Sponsored Products on Bol.com: To Do or Not to Do?

Madbot Team

Oct 12, 2023
9 min read

Paid Advertising on Bol.com is certainly one way to get ahead of your competitors on Bol.com. In this article, we'll explore in depth whether doing Sponsored Products ads is right for you.

What are sponsored products on bol.com?


I'm a customer looking for a jacket on Bol.com. I start searching by typing 'jacket' into Bol.com's search bar.

Next, I see page after page of jackets. On the first page, I notice 'Sponsored' next to the 3rd and 4th search results (note: this is just an example). These are Bol.com partners who have paid to rank higher in search results. There are 6 spots for sponsored products on the first search page. Bol.com's first search page is very popular, mainly because many visitors don't look past the first page and are specifically searching for a jacket. The order of sponsored products may change with each search.

You'll also find sponsored products in other places on the site. For example, there are sponsored products on Bol.com's homepage, with room for 10 sponsored products.

You'll also see sponsored products on product pages. While looking at a cell phone, I saw 'Sponsored Products' from the same product category at the bottom of the page. It's worth noting that sponsored products don't appear on Bol.com's mobile site.

As an external seller, you basically advertise your products on Bol.com with sponsored products. Whether you choose to advertise on the search page, homepage, or product page depends on your marketing strategy.

At what point in the customer journey do you want to reach the customer? On the homepage, visitors aren't specifically interested in your product yet. Advertising on the homepage may be useful if you want customers to be familiar with your brand or product (brand/product awareness). It's also helpful if a visitor doesn't know exactly what they want. For example, if I'm looking for a gift for my boyfriend but have no idea what to buy, I'm looking for a product to solve my problem (orientation/search phase). Seeing an ad for a shaver would make me more likely to click on it. Note that you don't know exactly what a customer is looking for when they visit Bol.com's homepage. However, if you advertise on a search page or product page, the customer has already shown interest and is approaching the purchase phase. They searched using a specific keyword or Bol.com product category.


Bol.com uses a bidding system for advertising where you, the advertiser, can specify how much you want to spend on ad costs. It’s similar to Google Ads (formerly called Adwords) where you pay each time someone clicks your ad (cost-per-click). As an external seller, you don’t pay for ad impressions. Instead, you pay Bol.com whenever someone actually clicks your sponsored product ad. These costs are separate from the brokerage fee you pay Bol.com for each product sold. Bol.com’s system also determines where your sponsored product ad is shown based on how relevant it is to customers.

When should you use sponsored products?

When choosing to use sponsored products on bol.com, they advise you to select products that customers are actively searching to buy. But that doesn't really matter to us since we don't have to deal with it. Plus, it's often not even necessary to offer sponsored products because your unique product listing already ranks highly in bol.com's search results. If you already have great reviews, product images, product titles, etc., then you're on the right track to create a strong sales position on bol.com.

Sponsored products are mainly interesting:

  • When competing for the customer's purchase.
  • When you don't sell much and want to raise more awareness for your brand. Side note: Do you wonder why you don't sell much? Is it because of your product, listing, price or other factors?
  • When you want to give a (short-term) boost to your sales. If you sell a product with a high return on investment, it's interesting to highlight it during and around the holidays.
  • When launching a fairly unique/new product with little awareness in the Netherlands.
  • When it has no negative impact on your profit margin. Placing your products on bol.com is free, but you do pay a brokerage fee to bol.com and shipping costs, among other things. If you choose sponsored products, these costs will also be added. If this results in (extra) pressure on profit margins, then consider whether this is profitable for your company. It's a way to create familiarity/recognition and collect reviews, among other things. Please note that sponsored products do not guarantee sales. Customers can click on your sponsored product, but chances are they won't make a purchase. Your total cost per sale (CPS) is then higher. In that case, also look at your conversion rate and where the problem could lie.


Going into paid advertising can seem daunting especially when you are new. Even experience advertisers are interested in lowering their advertising costs while maintaining the amount of sales that they have. This is why we've introduced Madbot.ai. Madbot is Bol.com's first pay-per-click advertising tool that helps advertisers to: 

  • Lower their advertising costs
  • Increase profits
  • Automate daily optimization tasks
  • ... and many more

Madbot is designed to help both new and experienced sellers to take the wheels of their hands in regards to advertising on Bol.com so that you can focus on your business. Madbot features an AI which we dub as MAD Sense that helps with automated optimization of your ads every single day. What's great is that Madbot is free to start. Create your account today and experience how easy paid advertising is with an AI powered tool.

My Opinions

Give sponsored products a try and see what kind of impact they have on your products. You can start with a small budget and measure the results (the minimum starting budget is €250). You can also try it with a higher budget to see the differences. What works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another. I recommend testing first, getting a better feel for it, and mastering the system. Then try it again during peak periods like Sinterklaas and Christmas. Then review the results and draw conclusions.

Sponsored products can certainly deliver results, but I would first recommend applying free ways to increase visibility and sales. It seems difficult to create the best sales position on Bol.com, but by taking small steps each time, you can achieve a lot. We explain this in more detail in our book. And remember: you can spend a considerable amount on advertising, but if your product page on Bol.com is not designed to convert visitors into customers, you will not quickly see sales.

Sign up Sponsored Products

Before signing up to advertise your products on Bol.com, I highly recommend reading through their website on sponsored products. There you can see how their advertising dashboard works and check out their FAQ. If you're ready to sign up right away, click here .

Bol.com's sponsored products system is self-service, meaning they don't provide one-on-one support to help third-party sellers set up and improve their ad campaigns. However, they do offer helpful information to point you in the right direction.

In addition to sponsored products, Bol.com also offers other advertising options for external sellers like display ads, online magazines, and targeted mailings. You can find more info on those here .


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