E-Commerce Beyond Borders: Winning in the Amazon Arena

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E-Commerce Beyond Borders: Winning in the Amazon Arena, Stef van Boekel, Director of Business Development at Operator One - eCom Ops Podcast

Discover the secrets of scaling across borders, winning customer hearts with localized experiences, and turning logistics into a love story with your clientele with Stef van Boekel, Director of Business Development at Operator One. Whether it’s navigating European marketplaces or revolutionizing review strategies, this is your blueprint to e-commerce excellence. Get ready for a masterclass that turns market challenges into global triumphs. Tune in and transform your e-commerce playbook!


Stef van Boekel is a maestro of market expansion and platform optimization with a decade-long journey through the evolving landscape of international e-commerce. Since 2011, he has been at the forefront of crafting growth-proof strategies, ensuring a harmonious balance between people, procedures, and systems.

His expertise spans channel development in Europe and North America, cultivating strategic partnerships that pave the way for scalable and cost-effective growth into new territories. Stef’s hands-on approach is marked by monthly travels across Europe from his base in picturesque Lucca, Tuscany, orchestrating seamless collaborations with clients, suppliers, and partners and maintaining a close connection with his team back in the Netherlands.

Operator One strides boldly into the e-commerce arena as a seasoned European Amazon Operator and Accelerator dedicated to elevating winning brands. With over ten years of specialized experience in European and American e-commerce, they don’t just operate your European Amazon sales channel – they transform it into your most significant international success.

The Key Takeaways

Expanding Horizons with Operator One

  • Pioneering cross-border sales: Stef’s 13 years of e-commerce expertise are focused on breaking down European barriers, allowing brands to flourish in diverse markets.
  • Infrastructure blueprint for success: Discover how to craft a comprehensive, bespoke operational framework, empowering brands to sell across borders seamlessly and instantly.

A New Era of Business Without Borders

  • Embracing a global marketplace: Learn about the evolution from local competitors to a staggering 740 million entrepreneurs vying on the universal stage.
  • From strategy to success: Stef discusses the transformative shift in mindset required for organizations to thrive in an increasingly interconnected e-commerce environment.

The Art of Going Global

  • Analytical precision: Uncover why market research and a calculated approach trump geographical convenience when choosing new markets.
  • Blueprint to launch: Stef outlines the critical operational and legal preparations necessary for a successful entry into international markets.

E-commerce Without Borders: More Than a Possibility

  • The massive UMP market: The dominance of marketplaces like Amazon in product searches and the importance of focus shift towards viewing these platforms as search engines for buyers.
  • A world of untapped markets: With only 2% of companies going cross-border, Stef highlights the incredible scope for growth and the competitive edge it can offer.

Local Presence as a Growth Lever in E-commerce

  • Understanding the Importance of Localization: Norbert explores the advantage of having a physical presence and localized operations in foreign markets to enhance customer experience and trust, particularly the benefits of next-day delivery and local customer service.
  • Local Experience for Customer Loyalty: Providing a local experience, including fast shipping and local language support, can significantly impact customer loyalty and outweigh the appeal of lower prices in other marketplaces.

Maximizing E-commerce Sales Through Customer Experience

  • Positive Reviews as a Sales Catalyst: The pivotal role of positive reviews in e-commerce success and the importance of operational excellence in fostering customer satisfaction that leads to high product ratings.
  • Competitive Strategy Beyond Pricing: Competing on price is unsustainable, and delivering superior customer experiences and garnering positive reviews should be the focus for long-term success.

The E-commerce Review Economy

  • Encouraging Customer Reviews: Strategies for encouraging customer feedback and the importance of reviews in e-commerce are examined, highlighting how they influence buyer decisions and product visibility.
  • Adapting to Customer Feedback: Stef advises using customer feedback to continuously improve product descriptions and FAQs, emphasizing that businesses must adapt based on customer experiences to thrive.

A Day in the Life of an Amazon Accelerator

  • Operational and Sales Symbiosis: The roles and responsibilities within Amazon operation teams, detailing the balance between ensuring product availability and pushing for sales growth.
  • Internal Dynamics and Growth Focus: Stef describes the healthy tension between commercial aspirations and operational realities, suggesting that internal debates can fuel better performance and growth.

Preparation for International E-commerce Expansion

  • Understanding Market and Margins: Before entering new international markets, it is essential to understand local market dynamics, legal considerations, and precise margin calculations to ensure sustainable business practices.

Personal Growth and E-commerce Expertise

  • Learning from Mistakes: In a candid moment, Stef credits his own experiences and mistakes as his greatest teacher, encouraging a mindset of continuous learning and improvement through trial and error.

The No.1 eCom Operations hack

“Start first figuring out where there is room for your products and where you actually also have the margins to run the business, and then you calculate back okay in which country I should launch first. So, you basically calculate back what should be your roadmap.”

eCom Ops Podcast, Stef van Boekel, Quote - Cheapest price is not a strategy. You will lose because there's always somebody with a bigger pocket.

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