This post is contributed by Chad Rubin, CEO of Skubana, a unified e-commerce platform, and Crucial Vacuum. World First and Skubana have teamed up to help you achieve your sales goals; as a result you can try Skubana for 14 days at no cost.
As entrepreneurs selling online, it’s our duty to find new avenues of revenue. While growing Crucial Vacuum, I made sure to focus on two fronts: expanding my product line AND establishing an international presence. With most U.S. online sellers using Amazon.com, competition grew quickly, which inevitably hurt both my wallet and time.
Amazon Germany and UK are Amazon’s second and third biggest international markets, accounting for a large chunk of their $33.5bn revenue. With all that potential profit, and lack of U.S. presence in these markets, don’t you deserve a share?
#1: Listing Translations
Although English is the most dominant language in e-commerce, not everyone is well versed. By listing your products only in English on the international markets, you’re barring out potential consumers that are unable to decipher the technical details that lead to the purchase.
Unfortunately, software such as Google Translate can’t perform the job perfectly as the word for word translations can convey a completely different meaning. The best solution is to hire a dedicated translator to work on a specific market. If you’re listing on Amazon Germany, hiring a German translator will definitely boost sales.
#2: Establishing a 3PL Overseas
It’s really unfortunate that international consumers suffer long delivery windows for U.S. fulfilled products. A lot of sellers on Amazon fear the shipping fees from sending individual products out from their U.S. based warehouses. However, the best solution is to invest in having your products stationed overseas.
When it comes to convenience, international customers expect the same instant gratification as American customers. No one wants to wait.
Research into 3PL firms overseas, establish a good rate and send a large portion of inventory. The one time shipping fee for your inventory is an expensive investment surely, but you’ll be saving a lot more than just shipping out for paid orders. With faster shipping times you’ll receive excellent reviews, allowing you to dominate the international market with a great seller rating.
I utilize a 3PL called Wiseloads, which delivers my products to the UK, France and Germany within a few days of a customer placing an order.
#3 Utilize FBA
Do you care about winning the buy box and establishing a positive reputation for your brand on the international market? You should be implementing FBA as soon as possible when it comes to expanding on an international scale. Much like the U.S. market, if you aren’t selling on Amazon you aren’t relevant.
To further improve your seller rating, fulfillment times, and increase customer satisfaction, let Amazon’s top-notch supply chain work for you. You can easily implement this through seller central, but be sure to have your listings already translated (See Hack #1), and have these products shipped directly to Amazon’s international FBA warehouse.
#4 Test Purchase!
I’ve always been a big advocate of shopping online from top sellers to discover best practices when it comes to their shipping and packaging methods.
The international market is no different. If you want to see how successful sellers do it, purchase direct from them. Knowledge is power, and with hands-on access to the way they do business you can implement the right practices to stand out with your customers.
Research the top sellers not only in your category, but overall, especially on Amazon. Make a few test purchases and take note of how they ship (if it’s not through FBA). Ask yourself, how long did the package take to arrive, how did they package their goods, and what kind of promotions do they include in the box?
These sellers are highly successful for a reason, and it’s important to apply what works for you as a customer, and what doesn’t.
Establishing an international presence shouldn’t be a luxury, but a necessity for an online seller. There’s a whole market across the water, ripe for the taking, and although it’s an investment, the ROI is just absolutely worth it.