Dip Your Toes In The International Market With Amazon Global
Amazon helped bring e-commerce into the mainstream. The marketplace giant lowered the entry barriers for e-commerce and gave sellers easy access to customers looking for the perfect product. With AmazonGlobal, they did the same for international commerce.
As an ambitious Amazon seller, you are always on the lookout for new opportunities to sell more products and increase your reach. Amazon offers the perfect way to experience global selling without sinking hours into market research. Instead of navigating complex markets alone, use their platform to test the market’s potential.
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Why You Should Try Amazon Global
This is your chance to tap into a global marketplace without a huge investment on your part. Selling globally is a smart move. More customers means more profit. You’ll gain access to Canada, Mexico, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan and China. This is a great opportunity to test those markets in a relatively risk free way. Dip your toes and see whether selling these is worth exploring through other channels.
Use FBA and let them do the heavy lifting. They can provide local language customer support and handle the shipping once your items have been delivered to a fulfillment warehouse. This will save you a considerable amount of money and frustration when you are just starting out.
Optimizing For Global Marketplaces
Selling internationally means sending orders overseas. If you use FBA this means using Amazon’s local warehouses. Amazon has a standardized process designed to make it easier on you. The best approach really depends on the country you want to ship to, so make sure you check the best FBA practices before you ship. It’s also a good idea to consult with a freight forwarder and get their advice on the process and importing requirements. These will different from market to market and it’s best to be prepared.
Then, there’s the linguistic difference. The easiest international markets for US sellers to break into are Canada and the UK. We share the same language so creating and optimizing listings follows the same general process. But, if you want to tap into other lucrative Amazon marketplaces like Germany or Brazil, you need to optimize your listings for their customers.
The key is to use the same listings optimization process you use in the US. Research your keywords. Build out customer profiles. Understand how customers search for products. This may mean hiring a translator and a copywriter so that you can create appealing, effective listings. Just like you won’t trust an Amazon listing written in broken English, an amazon.de buyer wouldn’t trust one written in bad German. Always build every listing with your customer in mind.
Choose Your Market
When it comes to FBA infrastructure the EU zone leads the pack. Europe offers five custom marketplaces and access to 300 million customers. The European market has other obvious advantages. If you hold your inventory in an EU FBA facility, you can leverage one inventory pool for all marketplaces as long as the SKU/ASIN is the same.
Japan is a close second and a particularly intriguing opportunity for sellers with a strong product and positioning. The marketplace is competitive but the upside is considerable. Do your research and find the market that will bring you the greatest ROI.
Keeping track of several different markets can be tough.To make it easier, link your seller accounts. That way the Sell Globally page will show your worldwide sales and you can manage all your accounts from the same dashboard. This makes tracking and data analysis that much easier, saves time and can increase your productivity.
Getting Your Legal House In Order
Now for the downside of international selling… You have to deal with compliance laws, taxes and so much more fun.
When it comes to taxes, your best bet is to consult a tax advisor. They’ll be able to help you work out a custom plan based on your products and your business model. This is one thing you shouldn’t skimp out on. Dealing with VAT and complex tax differences on your own is more trouble than it’s worth.
If you are selling food products internationally and are curious about sales tax compliance law, consult a compliance firm. They will let you know what the best course of action is. Food products come with another challenge. Expiry dates. FBA allows perishable food and beverages as long as the items have a minimum remaining shelf life of 105 days at the time they arrive at the fulfillment center. This is an important point to consider when sending your orders. Amazon will dispose of any items within 45 days of expiry without reimbursing you. A pro tip. Change your date format to spell out the month to avoid any confusion between the different date styles.
Some other things to consider:
- Local presence: Using FBA means you don’t need to have a local presence. No output costs means more profit and less risk
- Brand registration: Make sure you jump through the right legal hoops. The manufacturer is responsible for pursuing brand registration and obtaining an international trademark.
Amazon Global Is A Launching Pad
We’ve written a lot of words on the various reasons you should diversify as a seller. Hitching your product cart to the same horse every time just isn’t a good idea. Things go wrong. You may get your account suspended. Prices can bottom out. Competition in your target market can knock you out of the runnings. If that happens and you solely rely on Amazon for your income, things will not be pretty. It’s diversify or die.
AmazonGlobal is an excellent way to explore international markets without going all in. Use it to grow and expand.
Chad Rubin is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Skubana, a multichannel e-commerce software the enables brands to unlock growth by unifying their back-office operations.