A quick guide to selling internationally on Amazon

January 27, 2020

Guest blogs

Fancy maximizing the growth of your Amazon sales by selling internationally? Look no further, this quick guide will help you create the perfect sales strategy to expand your online business to new territories.

A quick guide to selling internationally on Amazon

It is well known that one of the biggest challenges faced by Amazon sellers is brand positioning. Considering that in the space of less than two years (Jan 2017 - Oct 2019) around 3.3 million new sellers joined Amazon’s international marketplaces. It has become an arduous task to earn a privileged place on this eCommerce giant.

If you’re currently only focusing on a nationwide service, you may be missing out on an untapped market. Taking the step to selling internationally with Amazon isn’t difficult. The increased number of sellers has fuelled Amazon to introduce new marketing tools and more efficient shipping standards to offer the customer a better shopping experience.

In addition to Amazon’s own tools, there are many other online tools to help streamline selling internationally on Amazon, for example, automatically integrating your product catalog to all Amazon marketplaces and keeping the product information up to date.

These quick tips on how to get started expanding internationally with selling quickly and safely on Amazon’s seller central, will have you reaping the benefits in no time.

Have you been successful selling locally?

First things first, before embarking on the journey of selling internationally on Amazon you need to set your house in order. It is important that you have been able to manage your local online business formally and efficiently. As easy as it has become, there is a great responsibility when taking the step to expand abroad.

Therefore, we advise that you periodically check your performance metrics in Amazon to get an objective overview of how well your business has been running up until now. This way you can identify your strengths and the opportunities you have.

Amazon’s international markets

Currently, Amazon is present in the following regions:

  • Americas (United States, Canada, and Mexico)

  • Europe (Spain, United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands (coming 2020), and Italy.

  • Japan

  • China and India (only available to local residents).

Sell on Amazon internationally

Step 1: Register a European unified account

In Europe, Amazon has linked its sites (United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, France, and Germany), which allows you to create and manage your own offers from a single seller account, make international shipments, and customize your sales plan. However, it's still necessary to comply with the Amazon seller regulations for each country which you wish to sell in.

This method of registration is called “single sign on” (SSO), and it will help you connect your accounts to access and sell on all the European versions of Amazon from the same login.

The registration requirements for the European versions of Amazon are:

  • A valid credit card

  • A phone number

  • Tax information

  • VAT registration number

You can check the regulatory and fiscal considerations for Europe in Amazon's seller central.

Step 2: Analyze what products you can sell on Amazon

Each country has different legal and commercial requirements for the sale of products. These are some considerations that you should keep in mind as a seller if you are interested in expanding your business internationally:

  • Taxes and tariffs

  • Intellectual property rights, in particular restrictions on intellectual property legislation on parallel importation

  • Export controls

  • Brands and label

  • Environment and safety

Amazon has a help page where you can learn more about tax and regulatory considerations for selling internationally.

Step 3: Creating international listings

Thanks to the unified Amazon account, you can manage, create, and update product listings for several European Amazon marketplaces simultaneously. The quality of the listings you create will strongly impact your success.

It can begin to get quite complicated adding new listings and ensuring that product information is constantly up to date. Even more so if your product catalog changes frequently. One solution is to integrate your online catalog directly into Amazon using a feed management tool like Channable. This way you can easily adapt your online catalog to Amazon’s requirements. In addition, you can optimize and improve the information you want to publish on Amazon, modify prices, apply discounts, optimize titles and descriptions, and filter out products that are out of stock all in just a couple of clicks. And most importantly, your product information will be constantly updated.

Amazon is continually developing the information required, whilst maintaining a default layout to improve and simplify the buyer’s experience. Although every category has different requirements, creating listings should follow the generic category style that includes:

  • Product title

  • Images

  • Bulleted list

  • Product description

  • Brand and manufacturer

  • Model and part number

  • Box contents

  • Variant

  • Search terms

  • Navigation and search filter

You can also copy existing listings from one Amazon marketplace to another if you have linked the accounts and have activated the SSO. Then you can easily switch between marketplaces in one account.

Amazon has a tool called “translate your products” in its seller central so you can easily have your listings in many languages.

Step 4: Create an account for international payments

There are three options for receiving international payments for the sale of your products:

  1. Open a bank account in the country where you plan to sell

  2. Use the Amazon currency converter to receive payments directly to your country’s bank account

  3. Use the Hyperwallet service, which allows you to receive payments in the currency of your country or region by linking it with your bank accounts

Currently, Amazon accepts bank accounts in the UK, US, and all the countries in the Eurozone. Refer to Amazon’s help center to check the types of currencies for each region, as well as the terms and conditions of the Hyperwallet service.

Step 5: Create your international sales strategy

When starting with an international market, it’s handy to take the 4 Ps marketing mix into consideration. The 4 Ps are the following variables that companies can use to determine marketing objectives.

  1. Product : analyze the level of demand that your best-selling products have in the market where you want to expand to. If you are not sure about demand, publish several products instead of focusing on a select few.

  2. Price : look at what price your competitors are selling the same product for and set prices that take important factors into account such as: s hipping costs, customer service costs, conversion costs associated with payment in your local currency, translation costs, taxes and tariffs…etc.

  3. Position : Don’t just rely on Amazon for positioning your brand in the international market. There are many online sales platforms that can help improve your brand position. Get started easily with other online sales platforms by integrating your product catalog with a feed management tool.

  4. Promotion : Advertise your products by applying attractive promotions such as: f ree shipping, discounts, 2 for 1…etc.

Note: expand the exposure of your products with Amazon’s Sponsored Products, a cost-per-click advertising service that facilitates the promotion of products sold on Amazon through targeted ads using keywords.

Step 6: Manage orders through Amazon Logistics

Amazon gives you the option to manage orders yourself. However, it is important that you comply with the relevant tariff requirements, among other conditions, to avoid any nasty surprises.

Is your online store developed by PrestaShop, Shopify, Magento, or WooCommerce? In that case, you’ll probably want to benefit from receiving Amazon orders directly to your backend. This is possible with an order sync feature, which can be found in Channable’s tool too. Any Amazon order will be entered directly into your online store, including buyer information and a tracking code. This is especially useful if you manage many orders and also work with other marketplaces. Order syncs help centralize your order management in your backend.

Another option is to let Amazon manage orders for you through the Amazon Logistics program. This program leaves Amazon in charge of collecting, packing, and sending inventory in your name. Ensuring that your shipments arrive safely at your customer’s door.

Amazon currently offers Amazon logistics to vendors in Germany, Canada, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Consult Amazon’s guide on registering and launching this program to get started.

As you can see, Amazon offers endless options and assistance for expanding your international reach to unexplored territories. If this article has helped you, you may also be interested in tips to increase your profits on Amazon and recommendations for increasing your international sales on Amazon.

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Ilse GoedmanCustomer Journey Manager

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