The multichannel retail market in the UK is highly saturated, especially when it comes to selling on Amazon. To succeed, retailers need to win market share from other businesses, which isn’t always easy when you’re selling to the same audience. That is where cross border trading can help, and with Amazon, the whole process is facilitated.
How does cross border trade work?
In the globalised world of eCommerce, international expansion gives you access to an entirely new and unsaturated target market. And while internationalisation through subsidiaries can be very cost-intensive and complex, it’s made incredibly easy via eCommerce.
Of course, a foreign market is still foreign, meaning that customers in other countries often have a different culture, a different buying behaviour and different preferences than the customers you know from your home market. Also, local laws and regulations as well as VAT can be complex and sometimes differ significantly from what you are used to.
These are factors you will always need to consider when you go international, no matter if via eCommerce or any other avenue. So, before you explore the world with your multichannel retail business, make sure you do your research.
What is a Unified Amazon Seller Account & how does it help?
Deciding which method of internationalisation is the right one for you depends on the needs of your business, products and customers. While joint-ventures, subsidiaries, sales representatives, licensing or franchising can be great for some, those are often too complex for the start of your international journey.
But there is one option that almost everybody can use and that comes with a low initial investment and at low risk: a Unified Amazon Seller Account.
Amazon currently has 16 marketplaces all over the globe:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- United Arab Emirates
Those marketplaces give you access to millions of loyal Amazon buyers.
In the past, you would have had to open an account for each marketplace individually and pay seller fees for each to sell your products. More recently, Amazon has introduced Unified Amazon Seller Accounts to simplify matters for sellers. This means you can access several marketplaces from one seller account.
European Unified Amazon Seller Account
The European Unified Seller Account, also known as European Marketplace Account, allows you to access five marketplaces from just one account. This means you can create and manage product offerings in the following marketplaces:
The European Marketplace Account itself comes at no extra cost for Pro sellers. There are several tools available, which take out most of the complexity, cost and effort of selling internationally:
- Build International Listings:
This tool is free and is key for selling internationally on Amazon. It automatically creates and manages your offers across the selected European marketplaces. It also monitors the exchange rates and adjusts pricing accordingly.
- Translate Your Products:
This tool significantly facilitates listing your products in other European marketplaces. It translates your product titles and descriptions in specified languages.
- Manage Your Business From a Single Amazon Seller Account:
From one single, unified Amazon Seller Account, you can control what you sell and where. This takes the hassle out of selling internationally.
Expand even further with Fulfilment by Amazon
Successful internationalisation can be even easier if you’re using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA). In addition to the usual benefits that also exist when selling with FBA (e.g. professional fulfilment services, eligibility for Prime, competitive delivery rates and trusted customer service), it reduces the effort and complexity of selling internationally.
There are several programmes to choose from when you wish to expand internationally with FBA:
- European Fulfilment Network (EFN):
With this programme, you simply ship and store your products to fulfilment centres in the UK as usual. From there, Amazon will then also fulfil orders from other European marketplaces. While UK customers can still enjoy fast delivery options, those are not available for customers of other marketplaces, as products need to be shipped from the UK.
Here you ship to one fulfilment centre and allow Amazon to distribute the goods to other European centres depending on the anticipated demand. This means that customers in all European marketplaces can have faster delivery.
This means you choose the countries into which you ship your goods. Then you can fulfil orders from any European marketplace. Fast delivery will be available to customers in the countries where you decided to store the products.
- FBA Export to EU Option:
In addition to the above truly international options, there is also one that allows you to sell internationally, without requiring you to list on another marketplace. This option is useful whenever you are using FBA locally, as it provides you with additional sales opportunities at currently no extra costs. It simply means you list your products on the UK marketplace as usual but when a customer places an order from another country, Amazon delivers the item EU-wide from the fulfilment centre where it is stored. A guide on how to activate this option is available here.
In addition to the above highlighted European marketplaces, Amazon also has third party marketplaces in North America and Asia. Currently, you will still need to set up individual accounts to access those.
However, if you wish to target the North American Market, the situation is slightly easier. Similar to the European marketplace, you can there use a North American Unified Amazon Seller Account. This allows you to sell in Canada, the USA and Mexico from just one account.
As you can see, selling internationally is not necessarily one big, complex step. You can simply start with taking small steps and make money in new markets without much effort. Amazon and FBA make it possible.
Does your ERP software support international growth?
While the external side of selling abroad is dealt with via Amazon, how you handle those international sales internally is a completely different subject. You will need to have a business management solution in place that seamlessly integrates with all Amazon marketplaces and that can handle different currencies, customs and taxes.
Because what’s the point of selling internationally if your internal operations can’t handle it?
Here’s the good news: Your Khaos Control ERP software can already support your international growth at any stage by default.
You can use your Unified Amazon Seller Account with Khaos Control just like a normal account. The Channel Setup Overrides dialog within your Channel Listings functionality allows you to import orders that are attributable to multiple channels through a single input like a parent Amazon channel, which contains your credentials. You can learn how to set this up here.
The systems then uses the email address to figure out which Amazon channel the order is from. For example, email addresses ending with .de will be attributed to Germany, .es for Spain etc.
The export of stock information to Amazon works in the same way as for one single Amazon Channel. Khaos Control will send the new information like prices or availability to the Source Amazon Marketplace. Based on how you have configured it, this information will then be distributed to the target marketplace by Amazon, as shown in the following graphic:
In addition, Khaos Control offers a broad range of functionality to handle all kinds of international sales. This includes for example support for multiple currencies, intrastat, country-specific tax and much more besides. If you’d like to know more on how your system can help you expand your business’ horizons, then please get in touch.