How to Develop an Amazon Global Strategy
So you’ve become an online seller by establishing your business on Amazon. Great! Now it’s time to expand into the global marketplace. After all, there are a lot more customers around the world who are interested in what you have to sell, so you don’t have to settle for just doing business at home.
But before you set up those international listings, it’s important to develop an Amazon global strategy. In this way, you’ll have a game plan that will set you up for long-term success and greater profits.
From products to promotion, there’s quite a bit to think about. But if you take things step by step, before you know it you’ll be ready to tackle the international marketplace and take advantage of buying trends abroad.
- To develop an efficient and profitable Amazon global strategy:
- Determine which Amazon markets you want to enter.
- Choose products and pricing, order fulfilment, and promotional methods.
- Set up your OFX Online Seller account to bring profits home.
Amazon marketplaces around the worldThere are a total of 11 Amazon marketplaces located all over the world, ready and waiting when you decide to branch out internationally. This means that your business’ home base could be in Los Angeles, but your company could be operating in Asia too - and you’ll be leveraging all that hard work Amazon has already done in region to drive customer traffic. All you have to do is decide where you’d like to go next.
Amazon is coming soon to Australia but, in the meantime, you can set up shop in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, China, Japan, and India, all from the comfort of your home or office. In a few steps, you can establish a presence in on three continents. Sound good?
Fun fact: Amazon accounted for 43% of online retail sales in the United States in 2016!1
What products should you sell, and what markets should you sell them to?
When it comes to how to develop a global Amazon strategy, there’s some major questions to answer. After you choose the international marketplace(s) that you’d like to sell in, you have to figure out what products in your existing inventory would be considered appropriate for that new audience. And in addition to being attractive to customers, the products will also need to comply with the laws in that country, including product standard and safety laws. Ultimately, what sells well at home might not sell well abroad. Do some research, and consult with a tax and regulatory advisor so you’ll know about everything from import/export laws, taxes, and customs, to health, safety, and environmental regulations.
Fun fact: Popular Amazon product categories include books, home/kitchen, baby, jewellery, apparel, health/beauty, and electronics.1,2
How will you price and deliver your products internationally?Selling internationally will introduce you to additional costs that you need to factor into your pricing in order to safeguard profit margins.
In addition to customer service costs, consider international shipping costs, as well as the cost of return shipping, if you are going to be fulfilling the orders yourself rather than using Amazon FBA.
If you’re going to use Amazon FBA and FBA Export to make your life easier when it comes to housing your inventory, packing it, shipping it, and dealing with returns and customer service, you should factor in the shipping costs that are required to send your products to the right international fulfilment centres.
And no matter how you fulfil your orders, you need to consider how your money will convert when your international customers pay in their currency. Plus, you might have translation costs associated with posting your listings to foreign customers, and you might have to factor in the costs of taxes and duties.
How will you promote your products internationallyAmazon has given you, the online seller, a big opportunity when it comes to reaching a massive audience. But there’s a lot of noise that you need to cut through first.
To effectively compete, particularly on an international scale, consider promotional tactics like Sponsored Products. This Amazon feature lets you purchase targeted ads that boost visibility when people search for relevant keywords. The ads are displayed on product pages and the first page of search results, so it’s a lot like getting on the first page on Google searches. Who wouldn’t want that?
Other standard digital marketing tactics, such as purchasing online ads outside of Amazon, working with bloggers to promote your products, encouraging people to write reviews, and using social media to connect with customers, can also be effective when selling on Amazon.
Save money when you bring your profits homeBy the time you start making international sales, you’ve put in a lot of time and effort, so the last thing you want is to be hit with high margins and fees when it’s time to convert currencies and bring your money home.
By using OFX to repatriate your profits from an international Amazon marketplace, you can save up to 75% in fees and margins.* OFX will give you a local currency account to send your marketplace profits to so you can transfer them home at the best possible rate. Having worked so hard to grow your sales, maintaining their value on the way back to your home account and not wasting money on unnecessarily high margins and fees is absolutely key to a successful strategy.
Go and grow your e-commerce business!
By using the right strategy, combined with the Amazon brand, you can grow your online business at a steady pace and ensure long-term success on a global scale. If you want additional advice and tips on selling abroad and keeping your e-commerce business going strong, check out this Guide to Doing Business Overseas.
*Average savings based on published rates of ANZ, Westpac, NAB and CBA on a single transfer of AUD$10,000 to USD between 21.2.17 and 2.3.17. Transaction costs excluded. Quoted savings are not indicative of future savings.