Coolblue: “We are 90% ready for expansion in Europe”
Dutch omnichannel retailer Coolblue is almost ready to enter more European markets. The company is already active in Belgium, where it will open more physical stores, but is working on expanding to other countries. “The last hurdle is multilingualism.”
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That’s what co-founder and CEO Pieter Zwart said in the latest edition of Dutch magazine Emerce. “Considering the requirements and competencies we need to enter a new market, we are currently 90 percent ready”, he says. “The last hurdle is multilingualism. We need to translate our whole business, from website – which contains more than 40 thousand products – to customer service. That’s not something you just do on the side.”
“It’s going to be such a complex process and it’s something you want to make sustainable so it can also last on the long term. That’s why we are still waiting”, Zwart explains. Because, if we are going to do it, we just must be able to realize a similar high customer satisfaction rating.”
More physical stores in Belgium
In Belgium, Coolblue will open three new physical stores. “But it’s not about the number of stores, it’s about the growth they are experiencing”, Zwart comments. “And the growth is bigger among our physical stores than it is in our online stores. But there are just not many locations that fit our plans. We need a certain amount of existing customers in a 25 minute drive radius of our store, otherwise it doesn’t make sense to open a store there.”
Famous for its customer service and informal approach
In its home country the Netherlands, Coolblue is well-known for its customer service and informal approach towards customers. The retailer has made things on its website very easy to comprehend for customers. Their Terms & Conditions page for example, is written in simple colloquial Dutch instead of using difficult legal terms.
Zwart believes a fantastic customer service can really make a difference and the company claims to do everything for a smile. At the headquarters in Rotterdam, there is also an informal sphere, which can be seen on Google Street View.