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January 29, 2013

Expanding Internationally on Amazon Series: US Retailers

FlagsIt’s a New Year so we’ve put together a new roadmap series for expanding internationally with Amazon.  This week we’ll concentrate on US retailers expanding abroad, then next week we’ll have a post dedicated to EMEA retailers.

Selling outside of your home country can be a daunting task considering all the other projects and priorities you have in 2013. That said, increasing sales by adding new customers and incremental sales channels is probably near the top of your “to do” list.  Plus, being able to call yourself a Global Retailer is just, well, impressive!

Amazon has third-party marketplaces in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, China & Japan*, and is trying to help retailers with programs and tools to ease the transition into these new selling channels.

We recommend a phased approach to expanding internationally via Amazon and ChannelAdvisor.  Your own international expansion may begin with getting orders to international customers via export or it may mean getting your product in front of new international customers by selling on a new Amazon marketplace.

 In this blog post we have tried to summarize the various Amazon marketplaces and fulfillment tools and presented them in a way – easiest to the more complex – to get you going.

NOTE: Please keep in mind that each country has legal and industry requirements concerning sales of products to consumers. Please review the Amazon Terms & Conditions and Product Category Restrictions for any market you hope to sell into and seek the appropriate professional legal and tax advice.

*As of January 2013, ChannelAdvisor advisor supports listing in the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany and Italy. We hope to add support for the other Amazon locations in 2013.

1.       Consider selling on Amazon Canada

It’s right across the border for our US customers and lists in English, making Amazon.ca an easy next step for marketplace expansion.   Amazon recently launched the Amazon Prime program in Canada and is in the process of adding support for additional selling categories. Today on Amazon.ca you can use ChannelAdvisor to list Consumer Electronics, Home & Garden, Sports, Tools and Watches.  Additionally, you can self-fulfill orders or use the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service for some or all of your products.

When it comes to getting paid, Amazon recently launched the Amazon Currency Converter for Sellers in Canada. With this optional service, Amazon will convert your sales proceeds to U.S. dollars and transfer funds to the U.S. bank account that you designate.

To get started, contact ChannelAdvisor support to request the setup of a Canadian Dollar account.

 2.       Consider selling in the United Kingdom and in Europe

The Amazon marketplaces in the UK and Europe are large and growing! ChannelAdvisor can help you list on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr and/or Amazon.it.

Some stats from Amazon:

  • Amazon’s European marketplaces had over 164 million active customers last year.
  • 30% of total Amazon units were sold by 3rd party sellers.
  • Amazon.co.uk receives about 20M unique visitors monthly. Amazon.de has 24M and Amazon.fr has 13M.

Source: Amazon Webinar that sources Amazon Investor Relations

In expanding internationally, you may choose to start with allowing orders from buyers outside of the US and then moving on to listing on the UK marketplace. At a later time, you may decide to expand to listing on the other European marketplaces in Germany, France and Italy.

Programs to assist sellers in reaching and fulfilling orders:

Amazon FBA Export:

In the US, for eligible products using FBA Global Export, orders can be placed from international locations if the buyer is in a supported country. When you enroll in FBA Export, all of your qualifying listings will be eligible for international orders on Amazon.com, and there is currently no extra charge for this service. While this program in the US is, currently, mostly for media products, eligible non-media products can also apply. There is a report in Seller Central where you can view which of your products are eligible (Reports > Fulfillment > Eligible for Export).

If you choose to create an account in the UK to list on Amazon.co.uk, you can also hold products in FBA in the UK. Products must be exported to a UK FBA location and the FBA Export program allows buyers located in other EU countries to buy your products. While it does not add new sales channels, it increases the potential number of buyers who will be able to see and buy your products. For example, if you list on Amazon.co.uk, a buyer in France will be able to buy your product and have it fulfilled via FBA from the UK. Today, there are no extra fees for using this program and the European FBA Export program supports a much wide list of supported products.

Learn More: 

Next week our Expanding Internationally with Amazon series continues with a blog dedicated to helping EMEA retailers. 

Blog post by Gina DeFrank, ChannelAdvisor Business Analyst, Marketplaces


International-expansionLooking for more International information now? Check out our Retailer's Guide to International Expansion and find out:

  • What types of businesses are right for international expansion?
  • Where is the international e-commerce opportunity?
  • How should a retailer approach global growth?
  • What is needed in order to get started?


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