Like the majority of Amazon sellers I was too busy trying to grow my existing amazon.com store to look into the international opportunities. It wasn’t until they actually reached out to me that I seriously considered it, and boy am I glad I did. The UK store is already huge considering how long it’s been live, and Italy, Germany, and France aren’t far behind. Here are my top ten reasons why you need to make this a priority if you haven’t already.
1. Fewer sellers offering American products = higher demand. If you look at the UK and compare it to the US market size you won’t be that impressed, but consider how many fewer sellers there are on amazon.co.uk.That can easily make up for for lower traffic levels.You’re competing with far fewer sellers.
2. Getting in now will help you build feedback and a reputation before everyone else catches on. At some point I expect Amazon to make it so easy that every seller will end up selling globally. If you can build up a reputation now though you’ll be far ahead of the game which will give you the advantage when the market is flooded.
3. In some cases, Amazon will convert all your listings for you for free! I’m not sure what the size cutoff is, but the entire store was converted for free by amazon.co.uk, so I literally just told them the conversion rate and set up new shipping tables and I was live. Reach out to them and see if they’ll help.
4. International customers are willing to pay for shipping. When we first launched I set up a flat shipping rate of 35 pounds (~$56!). People were buying $12 decals from me and paying that shipping because I was the only one selling them and they had no choice. Using this data I then send bulk shipments to FBA UK and watched the sales really take off.
5. International shipping isn’t as complicated as you think. I’ll be posting on this in detail soon, but so many people shy away from easy sales just because they think international shipping is too complicated for them to understand. Taking an hour to learn how it works is easily worth the years of sales you’ll enjoy afterwards.
6. By sending products to FBA UK, you can also list/sell them on amazon.fr, amazon.de, amazon.es, and amazon.it. This opens you up to much more than just the UK, and Amazon handles the logistics. You can also manage all your orders from all over Europe from one screen in the EU Seller Central.
7. Even if you don’t sell much, it’s international branding. Just by having your logo and name by these products you can increase traffic to your regular site from all these new sources. This much doesn’t cost you anything either.
8. It paves the way for you to expand your own retail site internationally. Learning the rope of shipping and dealing with international customers, as well as seeing what these customers like compared to your existing American customers, can be used to launch online stores internationally with an adequate amount of data to succeed.
9. If you get big enough, you’ll have an excuse to take business trips to Europe. If you’re like me, and you’re constantly looking of an excuse to travel, the possibility of heading to Paris for a conference instead of Seattle is more than enough motivation to try it out.
10. You can gain credibility internationally, thereby opening yourself up to new European product sources. Why not find some popular products in Europe and have them ship for you from there? This way you avoid all the international shipping costs and still profit internationally.