If you’ve watched the news or picked up a newspaper recently, you’re probably aware that online marketplace giant Amazon are opening up in Australia in 2017/18. With all the hype surrounding their arrival, lots of savvy business owners and individuals have asked the simple question – how can I capitalise on this new marketplace to make more money for my business? The answer is you don’t have to wait for Amazon to become full service in Australia, you can start selling to hundreds of millions of consumers internationally within a few weeks.

Selling through Amazon’s international network is what smart people and businesses have been doing for years, so why wait for Amazon to officially land in Australia when you can start making money now?

World First works with thousands of online sellers both in Australia and globally, and below are some of the most common questions our Australian eCommerce team answer every day when it comes to businesses and individuals looking to sell on Amazon.

Who are Amazon?
Amazon is a global marketplace that boasts over 300 million active customers, in 189 countries. Selling everything from electronics and sporting goods, to clothing and beauty products, it’s the go-to for shoppers in many countries. To give you an idea of the sheer size of the marketplace, the search term ‘Amazon’ receives between 80-120 million hits a month in the USA alone. Now that’s a lot of potential customers!

 

What does a typical Amazon seller look like?
World First works with a range of sellers, and the truth is that there is no such thing as a typical seller. Some the most successful sellers we work with range from stay-at-home mothers or fathers, to bricks and mortar stores who have expanded internationally through Amazon, and students selling part-time while studying.

What product categories work the best?
There are over 30 categories you can sell in through Amazon. The great thing about this platform is that the sheer volume of active buyers means there is always demand for the right product. Some categories World First have seen trends of growth in recently include pet accessories, baby products and jewellery. That being said, if you’ve got a product that is unique and meets Amazon’s requirements, why not give it a go?

How does warehousing and customer fulfillment work?
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a warehousing and customer fulfillment option which makes running your business from the other side of the world easy. Put simply, you send your stocks to Amazon’s warehousing facilities and they take care of sending customer orders. Many Amazon customers sign up to a service called Amazon Prime, which offers same-day delivery.

 

Source: Amazon Global Selling

What are the costs associated with selling on Amazon?
 Monthly selling fee: US$39.99
 Referral fee: 8%-15% for most product categories
 Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) fee. This cost varies per item and can be calculated online.

If my Amazon sales are made internationally, how do I manage my foreign exchange?
World First allows online sellers the option of opening up receiving accounts in the markets they’re selling in like the US, UK, Europe, Canada, Japan and China. You simply add your World First currency account details to your Amazon Sellers Central Account, and all sales revenue is automatically sent to that account. While you can link your Australian bank account to Amazon, by opening a World First foreign account you can repatriate funds at times that suit you and benefit from superior exchange rates.

How do I promote my products once my Amazon listing is live?
One of the best ways to promote your products is through Amazon Sponsored Products. This is a pay-per-click scheme that ensures your product is more visible in your chosen category. Once you start to make more sales, you’ll receive more customer reviews, which is a key success factor on Amazon.

What about Amazon Australia?
It’s official, Amazon have announced their long-awaited arrival to Australia in 2018. This will mean the marketplace will become full service for Australians and services like Amazon Prime and Amazon Fresh will start to revolutionise the way we shop.

Customer service and fast shipping is what makes Amazon work so well. More sellers, means more competition, so consumers will be spoilt for product choice, which in theory should result in lower prices and faster delivery. Australian consumers will see an increase in free shipping, same day delivery and a focus on customer service and presentation. Those shopping on Amazon will be able to take advantage of these innovations and the marketplace’s presence should push traditional retailers to lift their game too.

So how will Amazon Australia help my business?
Australia has a small population when compared to the likes of the US, Europe and Asia; however, Amazon Australia can still be a great opportunity for Australian individuals and businesses.
Some products have been traditionally tough to sell internationally due to customs restrictions, so having a full-service marketplace locally will open up the door to categories like fresh produce and organic cosmetics.

Larger products like furniture that are sourced from Australia can be too expensive to ship internationally due to their size and weight, so selling these items to Australian consumers on Amazon is now an affordable and feasible option.

Amazon Australia will provide greater opportunity for a range of local businesses, with the option to also be selling internationally another great expansion option.

How do sellers get started on Amazon?
If you’re an existing business, the first step is to research the potential demand in that foreign market. The best way to do this is to explore Amazon to see what’s doing well and how competitive your product might be. Google key word search volumes and tools like Jungle Scout can also be used in the research and planning phase.

If you’re an individual looking to sell something new, sourcing your products and finding reliable suppliers is the second step once you’ve completed your research.

Next, you’ll need to launch your Amazon listing:

1. Create an account 
2. List your product
3. Promote your products
4. Customer fulfillment – FBA
5. Register for an Online Sellers account with World First online

World First works with thousands of people selling on Amazon globally. Contact us for any questions relating to Amazon, foreign exchange or other marketplace selling.

amazon.aus@worldfirst.com |   +61 02 8298 4997

 

Disclaimer:

These comments are the views and opinions of the author and should not be construed as advice. You should act using your own information and judgement.

Whilst information has been obtained from and is based upon multiple sources the author believes to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy and it may be incomplete or condensed.

All opinions and estimates constitute the author’s own judgement as of the date of the briefing and are subject to change without notice.

Please consider FX derivatives are high risk, provide volatile returns and do not guarantee profits.