Think Locally, Sell Globally – A Guide for International Selling on Amazon
Are you a seller on Amazon who wants to venture into the international arena? Are you looking for ways to sell your products internationally? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you have come to the right article!
Selling internationally on Amazon is great for any business, but it is extremely essential to know about it in detail.
Think Locally, Sell Globally! Let’s jump right into understanding the nuances of selling globally.
How Different is International Selling from Domestic Selling?
First things first, there are numerous options to expand the selling of your products globally on Amazon. In fact, as a destination for international selling, Amazon is full of opportunities, but one also needs to know the basic risks associated with it.
It is imperative to know some of the basics before getting started selling globally.
Understand the differences in International Selling
Selling globally is quite different from selling domestically. This is because every country has specific rules and norms that differ from each other. Each international market is special in this respect.
From customer support to website language, from product demand to buyer habits, everything can change according to the country. It would be best if you started your venture of selling internationally by first understanding these preferences.
Amazon operates in 14-15 global sites, each nation having its unique differences and names. For example, in Europe, in the UK, Amazon uses the domain name of Amazon.co.uk. In France, it is Amazon.fr and so on.
Use Amazon Brand for Your Usefulness
Since Amazon is already a well-known brand all across the globe, there is no need to invest your time and efforts in creating brand recognition. You don’t need to advertise or promote your product in the new region where you have decided to start selling. Amazon already does that for you!
Amazon also eases your operations department for the selling of your product. The retailers of every country will help and support in the selling of your product. For example, Amazon’s European Fulfillment Network (EFN) is a powerful way to reach customers across Europe. From package picking to packing to shipping it across Europe, everything will be looked after by EFN.
Every Country Must be Handled Individually
Although almost every country has similar guidelines for products to be sold internationally, it is important that every country must be handled individually. That means sellers must be tackling the issues pertaining to the selling of their products in one country at a time.
Certain steps can be helpful in this regard.
- Analyze the market and see whether the product you are selling is appropriate for that market. Consider looking into the stats of competitive brands selling similar products and how well their results are in this market.
- Next, look at the language differences and find out how it can affect the sales, operations, and marketing of your product. Is there a need to employ staff who can speak that language? Is there any need to consider repackaging your product? Try to answer and analyze all these questions beforehand.
- Finally, as the last step, it is imperative to understand the legal, business, and financial requirements of the country you are interested in selling the product. There may be different sets of rules in different countries, and those must be met before starting the operations.
Expanding your business internationally is, no doubt, an exciting opportunity. But there will be new sets of challenges lurking in the new country. Though Amazon definitely makes the procedure much easier, as a seller, it is imperative on your part to look at these things.
For your convenience, below, we have compiled some of the common challenges that sellers usually run into while expanding to other markets.
Prices Should be Adjusted Accordingly
Certain points must be kept in mind while deciding a price for your product.
- Calculate the price by first calculating the additional charges such as taxes, duties, and customs fees.
- Try to fix a price that makes your product profitable, as well as does not put the entire additional cost over to the buyer.
- Conduct proper market research of competitive brands before finalizing the product price.
Pay Attention to the Reviews
One common mistake that sellers overlook is that they think the existing reviews carry over to the different marketplace. This is not so. If there are already existing reviews of your product, they won’t be carried forward to the new international marketplace. Regardless of the review history, you will be starting with no reviews of your product.
That being said, there is a section at the bottom of the detail page that does highlight reviews from other marketplaces. Though it is not that prominent section, it does help in giving customers some reference point before actually buying the product. It also provides Amazon with evaluating the product for daily deal approvals.
Compliance and Legal Issues
Compliance and legal issues do vary from place to place. Some pertinent questions to look into can be to look into privacy and security systems, labeling or packaging requirements, particular government regulations to look into, etc.
Shipping and Customer Services Issues
Shipping problems and guidelines must be properly checked beforehand. How to control the shipping costs, what to add in the boxes that are to be shipped, any rules in terms of shipping that needs to be adhered to, are some of the pointers that must be given adequate attention.
In terms of customer services, there may be a problem in adhering to the time zones globally. The language may also create a barrier. In such a situation, sellers might need to employ customer service agents speaking the same language and those who can work according to the country’s time zone where you want to sell.
What Do You Mean By Amazon Global Selling?
Amazon Global Selling refers to an e-commerce export program that enables sellers to sell internationally, for example, from India to European countries, without actually going there. As a seller, if you sign up for selling globally, you can get access to millions of Amazon’s customers who are sitting globally across 200+ countries. This happens through the 15 Amazon International Marketplaces that are situated in various areas across the globe.
- Americas ( US, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil)
- Asia Pacific (Japan, Singapore, and Australia)
- Europe ( Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, and the UK)
- Middle East (UAE and Turkey)
Amazon Global Selling is a great option for e-commerce businesses to boost their customer base and increase their sellings by making their product sell globally. When a buyer purchases a product from Amazon’s Global store, they do it from the Amazon account of their own country. The Amazon Global store then simplifies the shopping experience of the buyer internationally. It converts the prices accordingly, manages the shipping options, etc.
Some Advantages and Disadvantages of Amazon Global Selling
Before looking at how actually to sell your product internationally, let us look into some of the advantages and disadvantages of Amazon Global Selling.
