If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, expanding into Europe is a logical step. Fortunately, as an Amazon seller you have access to a range of tools that make achieving this as easy as possible, giving you the platform to reach millions of customers across several key European markets.
In fact, Amazon has an incredible 100 million visitors to their five European marketplaces – Amazon UK, DE, FR, IT and ES – every month, although the UK site alone accounts for around 30 million of that. Ultimately, that is a significant amount of potential footfall to your product listings.
Back in October, we were fortunate enough to welcome John Barlow, Amazon’s UK FBA Business Manager, to our Linn Academy event, where he discussed how exactly you can grow your business profitably in Europe with Amazon.
While you can watch the recording of his talk at the bottom of this article, we have summarised the key points below, providing you with some insight and best practices on how you can achieve the same level of success selling into Europe, as thousands of other Amazon sellers.
Why expand into Europe?
Making the decision to sell overseas is no easy feat, which is why we typically recommend sellers to test the international waters through the use of an online marketplace. Amazon is a great one to consider, thanks to the fact they make the process as simple as possible.
As an example, Amazon enable you to sell on all five of the European marketplaces, from only one seller account. In addition to this, they give you the platform to introduce your brand to millions of active Amazon users across all five countries, ultimately helping to increase your sales.
SEE ALSO: How To Sell More On Amazon
It’s also worth keeping in mind that international business growth enables you to be more competitive. While you will have likely identified the peak periods for your business in the UK, by selling on the other marketplaces, you can also take advantage of the peak periods in each respective country, in turn reducing business seasonality.
Your options for fulfilment
As an Amazon seller, you have two different options for fulfilment – fulfil your own orders or hand over the entire fulfilment process to Amazon, through the use of Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA).
Not only does FBA enable you to reach some of Amazon’s most active and loyal customers – Amazon Prime users – it also increases your credibility and trustworthiness as a seller, reduces your delivery time and gives your customers access to exceptional local language customer support.
Additionally, once you opt to use Fulfilment by Amazon, you have access to 3 fulfilment methods when expanding your business across Europe. Specifically, these are European Fulfilment Network (EFN), Multi-Country Inventory (MCI) and Pan-European FBA.
How Amazon's Pan-European FBA works
While you can read more about EFN and MCI in further detail in one of our previous articles, Pan-European FBA does in fact combine the benefits of both programmes, providing you with the ability to:
- Ship your products to a domestic fulfilment centre, where Amazon will distribute your inventory amongst European fulfilment centres
- Maintain a single inventory pool
- Benefit from fast delivery in all five European marketplaces
- Pay local fulfilment fees
- Benefit from local language customer service and returns handled by Amazon
Ultimately, Pan-European FBA enables you to sell across Europe, place your inventory closer to your customers and fulfil orders quickly, at lower costs. The image below demonstrates how it works in more detail.
In order to use the Pan-European FBA programme, however, your product must be available to all five of the Amazon EU marketplaces. Amazon will then automatically trans-ship your products to the countries where they anticipate there to be demand, at no additional cost.
Pan-European FBA fee comparison
In addition to the benefits listed above, from being enrolled on the Pan-European FBA programme, you can also take advantage of the following savings in each country you sell into.
As you can see in the comparison table above, you can save as much as €1.38 on a standard 500g parcel, when compared to using EFN or when fulfilling from your own UK inventory pool. More details on Pan-European FBA pricing can be found here.
Amazon have also introduced Small and Light FBA, which has been designed for fast-moving, small and light products under the value of £7. This is only currently available in the UK, however, but it is a great option for sellers wanting to use FBA, but with products that up until now haven’t been viable due to the cost of fulfilment. With this option users can ship a large letter from only 80p.
You should be aware, however, that with Pan-European FBA, there are certain VAT requirements when selling into Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland and/or Czech Republic. Ultimately, it is your responsibility as an Amazon seller to comply with tax obligations, as well as the filing of all relevant returns and VAT invoicing. It is recommended that you do speak with a third-party tax advisor such as FTI Global VAT Compliance for further advice.
SEE ALSO: How To Deal With VAT For Your Business
For help getting started with Amazon's Pan-European FBA programme, head over to their website.
Merchandising opportunities to boost your seller profile in Europe
In addition to Amazon’s fulfilment options, there are also merchandising opportunities that you can take advantage of. These include Sponsored Products and Deals opportunities.
Sponsored products is a pay-per-click advertising solution, available in all five of the European marketplaces, which enables you to promote your products on Amazon, with keyword-targeted ads. Specifically, you will be able to set a budget and pay an amount up to your maximum bid and in addition to this, you can either select your own keywords to target or let Amazon choose the most relevant keywords.
As you can see from the image above, sponsored ad placements can be displayed on the right-hand side of the search results page, at the top of the page or alternatively on the product details page.
To learn more about using sponsored products, visit the resource page here.
In addition to Sponsored Products, there are also three different types of deals opportunities that you can take advantage of – Lightning Deals, Deal of the Day and Best Deals. Below, you will find a description of each.
Lightning Deals – While the Black Friday week is Amazon’s biggest week for Lightning Deals, they do also run Lightning Deals outside of Black Friday. These are the deals that display a countdown until the deal runs out, however to qualify for this type of deal, you will need to have a high customer review and a good discount.
Deal of the Day – These are premium deals, which also require very high customer reviews, typically four stars or above. They will usually run for the entire day, and due to the nature require a good discount.
Best Deals – While these are surfaced on Amazon’s Deals Page, it’s worth remembering that this particular page has the most traffic, only after the homepage. These deals don’t have to be as premium as the Deal of the Day or Lightning Deals, but they still have the potential to significantly boost your presence.
Ultimately, these merchandising opportunities can help you to boost your visibility in each of the European markets, enabling you to get a head start on increasing your international sales and growing your business.
Linn Academy 2016 - Selling in Europe with Amazon