There are several things worth remembering before setting out to sell on foreign markets. We asked Beata Warpas – Senior Customer Success Specialist at Webinterpret, responsible for supporting Amazon sellers new to using the Webinterpret solution – what these “several things” are.
What advice would you give to online retailers who want to start selling internationally?
I am sure each online retailer has their own idea of what the business strategy that will bring millions to them on the international market should look like. However, based on good practices that Webinterpret has gathered while observing the business of our customers, we are able to point out the steps that result in an increase in revenue.
The first main piece of advice I can share is to be on as many foreign markets as possible. This tip has been proven by most of our customers who – after starting slowly with international selling on one foreign market only – finally end up selling internationally in every country in which we offer our translations. They even keep asking whether we offer listings translations to the rest of the world.
Why do they decide to start in every available foreign market?
It is simple – being on as many marketplaces as possible leads to an increase in the amount of customers. This obviously brings higher income to the businesses.
It seems like everyone should be selling internationally. Why do some people still decide not to do this?
Selling internationally is definitely a way to earn more money and gain more customers. However, there are some things that retailers need to take care of before starting to sell internationally. Those steps might be considered to be obstacles and barriers and keep sellers from international selling.
Can you explain what might be considered to be an obstacle in international selling?
The main obstacle for online retailers is the language barrier. Sellers are often not sure if they will be able to answer all the questions their potential customers send.
Stock synchronization in each country. Online retailers are not able to automatically update their stock, even if they are able to sell via different market places by themselves.
Not being aware of local laws. Sometimes countries have specific laws about selling certain items.
Providing competitive shipping that doesn’t lose your parcels and is also not too expensive.
Another possible problem might also be limited knowledge about the particular country and its market. Sellers may not be aware which products will be popular or won’t be successful.
Is there any way to remove these obstacles and make international selling easier?
Selling internationally can be easier than many sellers may expect. Before starting to sell internationally on the internet, sellers may need to take some points into consideration.
The first step that a seller needs to take is to plan how to communicate with customers from foreign markets (i.e. those who speak foreign languages) and who will translate the listings.
Then you need to find a tool or software that will help you to synchronize your listings in each country so that you have them synchronized automatically.
The third thing is to find a good shipping partner so that the seller‘s shipping costs are lower and consequently also lower for the seller‘s customers.
Is there anything else that you would recommend to those who are ready to sell internationally?
When planning to sell internationally I would recommend choosing the biggest and the most recognizable marketplaces. Particular brands are synonyms for trust and good quality. I am sure that sellers would like to be associated only with the best ones, such as eBay or Amazon.
On the one hand, specializing in only one marketplace may generate plenty of profit. However, it makes the seller dependent on this one source of revenue. Considering the fact that each marketplace has its ups and downs, such a strategy may be quite risky. That is why having at least one additional marketplace that we sell on is a backup that every business should have.
You have mentioned Amazon as one of the most recognizable market places to sell internationally. How does Webinterpret help to sell its customers‘ products via Amazon?
eBay is also a great international marketplace for Cross Border Trade, but to make our customers‘ international trade on Amazon simpler and more convenient, we have introduced some significant changes. The seller simply has to create an Amazon account to start selling internationally with Webinterpret. We are constantly encouraging Amazon sellers to visit our new onboarding webpage and set up a free account with us.
What are the main advantages of selling internationally on Amazon?
The main advantages of selling on Amazon is customer acquisition and the fact that the seller is not only limited to the domestic marketplace. Therefore he may reach a greater amount of new customers. It is worth mentioning here that in Europe there are 5 Amazon marketplaces and that they cover 25% of e-commerce spendings in the region. What is more, it is actually very easy to sell internationally on Amazon. All the seller needs is to have an Amazon store in one country and he actually has all the European market places gathered into one dashboard that is easy to navigate. So the simplicity of the solution makes international selling easier.
Moreover, Amazon is one of the most recognizable and trusted marketplaces. Lots of people come and buy on it because it is equally strong in each of the countries in Europe. This is very important because it is not very common for UK buyers to go to the German version of Amazon to shop and likewise German shoppers will rarely look for an item on Amazon in the UK. Buyers simply choose sellers from their domestic markets. Therefore it is good to localize inventory across all of the market places.
Why it is so important to have international listings if you wish to increase your revenue?
Cross Border Trade ecommerce is growing faster than local ecommerce – that’s a fact. The latest forecasts from Paypal say that Cross Border Trade ecommerce sales will increase by nearly 500% in the upcoming 5 years while local ecommerce is growing by less than 20% a year. It is very important not to miss this chance to grow your business. Such growth is mainly caused by the increase in the number of Internet users and all the advantages that online shopping offers them – such as saving time and money, easy access to many kinds of price comparison services and the convenience of being able to shop from home.
If you are interested in selling internationally on Amazon or on eBay with Webinterpret you can find more information and sign up for a free 30 day trial on their website.