The global e-commerce landscape is experiencing a seismic shift, and Amazon stands at the forefront of this digital revolution. The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled online shopping to unprecedented heights, introducing millions of new customers to Amazon. For businesses, this surge in global traffic presents a remarkable opportunity to expand into international markets through Amazon's extensive network. This guide will take you on a comprehensive journey through Amazon Global Selling, helping you navigate the intricacies of global expansion.
Understanding Amazon Global Selling
Amazon Global Selling is a dynamic program that empowers sellers of all sizes to harness the immense potential of Amazon's international reach. With over 150 million paid Prime members and 300 million active customer accounts across the globe, Amazon offers a truly global stage for your products. But stepping onto this stage requires careful planning and execution.
Benefits of Amazon Global Selling
Expanding your business internationally on Amazon comes with numerous advantages:
- Wider Customer Base: Access a broader range of customers from different corners of the world, expanding your market reach.
- FBA Advantage: Amazon's Fulfilment by Amazon simplifies customer service and international shipping, allowing you to focus on growing your business.
- Reduced Branding Costs: Already established on your home marketplace? Amazon makes global expansion cost-effective, reducing the need for extensive brand building.
- Increased Sales During Festivals: Leverage international festivities like Christmas, Cyber Monday, and Black Friday to boost your sales.
- Earn in Multiple Currencies: Amazon facilitates secure currency conversions and ensures timely payments in euros, dollars, rupees, pounds, and more.
Selecting Your Marketplaces
The first crucial decision is choosing the right Amazon global marketplace(s) for your brand. As of 2021, Amazon offers 17 different marketplaces worldwide, spanning the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. Each marketplace presents unique opportunities and challenges. Opting for an established marketplace provides access to a vast client base but also means fierce competition. Conversely, newly launched marketplaces offer less traffic but allow you to establish your brand with minimal competition and lower advertising costs.
Expanding Your Reach: Where You Can Sell with Amazon
Amazon is not just a local e-commerce giant; it's a global powerhouse with a presence in 16 online stores around the world. This expansive network allows businesses to broaden their horizons and tap into international markets regardless of their physical location. Selling with Amazon opens the door to millions of potential customers across various Amazon marketplaces. Let's take a closer look at where you can sell with Amazon.
- co.uk: The United Kingdom
- de: Germany
- fr: France
- it: Italy
- es: Spain
- nl: Netherlands
- co.jp: Japan
- in: India
- com.au: Australia
- sg: Singapore
- ae: United Arab Emirates
- com.tr: Turkey
- com: United States
- ca: Canada
- com.mx: Mexico
- com.br: Brazil
These Amazon marketplaces represent some of the largest e-commerce opportunities globally. When you register to sell on any of these platforms, you instantly gain access to customers who are familiar with and trust the Amazon shopping experience. Expanding your sales to multiple Amazon marketplaces allows you to leverage the Amazon brand, sparing you the upfront costs and challenges of establishing name recognition in a new sales environment.
In essence, Amazon empowers businesses to go beyond borders and reach a global audience, making it easier than ever to take your brand and products to customers worldwide.
Registering a Seller Account
Selling globally on Amazon necessitates the creation of an Amazon Seller Central account. If you're an existing seller, you might need to create separate accounts for each marketplace. However, if you're in North America or Europe, a unified account can grant access to multiple countries without extra setup fees. Key registration details include your business name, credit card number, phone number, email address, bank account information, and tax details.
Choose your fulfilment strategy wisely. You can either fulfil orders yourself or opt for Amazon's Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) service. Handling fulfilment in-house entails shipping, customer service, and navigating customs. FBA, on the other hand, streamlines the process, reducing shipping times, ensuring Prime eligibility, and placing customer support in the local language.
When it comes to fulfilling orders on Amazon, sellers have two primary options to consider: Importer of Record (IOR) and Non-Resident Importer. Each option carries its own set of responsibilities and requirements.
Importer of Record (IOR)
An IOR is a critical role if you plan to sell in Europe and Japan. This entity takes on the responsibility of handling import duties, taxes, and ensuring that your imported goods comply with local laws. It's essential to have a designated IOR in Europe and Japan. Notably, Amazon and its fulfilment canters cannot serve as the IOR for shipments of FBA inventory.
For sellers without a presence or entity in Europe and Japan to serve as the Importer of Record, appointing an Attorney for Customs Procedures (ACP) becomes necessary. An ACP handles the payment of duties and taxes on your behalf. However, it's crucial to understand that an ACP doesn't assume all the responsibilities of an importer. Compliance with local laws and regulations remains your responsibility.
Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)
FBA simplifies the fulfilment process significantly. Here's how it works: your products are stored in Amazon's fulfilment canters, and Amazon takes care of the entire fulfilment process, including picking, packing, shipping, and customer service.
In Europe, FBA offers three international fulfilment programs:
- Pan-European FBA: This program optimizes your inventory placement across Europe.
- European Fulfilment Network: It allows you to leverage Amazon's network for fast and efficient delivery.
- Multi-Country Inventory: This program helps you manage inventory across multiple European countries.
When creating product listings, you have the flexibility to choose your preferred fulfilment method.
It's worth noting that if you decide to expand your business and reach customers in Japan, FBA can be a valuable ally. However, it's essential to provide customer service in fluent Japanese to meet local expectations.
In the case of seller fulfilled orders, you take charge of the entire fulfilment process. This includes selecting shipping solutions for delivering products to customers and providing customer service. Additionally, you must ensure that you can communicate effectively in the official local language of the target marketplace.
In summary, selecting the right fulfilment option depends on your business goals, presence in different regions, and your willingness to take on responsibilities such as import duties, taxes, and compliance with local regulations. Each option has its advantages, and it's crucial to align your choice with your expansion strategy on Amazon's global platform.
Currency, Fees, Taxes, and Languages
- Currency and Fees: Different nations use various currencies. Amazon's Currency Converter for Sellers (ACCS) is a useful tool for international transactions. While Amazon charges a 4% fee, you can save on this by setting up a local bank account in the countries you sell in.
- Taxes: Tax regulations vary by country, making thorough research essential. Consider seeking expert advice to navigate this complex landscape.
- Languages: Operating in the local language is crucial for success. Amazon's Seller Central Language Switcher allows you to manage operations in English across all Amazon marketplaces, facilitating quick adaptation to international markets.
Listing Your Products
Prepare to list your products individually for each marketplace. This includes providing product images, IDs, search terms, titles, descriptions, and bullet points. Listings must be adapted to suit the local audience, so translation and keyword optimization are often necessary.
Achieving retail readiness is a priority. Invest in a robust marketing plan that optimizes content, incorporates keywords, sets up Prime shipping, generates marketplace-specific reviews, and adheres to local regulations.