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February 07, 2013

New Year! New Roadmap for Expanding Internationally on Amazon

AmazonBlog1Last week we put out the first part of our Expanding Internationally with Amazon series that targeted US retailers; this week we’ve got the EMEA edition.  To touch on a few of the highlights, here are a few reasons why you should consider expanding with Amazon.

First of all, 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.

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

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

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 throughout 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.

    (a)    Amazon FBA Export:

If you are located in the UK and have or consider having some or all of your products in Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), the Amazon FBA Export program allows buyers located in other EU countries to buy your products off of your listings on Amazon.co.uk.  While using this program 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 fulfiled via FBA from the UK.

Benefits: Today, outside of your FBA fees, there are no extra fees for using this program. Your listings are in English and listed on the Amazon marketplace that you are familiar with. The program provides export to either a 9 or 26 country set of European countries. The country list can be found on Amazon Services Europe website.

Considerations: When you select either a 9 or 26 export country set, you will need to comply with the requirements for selling in these countries. Your products must be allowed in these countries and you must consider the VAT implications. Amazon Seller Central provides many resources for addressing these considerations.

    (b)    Amazon Marketplace Account and the European Fulfilment Network (EFN):

Amazon Blog 2JPGEstablishing a European Marketplace Account unifies all of Amazon’s European marketplaces and gives you access to new Amazon sales channels in the UK, Germany, France and Italy. ChannelAdvisor supports this setup with an EU Unified Account so that you can list from a single Amazon Seller Central account allowing you to keep your products in sync across all marketplaces. You can self-fulfil or use an Amazon service.  If you are considering Amazon fulfilment, the European Fulfilment Network enables you to send your inventory to the fulfilment center in the UK and to fulfil your cross-border sales anywhere in the EU.

2. Expand Offers Internationally

While many retailers are interested in expanding internationally, one of the largest challenges is that listing on a European marketplace requires the listing details (e.g. product tile, description) to be translated into the local language. To address this point raised by their retailers, Amazon has recently launched a new tool in Seller Central called Expand Offers Internationally. With this tool, you can identify which products in your inventory are already in the Amazon catalogue for a targeted country. For these products, you only need to provide the local price and quantity of your offer. This will help you expand quicker with reduced costs.

Considerations:  There are requirements for listing on European marketplaces such as policies, tax considerations and regulations. Your (out-of-catalogue) listings must be translated into the local language.  

Buyers in other marketplaces will still have Prime advantages but shipping may require an additional 2 days. Finally, you will need a local return address as Amazon will consider it a poor customer experience if a foreign buyer needs to ship a return back to an address in the UK.

Pricing:  If using FBA to fulfil from your home country, the fees are the FBA fee (from the destination country) + EFN fees.  Sellers should become familiar with the rate card from each country they intend to list in.

Learn More:

If you want to keep up with Amazon’s updates, the Amazon Services group in Europe offers an excellent monthly newsletter and set of webinars for retailers in Europe. Visit the Amazon Services Europe for more information and to sign up.

Blog post by Gina DeFrank, ChannelAdvisor Business Analyst, Marketplaces

International eBookLooking 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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