wider effect of word-of-mouth. As for trading down/out, Bol.com gives customers the option to search for the best discount offering, while FTB focuses on where to buy it, enabling stronger trading down from a customer perspective. Both company strategies support ‘trading out’ by helping customers to find products that perfectly fit their needs.
After analyzing Bol.com and FTB, we came to conclusion that they offer similar products but the means by which they try to achieve their goals are different, since the two business models highly differ. Bol.com is a sophisticated online retailer that owns the product and hence has a different risk level. However, FTB as a price comparison engine, aggregates big datasets and offers structured information to users and help them make the ‘best’ decisions.
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Ahold, 2014. Bol.com creates personal shop environment on the smartphone [online] Available at:<http://pers.bol.com/2014/09/bol-com-creeert-persoonlijke-winkelomgeving-op-smartphone/#more-2896> [Accessed 15 September 2014]
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