Finally. Amazon is coming and we expats in the Netherlands will be able to buy something besides e-books off the Amazon.nl domain.
If you don’t read the Dutch financial press in Dutch (which is most of us), you haven’t heard that the Seattle-based tech/e-commerce/logistics company is making a huge move here. Now, multiple media sites including Emerce report Amazon has finally started offering a full marketplace service for buyers and sellers on its Amazon.nl domain.
As of 10 March, you can buy books … and 100 million other things and now, you won’t have to use a VPN and your cousin’s Amazon Prime account in Des Moines to watch movies.
“With Amazon.nl, we are providing the service our Dutch customers had been asking for: the possibility to buy goods in a Dutch-language Amazon store with access to local and international products,” stated Amazon EU expansion president Alex Ootes in a news release.
That said, distribution will still be out of Amazon’s huge German fulfillment centers just across the Netherlands/Germany border in Rhineberg near Duisberg and Mönchengladbach, just west of Düsseldorf. Still, is it just a coincidence that the Netherlands is one of three tries where Amazon is testing drone deliveries?
We think not.
Amazon late into the Netherlands
Amazon is late into the Netherlands basically because business is about numbers, and the Netherlands’ numbers are small compared to mega-markets such as Germany – 18 million Nederlanders versus 83 million Deutsche.
As you might expect, this news is having a ripple affect, with other e-commerce/logistics companies responding with their own strategic moves to counter Amazon. (Good luck with that.)
Retail Detail, FD and other industry news sites are reported that Bol.com, the Utrecht-based e-commerce company, is expanding into fashion and will begin offering a full apparel inventory in early 2020 instead of just a few items now.
Industry observers also expect Berlin-based Zalando – the No. 2 e-commerce company in Europe behind Amazon – to join in the fray and up its presence in the Netherlands.
All this is, of course, translating into new career opportunities for Dutch people as well as highly skilled internationals. Amazon is hiring Dutch-speaking vendor managers and local advertising sales teams, according to Forbes.
As we’ve noted before, Amazon.de offers 1-day delivery on millions of items to consumers in the Netherlands.
One of the tipoffs that Amazon was serious about the Netherlands was the number of new jobs in Amsterdam clearly related to the Low Country invasion. Forbes notes Amazon also translated 2 million German listings into Dutch during 2018.
Merchants across Europe who already have Unified EU Amazon registration instantly add 18 million customers.
Forbes is also reporting that an aggressive Amazon move into the Netherlands could also disrupt the grocery and food-delivery sectors, where Takeaway.com is preparing to compete with Deliveroo, which has $575 million in investment from Amazon.
So, let’s say you’re not really into accumulating stuff. What’s in it for you?
How about a career?
New Amazon jobs in Amsterdam
The Amazon Netherlands career page, which is connected to the Amazon.de website, has several new jobs listed.
(Warning … the career pages are in a bizarre combination of German and English, though most of the job postings don’t specify German fluency. Go figure.)
• Senior Migration Business Development Manger, Amsterdam
This is basically helping Amazon keep up with changes in consumer demand, technology and the competitive landscape in the cloud services sector. This is a job that requires both management and tech skills, and the posting states it will be updated. You can apply here.
• Engagement manager, Amsterdam: The engagement manager helps Amazon Web Services clients with, well, engagement … how well they’re connecting with customers, user experience and best practices. You need at least five years experience in IT but you get a 1 million euro budget to manage. Which looks good on any resume. You can apply here.
• Advertising Sales Manger, Amsterdam: Amazon needs sales people … lots and lots of sales people … to work with brands and digital agencies as they expand into the Netherlands.
This requires a lot of experience … 10 years including at least four years selling programmatic and/or data driven ad products and/or platforms.
This job requires fluency in English and Dutch.
There are lots more jobs – pages and pages of jobs – in Amsterdam and you can see them all here.
(Editor’s note: A big thank you to our astute Dutch student observer Ilse for tipping us off!)
For more about Amazon, see our complete archives here.
Co-CEO of Dispatches Europe. A former military reporter, I'm a serial expat who has lived in France, Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands.