Once you’ve made the decision to sell on Amazon, one of the sites with the largest reach in the world, you’ve already made an excellent choice. But after that, how do you decide exactly what to sell, and where? Amazon isn’t a one-city pony where buyers are limited to shopping in a specific geographic location — like the clothing boutique down the street from you — which means you have many more possibilities of how to move forward available to you. Let’s take a look at how to narrow down your perspective, and what this means for different marketplaces.
Consider How Your Products Will be Received Everywhere
There are some items, like books or candles, which have fairly worldwide universality. This means that in just about any country you’re in, your items can find an audience that can start using it right away. Candles are always lit the same way and used for generally the same purposes, while books can be published in English — the language of the world — and read without need for special instruction.
But once you start delving into other kinds of products, like clothes or iPods, then you have to take into consideration that each country does things a little differently. For instance, a t-shirt will always go over the head with the arms going through the armholes, but the sizing chart will differ. What’s considered a small size in the United States may not be described the same way as in Asia, and it’s a good idea to list sizing chart “translations” on your page. It’s the same for electronics: the outlets they plug into will look different in various countries, so make a note of that on your page.
Pro tip: This is an excellent opportunity for you to cross-sell adapters.
Understand Your Audience
When you’re marketing your inventory, make careful note of who you’re actually selling to. If your line consists of goose-down parkas, then target Amazon marketplaces that contain people who’d actually be interested in your goods. An Amazon marketplace in India, a country that does contain quite a few people, wouldn’t be the best choice for parkas. You can market your parkas to mountaineers looking to summit the Himalayas, but that’s an incredibly small market and you’d be better served targeting other marketplaces.
Understand Your Pricing Strategy, Too
There are always going to be sellers on Amazon who sell items for dirt cheap. It’s well and fine to do that, but ask yourself who you want your audience to be: is it going to consist mainly of buyers looking solely for the best deal possible, or buyers who are willing to spend a bit more because you can deliver higher-end products with amazing customer service?
Take a second to learn about market trends as well, regardless of what it is you’re selling. Let’s keep with the theme of selling books. Scanning through the New York Times bestseller list or going on Goodreads can give you an idea of what books you may want to stock your inventory with, as opposed to staunchly ignoring market trends and continuing to stock 1,000 copies of Where the Wild Things Are. It’s not that Maurice Sendak’s book isn’t a good one, but you’re going to be reaching a very limited audience when you could be reaching a wider one by stocking titles from bestselling lists.
Speak the Language of Your Customers
Finally, it’s important to remember that no matter what marketplace(s) you choose to sell in, you and your customers have to be able to communicate with each other. There’s no reason why you should consider cutting yourself off from selling in marketplaces where you don’t have a native grasp on the language, but if you’re faced with this, try using Amazon’s built-in services and tools to guide you past language barriers.
And if you ever need to turn to customer support, Amazon’s got you covered there, too, with Fulfillment by Amazon. When choosing this route, you’re taking advantage of years of work and practice by Amazon to capitalise on every possible corner of the market so you don’t have to limit yourself to local ones.