Very few Amazon sellers choose to expand their business globally. Because it’s a double-edged sword, on one side there is a pool of opportunities and on the other side, there is a risk of selling to customers you are not familiar with. But what if we tell you it’s not that difficult? Selling offshore has become easy with the launch of the Amazon Global Selling Program. Yes, there are risks and technicalities involved but if you have done your homework properly, it won’t seem that impossible. If you are at all curious about this program and how you can also expand your business off border then I have all the details collected for you in this comprehensive guide.
What Is Amazon Global Selling Program?
Started in 2015, this program allows sellers to list and sell their products in any of the international marketplaces, including North America, Europe, and Asia-pacific. It offers a comprehensive suite of solutions that consists of imaging, logistics, tax advisory, and remittance. Till now, over 35,000 sellers are already selling actively. According to Amazon, about 120 million Indian products are already listed and are doing very well.
Amazon Marketplaces Covered Under This Program:
Amazon’s Global Selling program provides access to the top marketplaces. Sellers can expand their business internationally in one of the biggest eCommerce hotspots, irrespective of its physical establishment. Expanding business in one or more marketplaces provides immediate access to millions of purchase-ready customers who know and trust the Amazon buying experience.
How To Get Started?
Step #1: Select An Initial Marketplace
As discussed above, Amazon operates in 12 huge marketplaces, and they represent the world’s largest eCommerce opportunities. Sellers can choose from any of the marketplaces. But before you expand, it is vital to understand the consequences. A product easily sellable in your country might not sell that easily in your target country. Because there are changes in culture, climate, demographics, average age, average income, style of living, trends, and much more. For example, MP3 players operating on 110–220 V that uses two-prong electrical chargers might be appropriate for Japan but not for the European marketplace. One of the best ways to evaluate your target market is by using the 4 ‘Ps’ of marketing.
1. Product: Identify what sells well. Use your business reports and sales reports. It is equally important to ask yourself why these products sell so well in your country, and will these reasons hold true for your target marketplace? For product selection, sellers can observe the market to get this information. This will be much similar to the research you conducted while selling in your current marketplace. Review the Best Sellers, New Arrivals, and Featured Brand selections for your product categories in your target country. Sellers should also read the reviews and understand the competitor’s strength and weakness.
Tip: List more products rather than just one or two. A broader selection of customers equals greater customer reach and you can quickly gauge which products are successful.
2. Price: Below are the potential costs a seller should consider before selling outside their primary marketplace. These additional costs may change their profits so they should adjust the price accordingly:
- Shipping costs (if you are shipping yourself to international customers)
- Return shipping cost (if you are fulfilling orders yourself)
- Shipping costs to send your inventory to FBA centers abroad (if you are using FBA)
- Customer support costs (because you will need to provide these services in local currency)
- Cost for translating your listing copy in another language
- Taxes and duties
3. Placement:Sellers can optimize their distribution channels. Along with growing business on-Amazon, sellers can also consider expanding their business off-Amazon. They can use the below services:
- Multi-channel Fulfillment: If you are already using FBA for your Amazon sales, you can manage other online sales from other channels (third party platforms, your own website and even catalog and in-store sales) using the same inventory management system – Multi-channel Fulfillment (a feature within FBA).
- Product Ads: This is an advertising service which provides Amazon customer seamless access to product on external websites. Advertisers just need to upload the product and set the CPC bid and budget. Amazon will display your ad Amazon.com customers who are buying products similar to yours. Interested customers will click and purchase directly from you.
4. Promotions: The promotional tools available in your marketplace might not be available in another marketplace. For example, Australia is a comparatively new marketplace, and PPC was launched just recently. So make sure you conduct proper research and decide where you want to spend your advertising dollars.
Step #2: Register & List Your Products
Now when you have figured out where and what to sell, you can proceed towards registering your seller account. Even if you have an existing account on one marketplace, you will need to create a new seller account in another marketplace. For example, if you are selling in the U.S. and want to sell in the U.K, you will have to create another account. The only exception is for European marketplaces such as amazon.co.uk. as Amazon offers a unified account for all European marketplaces. Here are the registration requirements by the marketplaces:
- North American: You will need a valid credit card, phone number, and tax information. For taxes, sellers will go through an online step-by-step interview that will determine whether they will need to complete a W-9 form (as a U.S. taxpayer) or a W-8BEN (as a non-U.S. taxpayer).
- European: You will need a valid credit card, phone number, tax information and a VAT number. You will also need to provide a bank account in one of the countries supported by Amazon. At present, Amazon supports U.K., U.S. as well as bank accounts in all Eurozone countries.
- Japan: Sellers need to clear the online seller registration process in English and Japanese. Once the account is created, sellers can choose to manage their accounts in English or Japanese.
- China: There are certain restrictions for non-China residents. (Refer to the link: https://gs.amazon.cn/?ld=NSGoogle)
India: India is only open to sellers having a locally owned business in India.
Note: At present, Amazon.in (India) and Amazon.cn (China) are not open to sellers based outside these countries.
Here are the different requirements for each marketplace:
Amazon also provides different ways to pay to your seller account.
- Use the bank account in the marketplace you want to sell: This is for sellers who want to maintain a high level of control over their finances. This is a bit complex process because sellers will have to open a bank account in other countries. So consult your legal advertiser.