Advantages of Amazon Global Selling
- Increase in the number of sales
- A much larger customer base: Hands down, this is one of the prominent advantages of selling your product internationally. Your product will be able to penetrate into a larger customer base due to Amazon Global Selling.
- Amazon assistance: By using Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA), Amazon simplifies the entire experience of international selling.
- Opportunity to be a trusted brand internationally.
Disadvantages of Amazon Global Selling
- Marketing and operations will differ: There are various challenges that, as a seller, you may encounter while marketing your product in different countries. You might need to understand and adapt to the marketing differences of the countries where you want to sell.
- More competition
- Challenge for existing reviews: This is one of the challenges as the existing reviews won’t appear in case you start selling your product internationally. You have to start afresh, and for the likelihood of purchase, you must have reviews of the product.
- Language barriers, customer service complications, and challenges in pricing strategy
4 Steps to Selling on Amazon Internationally
Selling on Amazon is not that difficult; it does come with its own challenges that we just talked about, but nonetheless, anyone can start selling on Amazon internationally. Following are four easy steps that you can follow for selling your product online internationally.
Step 1: Decide What You Want to Sell and Where?
First things first, decide on what you want to sell. Along with that, take the decision on where exactly you want to sell your product. This is imperative because by selecting the appropriate place to sell, you will need to choose the Amazon marketplace as well.
Certain questions might be suitable to ask while deciding what and where to sell.
- Are you focusing on selling one product or several products? As an advice, always start with the best-selling product and see whether it is already being sold in that area or not.
- Will the products be accepted for international shipping? Since shipping regulations differ from country to country, it is important to check those and see whether the product you decided is acceptable for shipping or not.
- Do the market and culture gel well with the product? It is always suggested to look into the culture and market of the country or area where you want to sell the product. The selling of your product is directly proportional to it.
- Is your product compatible with the country? See whether your product satisfies all legal and political regulations of that country. See whether your product is even used or popular in that country.
Pro Tip: The key focus of this step is to research as much as possible, analyze the logistics part, and then choose a product that can actually boost your sales.
Step 2: Register And List Your Products
Before you start listing your products on Amazon, you need to take care of several things.
- Set up an Amazon account for the marketplaces where you want to sell the product.
- Make sure you have all the valid documents needed for registration. These documents may differ from country to country.
- Set up your payment information.
Once these things are done, you will be successfully able to start listing the products for selling in the new marketplace. All the things you need for Amazon listing will be required here, such as product title, product description, product images, keywords, ISBN number, etc.
Step 3: Select The Apt Fulfillment Method
For shipping and packaging order, there are two options that you may avail of- fulfillment on your own or Fulfillment By Amazon.
In case you choose fulfillment on your own, you will be solely responsible for preparing the order and then shipping them via a carrier that ships internationally. You will be responsible for any delays in shipping and for paying the taxes.
However, if you use , everything will be done by Amazon agents. This will ensure better shipping time leading to your product becoming more competitive.
Step 4: Managing The International Business
After all the steps mentioned above, you will start selling internationally. But now you need to ensure that the products are being delivered timely and whether or not it is positively taken or not. You need to ensure customer satisfaction.
Again if done by FBA, Amazon will provide 24-hour customer support that you can use for handling your product review from the customers. In fact, FBA will assist you in your local language, so you don’t need to worry.
Now that you know the four easy ways to get started on selling internationally on Amazon, it’s imperative to understand few of the regulations associated with each country.
Country Specific Rules and Regulations for International Selling on Amazon
In Europe, according to the rules of the European Union, you need to register for the consumer spending tax or VAT. However, Amazon will help in connecting you with the right person for managing VAT requirements. There are also Seller Identity Verifications being done in the EU once you start selling your products there. These are all part of the EU regulatory requirements.
In Japan, everything revolves around the Japanese local laws. Certain products are subjected to customs duties. Any taxes imposed on the product order and shipment has to be borne by the sellers. There is also a need to maintain a local business address in Japan for customer returns, and it is also required for Fulfillment By Amazon.
By signing up for selling in the UK, you also get access to all the European marketplaces. However, you will require a UK based credit card and billing address and also a Transferwise account for switching between currencies.
For selling in Canada, you need to get your products listed on Amazon.ca. In Canada, you also need to cover the duties and shipping costs being charged. However, Fulfillment By Amazon can help and support here by making your profits more reliable and scalable. Also, in Canada, you don’t need a bank account; you can use the Amazon Currency Converter for Sellers and receive the payments.
In India, the competitive level is much more as there are numerous merchants. You also need to get aligned with the tax system that follows a GST (Goods and Services Tax) system. You also must ensure that you are registered with the central seller portal of Amazon.
In Mexico, you would want to first create good infrastructure for handling customer complaints, shipping, and avoiding shipment delays. This is because customers from this region report these complaints a lot of time.
In Australia, after registering with Amazon Services, you need to pay numerous fees. There are monthly subscription fees, per sale referral fees, and some products may have other charges. However, there is also a refund administration fee that you can use while processing a refund.
So, your dream of selling local products globally is not so difficult to implement. Just follow all the pointers as mentioned earlier, and you are good to go! Legal procedure and regulations are subjected to change according to the country’s regulations. It is always a good point to check those details before selling your product in any country.