Your Amazon business has grown by leaps and bounds, and you may now be thinking of making the jump from being a local seller to a global brand selling internationally on Amazon.
So, which new markets should you consider, and what steps do you need to take once you’ve chosen a region to target?
In this article, you will find information on how to sell internationally on Amazon to customers in Europe and Asia.
This guide is also handy for Amazon sellers in Europe looking to sell internationally on Amazon by targeting the U.S. market.
In September of last year, the 2021 European E-commerce Report was released by Ecommerce Europe and EuroCommerce.
According to the report, e-commerce in the European continent grew from 690 billion euros in 2019 to 757 billion euros in 2020, a 10 percent growth year by year, despite the economically crippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It goes without saying that despite the situation in Europe, the e-commerce market in the region continues to grow.
So if you’re eyeing the European market for expansion, here are the things that you need to do.
For sure, you already have a pretty good idea of how popular Amazon is in the United Kingdom.
But what about in other European countries outside the UK?
The good news is that as of April 2021, Amazon is still the market leader among e-commerce platforms in Europe based on monthly visits—with 981 million monthly visits—outranking its two closest competitors in the region, eBay (367 million visits per month) and Poland’s Allegro (185 million visits per month).
So if you plan on expanding your Amazon business into other European markets, you need to focus on market research.
It would be a good idea to first figure out the European markets where Amazon dominates and then start planning your expansion to those countries first.
If you don’t know where to start, this piece of information might be helpful: Apart from the UK, the other five Amazon European marketplaces include France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands.
Needless to say, this is easier said than done for lots of reasons.
First of all, you’d need to check out the competition and determine if one or more sellers are already selling a similar product in the particular European market you plan on targeting.
If no one else is offering a product that’s similar to yours, that should give you an excellent opportunity to introduce your brand to new customers without having to worry about trying to grab some percentage points off of a competitor’s market share.
This leads us to the next step, which might be critical.
To be able to attract new customers in Europe, you need to make your product as visible as possible across all major European markets.
The key to accomplishing this is an Amazon Europe Marketplaces account.
When you sign up for it, the most obvious benefit is the broadened reach of your product listings, making your brand not only visible to online shoppers who regularly browse on Amazon.co.uk, but also to those who visit Amazon.de (Germany), Amazon.fr (France), Amazon.es (Spain), Amazon.it (Italy), and Amazon.nl (Netherlands).
And because your Amazon Europe Marketplaces account is practically a single unified account, you’ll be able to track your inventory and orders across the European continent more efficiently. You can learn more from the Amazon guide for selling in European Marketplaces.
When selling in Europe there are a few regulations you should have in mind. These requirements are specific for Europe’s fiscal system and every seller is required to regulate their status first and second plan their selling strategy.
The number one thing you should be aware of is Seller Identification Verification. This is an Amazon verification process that happens right after you open your Seller Account. In addition, you will be asked to do a second verification called Know Your Customer when you surpass 15.000 euros in profit.
The next thing you must have in order to sell in Europe is VAT (Value Added Tax). This is a unique number that is assigned to each seller in order to regulate the tax on goods and services. You can obtain this number when you register as a seller in Europe. There are also agencies that can help you with this registration but Amazon also offers help and guidance.
If you’re setting your sights on expanding in Asia, you’ll find that some of the tips we provided before for the European market also apply here.
Indeed, doing proper market research and being the first to sell a product are strategies that can work in any market when you’re trying to sell internationally on Amazon.
For the Asian market, however, there are tweaks that you need to make to your approach. Read on to find out what those adjustments are.
As mentioned earlier in this article, expanding your Amazon business in Europe is made easier when you can set up an Amazon Europe Marketplaces account.
However, it’s a different story when you’re trying to expand to Asian markets. You will need to open an Amazon account specific to the Asian region you’re targeting.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Amazon has four marketplaces, namely Amazon.com.au (Australia), Amazon.in (India), Amazon.co.jp (Japan), and Amazon.sg (Singapore).
As for customers from the Middle East markets, Amazon serves them through Amazon.ae (United Arab Emirates) and Amazon.com.tr (Turkey).
Again, market research goes a long way in helping you choose which Asian marketplaces to target.
But if you want your listings to gain more traction among Asian consumers, read on for the next step.
Expanding to Asian markets may not only mean overcoming geographic challenges with your Amazon business but also dealing with cultural differences.
This is why it never hurts to consult or partner with a local or even have someone already based in that market join your sales or marketing team.
Having a designated local expert working for your business not only helps in fine-tuning your listings for Asian shoppers but can also come in handy when navigating local trading and shipping requirements or regulations.
There’s no way around it. If you’re based in Europe and want your brand to sell globally on Amazon successfully, you need to target the U.S. market too.
Introducing your product to a big market like the U.S.’ can be daunting, but if you follow the steps outlined below, you give your brand a decent chance of gaining new customers.
First and foremost, you’ll need to provide proof of identity and other documentation.
These could include proof of residence in your home country, a valid phone number, and taxpayer information.
Amazon may also require you to have not only an existing credit card but also one that can be charged internationally. Another requirement is to set up a bank account in the U.S. If you are unable to create a U.S. bank account for some reason, you can opt for the Amazon Currency Converter for Sellers (ACC) service.
Similar to how it operates in European and Asian markets, Amazon has established various marketplaces for the North American continent.
Amazon.com (USA), of course, is where it all began for the Amazon brand before the e-commerce giant later added marketplaces for neighboring countries: Amazon.ca for Canada and Amazon.com.mx for Mexico.
If you’re a European seller looking to penetrate the U.S. market and the rest of the North American region, you can kill three birds with one stone by getting an Amazon North America Unified Account.
This allows you to easily manage and track all orders across U.S., Canadian, and Mexican markets.
Take note, however, that having this unified account does not mean that your product listing will be automatically displayed in Amazon Canada and Amazon Mexico.
To offer products in different countries, you should still create separate, individual product listings on the specific marketplace designated for each country.
It is worth mentioning, though, that there are specific requirements you need to meet before you can use a North America Unified Account. Read more about them in Amazon’s official guide.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has strict regulations for any product coming onto American shores.
If you’re a European seller looking to import goods to the U.S. market, you’re going to need the help of a customs broker to ensure that your products can legally enter the United States and find their way to U.S.-based customers.
If you’re partnering with a carrier like DHL, FedEx, or UPS, they typically include duties and taxes as part of their service charges.
Yes, to sell on Amazon globally is to invite new challenges into your business. But risks can be reduced, and rewards maximized with the right approach.
Whether you’re looking to expand to new markets in Europe or Asia or planning to penetrate the U.S. market, if you’re a seller based out of another country, you can put your brand in a position to succeed by following the right steps.