- Amazon Currency Converter for Sellers: With ACCS, sellers can be paid directly to their local bank account in local currency (only if they have a bank account supported by Amazon). The .com, .ca, .co.uk, .de, .fr, .it, .es, .co.uk, and the .com-mx Amazon Marketplaces all support the following currencies:
- EUR Euro
- GBP Great British Pound
- USD United States Dollar
- AUD Australian Dollar
- NZD New Zealand Dollar
- INR Indian Rupee
- HKD Hong Kong Dollar
- CAD Canadian Dollar
- BGN Bulgarian Lev
- CZK Czech Koruna
- HRK Croatian Kuna
- DKK Danish Krone
- HUF Hungarian Forint
- NOK Norwegian Krone
- PLN Polish Zloty
- RON Romanian Leu
- CHF Swiss Franc
- SGD Singapore Dollar
- PHP Philippines Peso
After you are done with creating an account, you can start listing the products. If you face any trouble in listing the products, Contact Us.
Step #3: Choosing A Fulfillment Channel
Sellers can either choose to ship the products themselves or by FBA.
1. Fulfillment by Amazon: Sellers can utilize Amazon’s fulfillment centers to fulfill the orders. In FBA, sellers just need to send their products to the nearest fulfillment center and Amazon picks, packs, and ships the product.
2. Fulfillment by Self: Sellers can ship the products with the choice of their courier partners. Sellers also manage their warehouse, inventory, packaging, and shipping of their products.
Tip: We highly recommend all the sellers to choose Amazon FBA service as their fulfillment channel because it will save a lot of their time, money, and efforts.
Step #4: Customer Support & Managing Returns
The world’s most customer-centric company has high standards for sellers when it comes to customer focus. It wants its customers to have a convenient and smooth buying experience. Whether you are selling through FBA or FBM, you will need to understand the obligations, rules, and regulations.
1. Customer Support with FBM: When you choose to ship yourself, it’s not just picking and packing that you need to handle, you will also have to handle customer support, returns and that also in the local language. To maintain a healthy seller score, sellers need to reply in a timely manner (within 24 hours). This can be challenging while selling in marketplaces that are in different time zone than yours.
2. Customer Support with FBA: With FBA, Amazon will handle customer return and provide 24-hour customer support in the local language. By taking advantage of Amazon’s world-class customer service, you can easily focus on growing and managing your business.
Pricing For Each Marketplace:
|Selling Plans Available|
|USA||Two – Professional & Individual||Individual: Free but sellers will have to pay an additional cost of USD 0.99 selling fee per item along with the referral fees and variable closing fee.|
Professional: USD 39.99 (suitable for sellers selling more than 30 products per month)
|Europe||Two – Professional & Basic||Professional: 25 pounds per month (suitable for sellers with over 30 shipments per month)|
Basic: Free (sellers cannot use FBA)
|Japan||Two – Professional & Individual||Professional: JPY 4900 per month|
|Australia||Only one selling plan available||AUD 49.95 per month along with referral fees, closing fees, and refund fees for each item sold.|
- Access to a vast audience
- While you sell internationally, you can enjoy year-round sales as different countries have different festivals and windows for sale
- Amazon has offered various tools (for example FBA) which has made selling internationally easy and hassle-free
- At the end of the day, you get paid in your local currency
- Complicated taxation issues
- Your reviews will not carry over so you will have to start afresh no matter how many reviews you have in your local marketplace. Yes you can see them at the bottom of the detail page, so all is not completely lost
- Setting the price can be difficult. For example; 1 dollar equals 68 Indian rupees. So even if you set the price competitively, it will be high for the Indian marketplace, and there is a possibility that no one will buy your product.
Apart from these, there are several other benefits and limitations in selling in each of these marketplaces:
|US||Most preferred and highest-selling marketplace with most number of tools available.||Very high competition.|
|UK||Can be used as a gateway for the rest of Europe and you won’t have to create a separate account if you are already selling in any of the European countries.||A tax ID license is necessary to sell in the country.|
|Canada||One of the most easiest country to enter.||Taxes are a bit complicated.|
|Mexico||Seller Support will be available in English.||Importer is needed for FBA.|
|Germany||Can be used as a gateway for the rest of Europe and you won’t have to create a separate account if you are already selling in any of the European countries.||A tax ID or a business license is necessary to sell in the country.|
|France||Can be used as a gateway for the rest of Europe and you won’t have to create a separate account if you are already selling in any of the European countries.||A tax ID or a business license is necessary to sell in the country.|
|Italy||A tax ID or a business license is necessary to sell in the country.|
|Spain||A tax ID or a business license is necessary to sell in the country.|
|Japan||It has a population of 127 million and about 71% of shoppers purchase online.||Sellers need to have an importer of record.|
|China||It is the world’s largest economy by value and home to 649M shoppers.||Invite only and you need to have a locally owned business. Sellers also need to have a trademark of authorization.|
|India||Huge population and most of them are young and teenagers who prefer online shopping. In 2018, over 100 million goods were sold on Prime Day alone. Sellers will have unlimited access to Seller Support for free.||Invite only and you need to have a locally owned business.|
|Australia||New marketplace with low competition.||Limited categories and tools available. FBA and PPC just got started.|
Here’s How We Can Help:
Selling internationally can prove to be overwhelming, especially when your work will be doubled, tripled, or even four times. We recommend expanding your business with a phased approach. Even if you are a seasoned seller, you will encounter problems relating to customer support, pricing, taxation, and much more. So it is better to conduct thorough research before diving into a new country and expand one at a time. If you want to make your Amazon business expansion smooth and convenient, take help from expert Amazon consulting service like eStore Factory. At present, we are a professional eCommerce service provider handle seller accounts of our clients at multiple marketplaces, and we are aware of the rules and policies. So Contact Us and globally sell products on Amazon hassle-free.