How to Sell Internationally with Amazon Global Selling
Article by: Orca Pacific
The pandemic has accelerated the inevitable rise of online shopping around the world. Record numbers of shoppers worldwide are turning to Amazon for the very first time to fulfill their everyday buying needs. In response, brands of all categories and sizes have recognized the surge of global traffic as an opportunity to utilize Amazon’s vast network to expand into new international markets throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Amazon’s Global Selling program makes global expansion possible for many brands who otherwise wouldn’t have access to international markets. Below, we’ll explore what Amazon’s Global Selling program is and how to get started.
What is Amazon Global Selling?
Amazon’s Global Selling program is designed to help sellers leverage Amazon’s platform and fulfillment network to reach millions of buyers around the world.
“With over 150 million paid Prime members globally and over 300 million active customer accounts worldwide, you can leverage Amazon’s global scale using Amazon’s state-of-the-art international logistics capabilities.” – Amazon
How to Sell Internationally on Amazon
While Amazon’s network makes international selling easier, it’s not as simple as just listing your products in another market. Brands who decide to go global should expect to spend time handling taxes, shipping restrictions, customs, product regulations, language barriers, among other potential roadblocks. By following the below steps, you can handle each of these factors without major setbacks.
1. Determine Your Marketplace(s)
Start by selecting the right Amazon global marketplace(s) for your brand. As of 2021, there are 17 different sites globally:
- US: Amazon.com
- Canada: Amazon.ca
- Mexico: Amazon.com.mx
- Brazil: Amazon.com.br
- Germany: Amazon.de
- France: Amazon.fr
- Italy: Amazon.it
- Spain: Amazon.es
- Netherlands: Amazon.nl
- United Kingdom: Amazon.co.uk
- Turkey: Amazon.com.tr
- Saudi Arabia: Amazon.sa
- UAE: Amazon.ae
- Indonesia: Amazon.in
- Australia: Amazon.com.au
- Singapore: Amazon.sg
- Japan: Amazon.co.jp
Some of these marketplaces are newly launched while others are well established, and each has its benefits and challenges. Opting for a well-established marketplace allows you to access a vast client base while posing cut-throat competition at the same time.
On the other hand, a newly launched marketplace has low site visitors but little competition, allowing you to establish your brand on Amazon and build your momentum while advertising cost is low.
2. Register a Seller Account
Selling on Amazon requires you to open an Amazon Seller Central account, regardless of which marketplace you choose to operate in. For those who already have a seller account, an entirely new account must be created for each marketplace you want to operate in.
However, sellers who already have an account in North America or Europe have access to unified account features, meaning they can gain access to other countries in their region through a single account and without any additional setup fees.
For instance, a unified seller account in the United Kingdom will allow you to access German, French, and Italian marketplaces without incurring extra expenses.
Listings do not automatically populate in these marketplaces just because a seller has a unified account, but they have immediate access to setup listings in those marketplaces.
Below are some of the details you will need to complete the registration process once you choose how to register.
- Business name
- Credit card number
- Phone number and email address
- Bank account information
- Tax information
3. Choose Your Fulfillment Channel
There are two main ways to approach international product fulfillment. The first is to fulfill the orders on your own. That means you are responsible for shipping from end to end and must provide customer service in the official local language of the target marketplace.
This approach can lead to several challenges, and the cost of hiring a carrier that can ship internationally in addition to duties and customs can eat into your profits. There may also be an endless trail of returns and refunds, and dealing with these issues in international marketplaces is a daunting task.
You can avoid all that by choosing Fulfilled-by-Amazon (FBA) as your fulfillment channel. Enrolling in FBA will reduce your shipping time, ensure your products are eligible for Amazon Prime, and all returns and customer support in the local language will be Amazon’s responsibility.
With Amazon FBA, your products are stored in fulfillment centers, and Amazon picks, packs, ships, and provides customer service. But is Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) worth it?
4. Currency, Fees, Taxes, and Languages
Currency and Fees:
Since various nations use different currencies, opting for Amazon’s Currency Converter for Sellers (ACCS) is advisable when selling internationally through Amazon. That way, you will receive payments from international buyers in their local currency, but the deposit into your account will be in the currency you use.
Amazon will charge a 4% fee, but sellers can save on that fee by setting up a bank account in the respective countries where they sell.
Taxes will also come into play in global business transactions, and they differ from one country to another. For that reason, you need to conduct in-depth research on the taxes you will incur in the countries you sell, and hiring an expert to handle such a responsibility is a wise idea.
When you scale your business into a new Amazon marketplace, something you should consider is how effectively you can operate in the local language. Local language proficiency is necessary for performing country-specific research and positioning your products accordingly with better titles, descriptions, etc.
Amazon’s Seller Central Language Switcher allows brands to manage their operations in all of these Amazon marketplaces in English, enabling you to quickly get up to speed on your international business by providing you a familiar interface you can quickly learn to use.
5. List Your Products
When listing products on Amazon, you need to keep the following information handy.
- Product images
- Product ID
- Search terms
- Product title
- Product description
- Bullet points
There is no room for bulk listing across all marketplaces, which means that listing your products automatically is not an option. Translating your listing into the local language may also be necessary, and using Google Translate is not the solution here. Adding marketplace relevant local keywords is also necessary for organic ranking.
6. Get Your Products Retail Ready
A robust marketing plan will help ensure a successful launch of your products regardless of the marketplace. The priority as you start should be becoming retail-ready. This includes optimizing your content, incorporating the proper keywords in your listings, setting up your Prime shipping offer, generating reviews, and more.
Note: Reviews are specific to the marketplace where you sell, and they will not carry over.
The Amazon Global Selling program presents a world of opportunities. It can also become a major headache if not done properly. Planning out your expansion step by step and fully estimating the costs of fees, taxes, fulfillment, customer service, language translation, can make the difference between a successful expansion and an expensive mistake. The experts at Orca Pacific can help walk you through this process and ensure that scaling your business to other countries results in positive gains for your business.