Once you’ve established yourself in your home market, it may be time to start thinking about selling internationally on Amazon. Otherwise, you’re potentially limiting your customer base and revenue, both of which are big deals in a crowded and competitive marketplace. Expanding your business globally with Amazon allows you to enter a new market very quickly and immediately have access to even more customers on a platform that people trust.
Amazon currently has 19 marketplaces across the globe, and their barrier to entry — Brexit notwithstanding — has arguably never been lower. That being said, there’s still plenty of work to be done and you have to do things right. Here are four helpful tips for becoming a successful international seller.
Take Advantage of Amazon FBA
The majority of international sellers will choose fulfillment by Amazon because of its widespread convenience and cost savings. Amazon has two great options for selling internationally with FBA:
- Amazon Global Selling allows you to list and sell products in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Japan, and the Middle East. You’ll ship your products to fulfillment centers in the countries you want to list in and Amazon will handle the orders from there. You’ll have access to many specialized tools and services to facilitate international selling. Another main benefit is your ability to set up a North America Unified (US, Canada, and Mexico) or European Marketplaces (Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands) account to list products and manage orders in multiple marketplaces instead of creating a new seller account for each one.
- The FBA Export program is part of Amazon Global Selling and most sellers are automatically enrolled by default. In this case, you list your FBA products on Amazon.com (or your own website) and Amazon will export orders to customers in more than 100 countries around the world. Products must meet eligibility requirements and import/export restrictions, which vary by country. You can exclude some products or countries, or even exclude specific products from certain countries.
Manage Your Inventory Wisely
When you begin selling internationally on Amazon, you must be proactive now more than ever before in managing your inventory. It can quickly become a logistics nightmare if you let it.
Having a smart inventory management system like eComEngine’s RestockPro in place will prove to be invaluable, affording you with more accurate forecasting and restocking suggestions — no more guesswork or costly mistakes. RestockPro currently supports 10 international Amazon marketplaces and makes it easy to manage FBA inventory in multiple countries, especially in Europe where Amazon fulfillment functions a bit differently.
Speaking of Amazon Europe, if you’re considering selling here, you need to understand how Brexit has affected how Amazon sellers do business. As of January 1, 2021, a customs border has been enacted between the UK and the EU, so it’s now recommended that you split your inventory and send it to a fulfillment center in the UK and in the EU if you wish to sell in both places. You’ll definitely need to do your homework on new customs and shipping regulations, VAT laws, and trademark restrictions, just to name a few of the many changes now in effect.
Localize Your Listings
When it comes to writing content that converts, Amazon SEO must be top of mind. Adding relevant keywords to your copy optimizes your product for search and brings more traffic to your listing. But if you’re selling internationally, you have another step to take before going live: listing translation. Keywords don’t always translate well, and some languages describe things differently than in English. If you don’t properly translate your listings, you run the (very high) risk of missing major keywords and having key information not be understandable. You may even inadvertently include words that are offensive to some cultures.
This not only creates the need for professional language translation, but also for language localization. Context is everything, and a shopper should be able to understand the entire body of text — not just a few words — and use it to make an informed purchasing decision. Because if your copy confuses people instead of compelling them to buy, you won’t see the results you’re aiming for.
Machine-based translations simply aren’t cut out for this, so you’ll want to find a native translator who understands the marketplace and its shoppers.
Get Feedback and Reviews
Getting more seller feedback and product reviews is crucial for selling in any country. But unfortunately, feedback and reviews don’t carry over between different marketplaces, not even for a unified account. It intrinsically makes sense — your product and seller reputation may vary from country to country and this is a way to reflect that — but it can be frustrating for sellers to have to basically start from scratch for each new marketplace that they enter.
Amazon does show shoppers top reviews from other countries, but you should prioritize getting local reviews first because most buyers will want to see reviews from their own country.
To become an international 5-star seller, you need to request feedback and reviews in every marketplace that you sell in. eComEngine’s FeedbackFive software can streamline and simplify this process for you by automating requests through Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messaging or Request a Review system. The tool is available in 17 Amazon marketplaces and is used by thousands of sellers worldwide, sending out over 1 million emails every single day.
But just like with your listing content, your requests should also be in the buyer’s language of preference. FeedbackFive gives you access to professionally translated default email templates in each country’s language. Note that Request a Review messages are automatically translated into the buyer’s chosen language.
Selling Internationally on Amazon: A Global Opportunity for Growth
Selling internationally on Amazon is a great way to scale your business and not just grow your sales, but diversify them too. As sales drop off seasonally in one market, enter another where the product is in high demand. With the right amount of planning, you’ll be able to keep your products moving all year long. Good luck!
Ellen Sipp-Paris is a Marketing Content Specialist at eComEngine. Her goal is to help educate Amazon sellers so they feel more confident in what can be a complicated marketplace. When she’s not writing, she enjoys taking nature walks, reading, and going to concerts.
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