The three-year-plus global pandemic saw the spiraling of e-commerce in different platforms, multiplied product listings, profit for sellers and platform owners, and convenience and ‘peace of mind’ for consumers and the general populace. In the US, the bastion of e-commerce, sales revenues had catapulted to $1 trillion.
The Amazon Marketplace which grew from its online bookstore beginnings to earn the moniker ‘The Everything Store,’ has been consistently adding features to its growth plan. The Amazon Global Selling Program, one of the most significant contributory features to its spiraling popularity and revenues, allowed it to profit well during the pandemic, becoming the world’s largest e-commerce company, leading the pack with Alibaba, eBay, etc.
In this article, we’ll talk about selling globally on Amazon, what it is about, the advantages in it and the challenges sellers could face, how to go about it, and how to succeed in it.
What is Amazon Global Selling?
Launched in 2015, Amazon Global Selling is an e-commerce program that enables Amazon sellers to expand their businesses to sell their products in international markets across the globe. Businesses can easily list and sell internationally on Amazon marketplaces worldwide, reaching a much larger customer base and increasing revenues.
The Amazon Global Selling program enables global sellers to handle international selling complexities associated with imports, exports, and local regulations. It provides information on how to prepare for international sales, taxes, shipping costs, product listing requirements, etc.
There are tools to help sellers set up their global business, like the Amazon Fulfillment Network and Seller Central. These tools simplify the setup process. There are support services like marketing support and customer service to assure sellers they have all the necessary resources they need to succeed in the international markets.
Amazon Global Selling is invaluable for businesses expanding their reach beyond domestic borders. With its easy-to-use platform and comprehensive support services, it is no wonder why so many businesses have chosen AGS as their go-to solution for international expansion.
How Does Amazon Global Selling Work?
AGS (Amazon Global Selling) offers simplicity with simplicity. With worldwide marketplaces, here’s a list to guide you on how to leverage Amazon’s global scale of resources with Amazon Global Selling.
Identifying Your Target Marketplace or Destination Country
This is your logical starting point for selling internationally on Amazon. It is perhaps the most critical question to yourself, before proceeding to any of the recommended to-do steps on Amazon Global Selling – Where to sell? Your answer to this question will be the springboard for all other key considerations, product listings, pricing, fulfillment method and distribution, product categories, etc. to attract your potential customers.
Similarly crucial will be the culture, language, seasons and holidays, tariffs, and local regulations, which are different in each country. Knowing the differences will help you better in identifying the products you would sell. One common experience is in electronics – plugs, outlets, and voltage regulations are different among European countries, Asia, the Middle East, and the US.
As a new seller, your best reference would be Amazon’s PDF and Video Guides on its site. Selling globally on Amazon isn’t merely choosing a product and matching it with a country you like.
After making marketplace choices, then you go on to the next steps.
Finding a product to sell
Preparation is crucial to selling internationally on Amazon. You have to read and get a lot of information to help you set up your Amazon global business. To identify your product, you need to do research on products, your competitors, and possible suppliers and do the numbers.
Research the variables and essentials you need to factor in when identifying your product, bearing in mind your target marketplace is a different country or geographic region.
Setting up your Amazon Seller Account
You can choose from a Professional Seller or an Individual Seller account. Amazon’s Seller Central portal will guide you through the whole process of setting up. You will find here all the information on the registration documentary requirements, fees and rates, listing your products, and all relevant information to start selling on Amazon Global Selling.
Listing your Products
Amazon’s Seller Central portal shows two options: use bulk upload or manually upload your products. If you choose the manual method, after you choose the category from the pre-defined options, the Amazon wizard will walk you through the listing process.
To avoid frustration and loss, you need to strike a balance in your stock so you don’t have low stock or overstock. Either situation will incur losses. Consider setting up replenishment alerts in your selling account.
Take note of the seasons, international holidays, and local holidays in your target marketplaces. These three influence sales in many product categories. Amazon Analytics can help tweak your inventory and monitor falling/rising sales and ranking, page views, and product complaints.
Choosing your fulfillment
The determinant of your fulfillment method is whether you plan to sell a few lines or set up a large scale. FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) was designed to help smaller businesses access Amazon’s logistics resources, allowing sellers to save on upfront investments.
With these basics, let us go into more detail to help you start selling in Amazon’s global marketplaces.
Is Brand Registry Needed for Every Target Country of Sales
Amazon’s Brand Registry program is the ‘Open sesame’ for sellers with more tools and services to project their brand images better, protect their brands, facilitate product listings, and grow their sales more.
Enrolment in the Brand Registry program is not required of all Amazon sellers. But if you want to profit better and more on Amazon, the program offers benefits to marketing your products well, including
- You get protection against intellectual property thefts (essential protection for your brand growth), like product hijacking and counterfeit sales. Amazon will help you detect illegal and counterfeit products and takes them out.
- Improved listings management by allowing the inclusion of videos and photos in your listings. This will make for an enhanced customer experience.
- Additional marketing tools like:
- Advanced Brand Analytics will give you data analytics on the demographics and behavior of your customers while interacting with your products. This will help you understand how your products fare in Search.
