The Top Challenges in Entering New Global Amazon Marketplaces
As your storefront on Amazon continues to gain traction, you probably want to bring your products to the international online market. The more exposure you have, the better chance you have of selling your products and making a profit. Potential customers could recognize your success locally and overseas, making it possible for you to earn their trust and recognition as you grow globally. However, these benefits do not come for free.
Expanding your business to new Amazon marketplaces can introduce several challenges which can quickly become overwhelming for anyone new to the global Amazon landscape.
Critical Amazon Marketplace Challenges to Consider
Before diving headfirst into a new Amazon marketplace, consider some of the issues that may come with the territory.
Is Your Business Ready?
The first few problems involve internal business matters. The No.1 thing you should ask yourself before starting anything is if your business is ready to develop and expand into a new market while maintaining an effective business locally. Lack of funding, research, planning, and time constraints could lead to a failed marketplace entrance. If you feel your team can accommodate the expansion, then do not hesitate to resolve the onboarding process.
Adjusting Price Points
Secondly, you may have to adjust price points for your products. Are there government regulations regarding prices or taxes for foreign products? How will you factor in the costs of the new fees you may encounter? Will you increase the price of the product? How will this impact your competitiveness? These are all questions you must evaluate to see if you have a chance to succeed internationally.
Watching Out for Payment Fraud
When you start managing new currencies and payment processing, you will naturally encounter more instances of fraud. So, remember to stay a step ahead and have safety systems in place so you can secure your customers’ precious financial data. Second, you must recognize that your international customers may not be familiar with some common payment platforms in your original marketplace. Each new Amazon marketplace comes with different fees and quirks. Thus, you will need to accommodate your new customer base while keeping realistic expectations on the number of marketplaces you can juggle at once.
Establishing Customer Trust
Furthermore, you must rebuild your brand authority and trust in the new Amazon marketplace. Understand that new clientele comes with new preferences and unique demands. For example, targeted customers from different countries may prefer distinct colors, designs, or materials in the product. A top-selling product in the United States may not perform as well in the EU (European Union) marketplace, such as sports gear, certain foods, or larger-sized products. Researching your competition in the international market may help identify local tastes, allowing you to build momentum at the start.
Meeting Cultural Expectations in the Amazon Marketplace
When entering the global Amazon marketplace, you cannot ignore cultural etiquette. Keeping up with the news and politics in the country you want to sell to can help leverage your chances. What are situations that could harm the business done there? Who are your competitors? Are they backed by large entities that would result in a losing battle?
Language is a significant barrier that you should put some thought into as well. How helpful are your Amazon A+ materials if nobody can understand them? But hiring bilingual workers may be more expensive than you think. On the other hand, automatic translators may yield inaccurate messaging. Thus, prepare to evaluate every exhaustive option for your business.
New Cultural Preferences
Beyond the language barrier, what marketing processes are unique to each country? Is it common for people in that country to regularly buy single-use products or are they environmentally conscious? Even factors such as religion, emotion, and group dynamics can affect your Amazon storefront’s success. This explains why creating a new brand image in an international marketplace can help shape your marketing approach.
Obstacles in International Amazon Marketplaces
Amazon sellers looking to grow internationally may also face logistical challenges. Even if your product is popular abroad, you still need to remain vigilant to overcome common pitfalls.
New Laws & Regulations
Different countries enforce various customer data protection laws. The General Data Protection Regulation in the EU, for example, may limit what customer information you can use when advertising your products. Research is key to avoiding unwanted surprises when marketing outside your original customer base.
Changes to the Fulfillment Process
The battle does not stop once you have made your first international sale. Factors such as shipping rates, customs, trade compliances, and other nuances may complicate your fulfillment process. However, there are ways to minimize these issues, such as collaborating with fulfillment partners in each of your marketplaces, so you do not have to learn the ins and outs of every new Amazon marketplace you join.
Dedicated Customer Support
The more customers you have, the more you can sell. However, there are also more problems you may run into as you interact with new customers. Professional customer support in the local language helps overcome barriers in the international market. You may need to consider setting up unique phone numbers, email addresses, and more for each market so customers know they can get the support they need.
Rebuilding Product Reviews
Each marketplace is a separate entity, meaning reviews will not carry over from one marketplace to another. Any new ASINs you create will have to restart their reviews from scratch. This may be a huge step back from your initial standpoint as Amazon reviews are a huge part of the shopping experience for customers. So, by making sure your product listing appeals to the local market, the 5-star reviews will come in eventually.
Preparing the Product for New Amazon Marketplaces
To entice your new customers into buying your product, you should ensure that the product is ready for them to use. Confirm that your product is compatible with local restrictions.
Adapting the Production Process
Do not forget to research safety brand marks before expanding your market. Ask yourself what the procedures are for obtaining relevant certifications.
Products with electrical components will need compatibility with the electrical systems in the new marketplace. If this requires an adjustment in design, this may require you to evaluate if you can afford the changes. There may be laws in place restricting specific items as well. For instance, a country with strict alcohol regulations may not be the best marketplace for selling brewing products.
Accommodating New Metric Systems
Consistent sizing in the listing is also essential to provide your customers with an easy browsing experience. As a United States-based company, you will need to switch to the metric system when describing your products. International size charts for products such as clothing or shoes are helpful for interested customers.
Ready to Enter Another Amazon Marketplace?
With so many things to consider, expanding into the international market on Amazon can quickly become overwhelming. Try adapting the 4Ps marketing strategy as you begin your international marketplace journey: product, price, placement, and promotion. Choose what products would sell best internationally, adjust your pricing, optimize your distribution channels, and decide how you want to advertise your products to the new market.
Although brands will encounter multiple challenges in a new Amazon market, effective preparation and research will minimize headaches. Connect with Premiere Creative by calling (973) 346-8100 to create an Amazon strategy plan for your international debut tailored to your business.