As an Amazon seller, you are likely to be comfortable selling on the UK platform. You get to piggyback off their excellent reputation which brings a steady stream of customers to your store, you’ve got the advantages of Amazon’s fulfilment service (FBA), and you’ve been able to build a great business this way utilising their systems.
It’s also likely that you will have considered scaling up your Amazon business at some time or another but may have got cold feet when it came to expanding beyond the UK. This is perfectly normal.
After all, there are so many things to think about; taxes, language barriers, payment options, currency issues, fulfilment; it’s all a bit intimidating and confusing to get your head around, making it far easier to stay within your comfort zone.
But, by sticking with what you already know, you run the risk of missing out on a huge opportunity to maximise your presence using the Amazon platform and the massive reach that comes with that shouldn’t be ignored.
The Benefits of Selling Internationally
It goes without saying that expanding the reach of your Amazon business will be beneficial.
1. You’ll Reach More Customers
This is a pretty obvious benefit! Currently, with just one unified Amazon account, you can reach millions of customers across the whole of Europe via Amazon’s five EU marketplaces, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. There is just one caveat, and that is your Amazon listings must be in the language of the country you are selling to, so you’ll need to get them professionally translated unless you are fluent!
2. You Can Enter a New Market Quickly
Introducing your brand to a new audience can be tricky, so imagine introducing your brand to an entirely new country! By selling on Amazon internationally, you can enter a new market super quick, and effortlessly build trust based on Amazon’s brand rather than your own.
3. You’ll Have No Upfront Costs to Pay for Expansion
By leveraging the Amazon brand, you won’t need to factor in any costs to expand your business into a brand new sales environment. Amazon will only charge you a single monthly Pro Merchant subscription fee for your Amazon Europe Marketplaces account, so in fact, there are no extra costs involved in expanding to the European market.
It is, however, advisable to consult with a professional import or tax expert to be sure you receive individual advice on your circumstances before you start to sell internationally.
Specifically, you may need to register for VAT, and you will need an EORI number to allow you to declare your goods when they are entering or exiting the EU. If you don’t have one, customs will not be able to clear your goods. You can apply for an EORI her.
4. You Can Set Up and Scale-up Easily
You can use your current Amazon account, your regular listings and Fulfilment By Amazon to make the order and fulfilment process and customer service even more straightforward as you expand.
Your products will be managed across all these countries using a single unified seller account, so everything is in one easily accessible place that you will already be familiar with.
Selling your products in Europe is the obvious first step to expanding your reach, but there are some essential steps you will need to take before you can go live.
Related: 4 Ways to Scale Your FBA Business
Next Steps to Selling Internationally on Amazon
- Check your product listings are optimised and up to date.
- Translate your listings where required.
- Decide whether you will use FBA or fulfil orders yourself.
- Be aware of any legal, tax and compliance obligations.
- Apply for an EORI number.
These steps are worth taking because by maximising your presence within Europe using the Amazon platform, you will begin to benefit from more customers, an immediate international presence and ultimately more profit.
But why stop with Europe? Go global!
Introducing your brand to Europe is a fantastic move to expand your Amazon business, but you could take it even further!
What is Amazon Global Selling?
By selling only in the UK, you are limiting your sales. By selling within Europe you are expanding your reach, but with the help of Amazon Global you can easily expand your Amazon business worldwide and with that comes considerable opportunities to grow your business further, reach millions of new customers and build a large customer base.
Amazon Global Selling (AGS) can open up further countries in which you can list your products on Amazon’s global marketplaces. Currently, there are eight global marketplaces in addition to the five European marketplaces we have already discussed, so by going global, you’ll have a presence on 13 marketplaces in total. These include the United States, India, Japan, China, Mexico, Canada, Brazil and Australia.
Imagine being able to scale your business throughout the world while running everything comfortably from the UK. Check out the Amazon Global Selling success story below from Miami Buys.
The Benefits of Amazon Global Selling
In addition to the benefits you’ll see by expanding internationally to Europe, there are further benefits to going global!
1. You’ll Reach an Even Larger Customer Base
The biggest benefit! Just like your European expansion, by going global, you’ll have immediate access to an even more extensive range of customers. Take into consideration all the other festivals, holidays and promotions celebrated throughout the world such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, International Days, Thanksgiving and Christmas and you are bound to see a boost in sales as these festivities are celebrated throughout the world.
2. Choosing FBA Makes Shipping Simple
If you decide to go global, FBA will be a necessity for ease of international shipping. The benefit will be immediate as this will take all product storage, picking, packing and shipping of orders out of your hands. You won’t need to deal with customer service or refunds, and all the logistics of your Amazon business can run smoothly without you needing to be hands-on.
3. You Won’t Encounter Currency or Payment Issues
Whether you sell in Pounds, Euros, Dollars or Yen because your customer transactions will go through Amazon, currency conversions will be processed automatically, and deposits made directly to your bank account. This also means that you are guaranteed to receive your payments securely and on time, ensuring smooth cash flow.
4. How Easy is it to Sell Globally on Amazon?
It sounds simple when it’s all laid out like this doesn’t it, but just how easy is it really to sell globally on Amazon? Well, as you might expect, there are some aspects to the global set up, which will require more effort than others.
To sell globally, you’ll require an individual seller account for every country with the exception of unified seller accounts for Europe (UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy) and North America (Canada, Mexico and the USA).
So, that means opening Amazon accounts on each of those countries’ individual sites, India, Japan, China, Brazil and Australia, to use alongside your Europe and North American accounts.
To set those up, you will need:
- Valid credit card
- Phone number and email Address
- Tax information
- Bank account details
- Business name (Japan only)
This also means you will have monthly fees due to Amazon on each of these accounts. This is why it’s crucial that before you open your new accounts and start selling, you understand local demand and ensure that your products will actually sell!
But that’s not all, there may be product restrictions and compliance issues in certain countries, with Japan seemingly the strictest when it comes to this.
For example, you will need legal approval to sell some products in Japan plus you will need to establish and maintain a local business address there too, which could prove challenging.
What About Listing Language?
Naturally, you may have worries about listing products and doing business in different languages. Unsurprisingly this is the most common barrier to many Amazon businesses selling globally, though in reality it can be overcome. Amazon even provides a few options which can help:
Their Seller Central Language Switcher tool enables you to manage all your accounts in English so that you always have a familiar, consistent interface to work with.
Their ‘Build International Listings’ feature will automatically create local language versions of your product listings from your home site across all the global sites. It will also adjust for foreign exchange movements and reflect any price changes you make in your home country. Be aware though that the product translations are not perfect, and so you should ideally commission professional translations.
Next Steps to Selling Globally on Amazon
- Check your product listings are up to date and optimised.
- Research product demand within each country.
- Be aware of any legal, tax and compliance obligations.
- Register within your Amazon account to sell globally.
- Sign up for all the relevant marketplaces and enter your details.
- Link regional Amazon accounts in Seller Central by choosing ‘Sell Global’.
- Consider using the Build International Listings feature.
- Translate your listings where required
- Choose FBA for ease of order fulfilment
Although some aspects of preparing your Amazon accounts to sell globally require patience and research, the truth is, if selling globally was easy, every Amazon seller would do it! If you consider the processes which would be involved if you were to try and expand internationally on your own, for example, marketing, logistics, fulfilment, customer service, it would be far more frustrating!
Amazon Global Selling allows you to focus on your products and sales rather than the logistics, as much of these are done for you, so selling on Amazon internationally or indeed globally is worth consideration as a viable strategy to allow your brand to flourish.