How to Start Selling on Amazon Worldwide by Kevin Sanderson (Resonate 2021)
Even if you don’t identify yourself as a “citizen of the World,” Amazon gives you a chance to start selling internationally and become one. Once launched as a book-selling startup, Amazon has matured into a global heavyweight housing 18 Amazon marketplaces and counting!
With almost 30 years of background in the United States, Amazon has stricken roots in Brazil and Australia, conquered Canada and Mexico, landed on mainland Europe and even found its way to Japan.
Kevin Sanderson, a proficient Amazon seller and a credible guest speaker at Seller Labs Conference Resonate 2021, is sure that selling worldwide with Amazon on your side can be a real game-changer for your eCommerce business.
If you are not selling in Amazon international marketplaces you are leaving money on the table, he says.
This blog post is a short overview of Kevin’s full video session, where he talks about the main reasons for going global, suggests the best countries to widen your scope, and provides first-hand tips on how to get started. So, let’s jump into the topic right now and make it less foreign.
Did you know?
There are two options for building an online presence on any Amazon marketplace worldwide:
1. Open a separate account for each venue and manage your stock and international shipping on your own.
2. Enroll in the Amazon Global Selling Program, use unified accounts, and save time and effort by expanding offers from a “source” marketplace to a “target” one.
If you are just testing Amazon international waters, it would be reasonable to start with one foreign marketplace at a time.
7 Incontestable Benefits of Amazon International Selling
Let’s say you are a seasoned Amazon seller with a steady income-generating online store on Amazon.com. You are so “Amazon-savvy”, that if there were a panel show with Amazon policies and restrictions as the main topic, you would have won the first prize! If this is true for you, there has never been a better time to think big! So, here are at least 7 doubt-dispelling reasons to boost your Amazon sales by expanding them internationally.
- Feel at home on Amazon! Although it sounds like a catchphrase, there is some truth to it. A variety of convenient services and tools (like Inventory Management, Keywords, Ranking, FBA… you name it!) saves you time and effort while building your Amazon global empire.
- Expand your customer base. Increase sales by engaging with new people who shop on Amazon in other countries instead of stealing customers from your main marketplace in the US.
- Gain additional sales without digging into a new sales channel – provided that you know how to write and optimize your listings on Amazon the rest is paperwork. You can take your profitable listings from Amazon.com, have them translated for another Amazon online marketplace, and put them, let us say, in Amazon.fr (France). Voilà!
Just in case you find it helpful, here is a video where Jana Krekic gives practical advice on how to list your products for international audiences.
- The new life for your products! Launching new products in a new marketplace might be dicey. This is why a kickoff with tried and tested products might be a more feasible option. If your product is profitable in the USA, it will likely find its customers in the UK or Canada.
- “Insurance policy” on your current listings. There is nothing more valuable for online sellers than feeling safe. No more nightmares about having your best product listings blocked because now you have escape routes! Provided Amazon is taking down your listing in one marketplace high chances you will continue selling that same product in another marketplace.
- A higher sell-through rate. Sooner or later each slow-mover on your shelf turns into a nasty little creature feeding on your income and gnawing a hole in your pocket. So why not grant your products a second chance in a new marketplace (especially since you can always sell them at low margins later!)?
- A new online marketplace is a new source of revenue. When you have additional cash flows you always know what to spend money on: acquire a new software tool, invest into a virtual assistant for your store, or buy a new pair of boots.
A short hint from Kevin Sanderson:
Maximize Your Q4 Holiday Sales!
A Busy Holiday season, which starts shortly before Thanksgiving and lasts till or around Christmas, is the hottest time for big and small businesses alike. And the most rewarding one, especially in terms of the global market!
But, don’t take my word for it, while Kevin is showing a vivid illustration of how profitable international sales can be. At the end of a 30 day sales time he calculated a 56 % bump on top of his sales in the USA, which is a nice sauce for his Amazon.com Christmas turkey!
Getting Started: A Simple Guide on How to Conquer Amazon Worldwide
If you are just mapping your path into the thickets of international selling, let me forewarn you I got swamped with the immense amount of information! With all the unmatched benefits of selling worldwide, tapping into the international market is not all roses.
In this context, Kevin Sanderson’s step-by-step guide is intended as a “yellow brick road, not a straight ticket to Oz”. Like any regular Amazon seller, you are pretty familiar with the filing procedure, which is similar in all Amazon marketplaces. What could go wrong with the good old “rinse and repeat”, right? Nonetheless, there are some nuances to bear in mind. Let’s start from the outset.
Assuming that you are creating a new selling account in North American marketplaces, you are generally providing a credit card, phone number, and tax information. However, if you intend to sell on Amazon in Europe you will need to register for a value-added tax (VAT) identification number as well.
An important note:
Calculating your international VAT and sales taxes is no kid’s game. The good news here is that a number of tax experts and VAT agencies are ready to give you a helping hand (at a cost, of course). At the same time, you can always have Amazon VAT Services in your corner which also supports tax management to international online sellers. For more information visit handling your sales taxes here.
2. Set Up
While waiting for the foreign government to issue your business number (which normally takes from 4 to 6 weeks), you will have enough time to get everything squared away, like preparing your inventory, adding listings and deciding on the pricing in a new marketplace.
Once you’ve got your inventory delivered and listings created, there is something to manage now!
- More Niches. Attract customers to your new marketplace and boost your brand awareness by fine-tuning your PPC strategy.
- Inventory growth. Check inventory levels. Starting small and running out of the inventory can be better than having too much of it.
- Currency. Mind currency differences. Let’s recap: VAT calculations are critical for selling in Europe. Make sure you know whether a value-added tax is included in the advertised price.
- Labels. Take care of labelling. Please keep in mind that once you get out of North America, your FNSKUs (Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Units) will be different.
All done! Now, rinse and repeat with the following country.
A firsthand tip from Kevin Sanderson:
“If you are selling in the US and not selling in Canada yet, that should be your next step.”
Why start with Amazon.ca (Canada)?
+ It is English speaking. (You don’t have to translate your listings!)
+ It has a similar culture. (Up to 70 % of the Canadian population lives within 100 miles of the US border).
+ Simpler registering procedure. (You can fax the application to the Canadian revenue agency and get the answer in a shorter period.)
+ Straightforward sales tax filing process, and similar to the one we have in the USA.
Drawing the Line
After scrupulous research on the local target audience, taxes, currency differences, global shipping, and many-many other specific things, a regular Amazon seller can (and maybe should) venture into becoming an international one. Once you’ve established a solid online presence in a new country you can branch out into another international market. Thus, your own Amazon Global Empire -one brick at a time- should be carefully managed, optimized and cherished.
Seller Labs PRO can save you the pains of optimizing your product listings, inventing effective PPC campaigns, managing inventory or nurturing your customers. Moreover, with an option to connect your Seller Labs PRO account to at least 11 Amazon marketplaces you can proceed with your international expansion with much less effort spared.
Go Global with Seller Labs PRO
Maria is an SEO Content Specialist at Seller Labs. Once captured by digital and content marketing in her student days, she keeps living and breathing it ever since.