In today’s competitive sales environment, expanding into new markets can be the best way to drive growth. International regions provide new audiences, and competition levels are often lower than on home soil.
But the path to international expansion is paved with difficult decisions. For example, what’s the simplest, lowest-risk way to start selling your products overseas?
For most companies, the answer is ecommerce. And online marketplaces are often a quicker and less stressful way to expand than setting up your own retail website.
While some local marketplaces are well worth considering – Alibaba in Asia, Flipkart in India to Rakuten in Europe, for example – it’s hard to look beyond Amazon. As a household name with an unparalleled global reach, it’s a logical starting point for most scale-up brands.
Let’s take a deeper dive into why Amazon is an ideal channel to drive international growth:
1. Amazon is a global platform with a trusted reputation
When it comes to global sales reach, it doesn’t get bigger than Amazon. It’s the world’s largest ecommerce marketplace, with over 310 million customers. In addition, 74% of people begin product research on Amazon rather than a search engine.
When you are new to a region, leveraging your retail partner’s reputation can help you grow quicker. And shoppers trust Amazon to provide a reliable service, as it has been voted the most trusted retailer in the UK and named Germany’s most trusted online brand.
2. You can sell in several countries from a single product listing
Launching your proposition into multiple markets takes a lot of time and effort. Amazon takes the pain out of this process by adapting content from a single online listing.
But while listings are simple, your brand must adapt products, packaging and online information to local regulations. For example, labels need to be printed in the official language(s) of each region you sell.
Read more: how to cluster languages on your product packaging.
Rather than attempting to localise products in-house, your brand may find it easier to outsource updates to a compliance agency.
As an added benefit, a compliance agency can support you in other areas. For example, meeting product safety standards and protecting your intellectual property.
3. It has an established global distribution network
International export can be a complex logistical exercise. But Amazon offers many services that help brands leapfrog operational barriers.
For example, Amazon has a global shipping network, which makes it easier to fulfil international orders. Plus, its Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA) programme provides storage, packaging and shipping services in 10 selected regions.
Embed this video on how FBA works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlXA6bA63z
However, there are certain areas where brands may need more support than Amazon can offer – like understanding global variations in VAT. A specialist compliance agency can support you with these calculations as well.
4. It’s a great place to learn about customer demand
Growing your business means striking a balance between risk and reward. The more you can understand your customers, the quicker you can refine your proposition.
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Amazon helps brands to dissect the needs of international customers through its built-in data analytics platform. Online sales data helps your company learn their preferences and adapt your offering to focus on your most successful products.
A data-led environment will also enable you to test new ideas. Also, as you’re only charged when an item sells, the stakes are lower on Amazon than on sites that charge up-front fees.
5. Get the right support for your international launch
While Amazon is not the only route to market, and other platforms can support your brand effectively, it’s a great starting point for international growth. Listing on Amazon will allow your brand to sell products globally, and its proven infrastructure reduces many of the risks associated with international growth.
But while marketplaces allow your brand to ‘go it alone’ when selling overseas, listing your products on Amazon won’t guarantee that you comply with local laws. Worse still, Amazon may remove non-compliant listings or close your online store altogether until the issue has been investigated and resolved. This will have a massive impact on your international sales.
One of the simplest ways to avoid disruption and sell confidently online all over the world is to partner with a compliance agency like Hooley Brown.
Our technical expertise will ensure your products meet local regulations without having to rely on local distributors. With our support, nothing will fall through the gaps. And once you’re set up on Amazon (or another preferred marketplace), we can optimise your product listings for local audiences to help you sell more and grow faster.
Need help launching internationally via Amazon? Get in touch to learn more about our global compliance services for consumer brands.