- Amazon Attribution Tool, a measurement and analytics service for advertisers to track and measure how effective their ad campaigns are in different channels, off and on Amazon
- Live Creator is a tool for brands and sellers to create and broadcast live streaming videos on Amazon, allowing real-time connection of brands with customers, sharing their brand story, and showcasing their products.
- Sponsored Brand Ads target customers searching for similar products and allow brands to simultaneous multiple promotions and drive traffic to their brand store pages.
- A+ Content is accessible to Brand Registry sellers, helping make their product pages stand out from competitor pages with premium content professionally designed for your brands.
- Amazon Store Builder enables you to create your customized virtual store with a branded look and feel, granting your customers a distinctive experience.
- Amazon Posts is among Amazon’s latest features that helps shoppers find new products or what’s new from brands. Brands create and publish content shown in the brand store and on product pages. Content can be photos, videos, lifestyle imagery, infographics, and category tags to drive organic traffic to their products.
- Project Zero helps detect infringement on trademarks and violations of terms and services and blocks the sellers when the violations are verified.
- Transparency Program is Amazon’s service for sellers to assign special serial numbers to each unit of their products, thus giving protection against counterfeit sellers.
Benefits Of Amazon Global Selling
Amazon Global Selling is a great way for your businesses to reach international markets, make new and more customers and put more money in your bank account. You get these without the hassles of jumping through the hoops of offshore selling requirements, limitations from cultural norms, language, etc.
Amazon Global Selling makes it easier to reach customers worldwide in its multiple Amazon marketplaces and provides customer service for an excellent online shopping experience!
1. Minimal Effort to Reach a Large Customer Base
Amazon Global Selling (AGS) is a great way to reach a large global customer base in other countries with minimal effort.
You can list your products and sell internationally on Amazon Marketplaces in Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and North and South American countries. Your business is over national borders and reaches hundreds of millions of customers around the world, among them the 200 million paid Prime members.
Minimal effort because Amazon takes care of fulfilling your orders all the way to delivery. You just list your products, and AGS does the rest. FBA fulfillment opens your business to new markets without investing in the complicated logistics of storage, packing, shipping, etc. FBA makes your products get to your customers quicker and more efficiently.
Amazon’s International Marketplaces
Amazon international marketplaces now numbering 20, stretch across more than 220 countries as of 2023, grouped under particular geographic regions.
- Amazon North America – the US (the first Amazon Marketplace), Canada, and Mexico
- Amazon Europe – the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, and Spain and covers 28 other countries
- Amazon Middle East – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt covering other Middle-Eastern countries
- Amazon Asia-Pacific – Australia, Japan, Singapore, Turkey, India, and China (limited in operations) covering other Asian countries
- Amazon South America – Brazil
Amazon international marketplaces in North America and Europe have Unified Account functionality.
Amazon Unified Seller Account
Originally, it was one account per marketplace with the accompanying seller fees. Recently, Amazon introduced the Unified Amazon Seller Accounts as simplified support for selling globally, enabling one consolidated account to access several marketplaces. You can create and manage product offers in several marketplaces.
There are promotional tools to ease the complications, cost, and effort to sell globally, like building your international listings. One is the translation service, where your product titles and descriptions are translated into the official local language of your target marketplace.
Currently, there are two Unified Account options, the European Marketplace Account, and the North American Unified Amazon Seller Account. The North American Unified Amazon Seller Account allows you to sell in Canada, the USA, and Mexico. The European Marketplace Account allows you to offer and sell to EU countries from a single seller account.
These unified accounts grant you access to millions of North American and European customers and facilitate your business expansion.
2. Amazon Handles International Orders Complexities
With the Amazon global marketplace, you don’t have to worry about the complexities of international orders. Amazon has a global fulfillment network with 185 fulfillment centers globally which makes it easy to deliver your products to customers in over 200 countries and territories.
You can use Amazon’s FBA service to take advantage of their worldwide delivery network and get your orders out quickly and reliably. Plus, with Amazon’s advanced analytics tools, you can track and optimize your international listings for maximum success.
A. Local Language Customer Support
Amazon Global Selling provides customer support in local languages all over the world. If a customer from Germany speaks only German or a customer from Mexico speaks only Spanish, they can still get the help they need when shopping on Amazon.
The language support services include translation, currency conversion, and 24/7 customer service for international shoppers; thus ensuring that customers’ experience is a seamless buying process, wherever they live.
Local language customer support is especially important for international shoppers who are not familiar with English-language websites. It also helps to build trust between customers and sellers as they feel comfortable knowing that they can access help in their native language.
B. Currency, Fees, Taxes
Because different countries have their currency and use different monetary methods, Amazon has a currency conversion service where your international customers convert the currency to your preferred local currency. The exchange occurs at the time it is deposited to your local bank account, with a 3% conversion fee.
In Europe, you would need a European VAT. Amazon has VAT Services on Amazon for your VAT needs from registration to filing and submission requirements This support tool is cost-efficient and simple, with dedicated customer support.
