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Selling in 32 countries in a niche market: how to handle this?
On May 19, we spoke with Michiel Ebbers and Sabine Woller of Obelink during the Marketplaces Event. Read here how to maximise your outdoor sales!
On the 19th of May, the second edition of the EffectConnect Marketplaces Event took place, where specialists from bol.com, Kaufland Global Marketplace, Naduvi and Obelink shared their expertise with us. In this article we zoom in on the knowledge session with Obelink, the market leader in the field of Camping & Outdoor products.
Obelink is a brand new marketplace, but the Obelink brand has existed for longer. Over 60 years ago, Jan Obelink opened his first shop with Camping & Outdoor products. Since then, this shop has grown into a megastore with over 72,000 m2 of retail space in Winterswijk. Although they have expanded the range tremendously, they still keep the focus on camping & outdoor products at Obelink. We spoke with Michiel Ebbers and Sabine Woller about the development of Obelink Marketplace. Sabine has been working for Obelink since 2020 and with her German background, she is responsible for the business development of the German market. Michiel has been working at Obelink for more than 10 years and is now active within the marketplace department.
In which countries does Obelink operate?
"The megastore in Winterswijk is close to the German border, so we have many Dutch and German customers. It was therefore only natural to focus our marketplace initially on Dutch and German consumers. Currently we are live in 3 countries: The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. We are considering adding other countries such as Spain."
The conditions for selling through Obelink
"We are mainly looking for exclusive partners. If the product is already sold elsewhere, then the seller has to explain to us what value the product adds to our assortment. For example, we see that eco-friendly products are increasingly popular with consumers. At Obelink, we are really looking for distinctive products for the independent camper. The products do not have to be directly related to camping or outdoor life, but may also be related to it. Think of swimming pools, barbecues and everything that has to do with being outdoors. Of course the focus is on camping, but outdoor is also a popular category."
The challenges in the Camping & Outdoor sector
"Not every seller or supplier has set up its organisation for international sales. At Obelink, we sell our products to customers from more than 32 different countries, so we have a fairly large sales area. When selecting sales partners, we first check whether the partner is flexible in terms of delivery. At Obelink, we deliver your tent to the campsite where you are staying. We also expect this flexibility from our sales partners."
"Besides delivery, language plays a big role in international selling. Therefore, make sure that your content is available in multiple languages. If you need help with this, you can contact Obelink. We have translators ready for our partners."