Amazon.fr earned the title of Belgium’s favourite online shop in 2017, receiving around 158 million visits. According to recently-published figures by CupoNation, the .com and .de variants of this online shop are also very popular, receiving 68 and 51 million visits respectively, which explains why they also easily made it into the top 10. The tally of these figures shows that Amazon accounted for 277 million page views in Belgium in the past year. Bol.com, by comparison, holds fourth place in the top 10, with 94 million page views, while coolblue.be accounts for 26 million visits. With this in mind, it will come as no surprise that these online players also scored well in the Best Brands results. The research included nine online shops, with the above Pure Players taking the top 3 positions in the ranking.
Amazon owed its highest score in the Best Product Brands survey which GfK conducted for Serviceplan to a strong combination of factors. Its Brand Awareness is astonishingly high. In fact, we can say that almost everyone has already heard of Amazon. Moreover, Amazon has become the first stop for many online shoppers. Buyers’ loyalty is guaranteed because Amazon ensures that consumers enjoy a very positive brand experience, effectively turning them into brand ambassadors. That said, Amazon has its strong proponents and opponents, like all popular brands. Amazon has a very high score for “Guru”, the most positive relation indicator, which is offset by its high score for “Enemy”, the most negative indicator.
Bol.com, meanwhile, has proven a worthy opponent for the giant that is Amazon. While Amazon’s success is fuelled by huge brand awareness and the lack of competition in the Walloon market, Bol.com prides itself on its loyal following. Consumers are even more positive about the Brand Experience that Bol.com delivers, resulting in even more loyal customers and a higher Share of Soul compared with Amazon. What’s more, Bol.com is also the cheapest alternative with a Price Premium under zero. Coolblue, meanwhile, is ranked a little lower in the Best Brands Top 10. Customers feel that their relationship with Coolblue is not as strong because of the lower Awareness and Experience scores.
Finally, the online shops of the large traditional retailers have succeeded in holding their own against these purely online shops. The online shops of Vanden Borre, Media Markt and Krëfel achieved scores that are only slightly under those of the Pure Players, meaning they have practically caught up with them! These are very well-known brands and many consumers have an emerging relationship with them. The experience scores are also very positive and memorable, which just happens to be the best route to success. These players still have a large pool of potential buyers they can tap into whereas the Pure Players have mostly hit their ceiling. If online shops like those of Vanden Borre, Media Markt and Krëfel can succeed in converting this Latent Brand Equity into active users with positive brand experiences, then it looks like they have a fantastic future ahead of them.