Amazon collaborates with global tax service providers for VAT compliance in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
Do research and consultation on taxes and regulations of your target marketplace to understand your responsibilities as an international seller. There are country-specific regulations on product safety, environmental, health, safety, and other requirements, intellectual property rights, export controls, marking and labels, and product compliance.
C. Country-specific Guides
Amazon has detailed guides that provide country-specific regulations like product eligibility and compliance, local business address requirements, registration, listing, and inventory.
3. Fulfilled by Amazon
There is Fulfilled by Merchant or Seller (FBM), where you do all the packing, shipping, and delivery, and Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA), perhaps one of the best features of Amazon for seller profit maximization.
Fulfillment by Amazon for global selling means your products would be in storage in an Amazon fulfillment center for sale to the customers in that marketplace. There are additional fulfillment options in Europe: the Pan-European FBA, the European Fulfillment Network, and the Multi-Country Inventory.
Fulfillment by Amazon means that Amazon is responsible for packing and shipping your ordered products directly to your customer. Payment is collected by Amazon which is then sent to your registered bank account every two weeks. Amazon has 24/7 Customer Service to handle questions or requests for returns or refunds.
If your inventory is sourced from a country different from the fulfillment center, you will export your products from the source and import those into your target country. You must follow the laws and regulations of both the source and destination countries.
The destination country’s customs duties, import taxes, and fees are your responsibility, not Amazon’s. Shipments to a fulfillment center with customs duties due will be returned to the sender. The Amazon website gives step-by-step guides on the global FBA process.
4. Variety of Tools and Programs for Profit Maximization and Promotion
Amazon’s global e-commerce success is partly due to its continuous innovations of tools and programs for its sellers to maximize profit and promotion.
Amazon’s FBA Revenue Calculator helps sellers calculate their profits on Amazon. This calculator accounts for all the costs associated with selling on Amazon, including shipping, storage, and fulfillment fees.
Amazon’s advertising platform allows sellers to create targeted campaigns that reach potential customers across multiple channels. Sellers can promote their products to a broader audience.
Amazon Prime members get free two-day shipping on eligible items and access to exclusive deals and discounts.
The FBA Fee Calculator is the seller’s guide to FBA fees and costs of this fulfillment method.
Amazon’s Marketplace provides an easy way for third-party sellers to list their products on the site and reach millions of potential customers.
Overall, Amazon has created a comprehensive suite of tools and programs designed to help sellers maximize their profits and promote their products effectively. With these resources, sellers can ensure that they are getting the most out of their Amazon business.
Build International Listings (BIL)
Amazon has guides and tools to handle the key points in product listing like keywords, product categories, product titles and descriptions, customer reviews, and images. There is a prescribed format for images and tools for keyword research and all these factors to highlight your lists.
This is your best tool for listing for international selling on Amazon. It is key to your international selling, together with the Unified Seller Account.
- The BIL Tool creates and manages your offers across Amazon Marketplaces.
- This tool monitors currency exchange rates and does appropriate pricing adjustments.
- Most significant feature of this tool is the translation of your product titles and descriptions into the specific language/s of your target destinations.
Conclusion: Opportunity Abounds on Amazon
Don’t be fazed by what seems to be complicated information and processes. There really are fantastic opportunities in Amazon for anyone determined and willing to work it out.
In offshore selling, it’s understandable to expect convoluted regulations to know and follow, as well as the cultural norms and language in each country that would challenge effective communication and build-up of customer rapport.
Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed. Amazon has no equal, as yet, in its volume and scale of resources to support your business. With all these available, you would need to make the time to research and identify which would serve you best.
Aside from Amazon’s tools and resources, be alert to new and emerging technologies. Amazon’s story is a great lesson for everyone to pay attention to new methods of conducting business. Who knows, the next innovation might just be the boost you need to grow your business!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can anyone in the world sell on Amazon?
A: As the world’s largest e-commerce company, any seller wanting to get into e-business can do so with Amazon. You don’t need to be a US resident to sell on Amazon because it has 20 marketplaces covering hundreds of countries around the globe.
Q: Do I need to open an Amazon account in every country?
A: Amazon offers unified accounts in North America (US, Canada, and Mexico) and Europe (France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Netherlands, Poland, UK ). Sellers in the USA can expand to other regions and don’t need to register separately. In this way, the seller in Britain will not need to open a separate seller website in Germany.
Q: Which countries can I sell to through Amazon?
A: Amazon has 28 Marketplaces covering more than 200 countries worldwide. To sell anywhere in the Americas, there is the North America Amazon Unified Seller Account; for anywhere in Europe, there is the European Marketplace Account.
You’d need to open a single account for countries in the Middle East, South America, and Asia-Pacific.
Q: How does Amazon help sellers trade globally?
A: The Amazon Global Selling program is on the Amazon.com website. There you will find detailed guides on the requirements and processes you need to comply with and take to be an international Amazon seller.
Q: What is Amazon Prime?
A: Amazon Prime is a paid subscription service. From its name, “prime,” comes a lot of perks. Some of these benefits are guaranteed 2-day delivery, free shipping, exclusive access to sales, free movie streaming, and access regular sellers don’t have to other services.