Even with a vibrant U.S. ecommerce market, brands would benefit from looking at expanding their product reach into international marketplaces. Ecommerce worldwide is growing at a rate of 20% year over year, and 2017 projects to be the first year where it reaches 10% of total retail sales.
Amazon’s focus on global marketplace expansion has made it relatively easy for retailers to enter these growing markets:
So why should brands expand internationally sooner rather than later? The answer is simple: saturation. Most of these marketplaces have significantly lower product offerings, so the products that are featured have a better chance of being discovered. For example, search “baby sunscreen” on:
Amazon US – 15k+ results (2.3k Prime Eligible)
Amazon UK – 3.4k results (629 Prime Eligible)
Amazon CA – 3.4k results (40 Prime Eligible)
You have a much higher chance of your product being discovered when there are fewer products competing. These marketplaces also tend to have lower marketing costs for Amazon services, like cost per click (CPC) campaigns, also known as sponsored products.
Though there is a lot of opportunity, there are a few challenges to brands expanding into the global marketplace.
Products that are sold in countries where English is not the main language should be listed in the native language for a positive customer experience.
Not having an established physical presence in a country makes it impossible to facilitate returns or product exchanges. And there are logistical and compliance demands that brands will need to meet.
It can also be hard to estimate product demand when customers aren’t familiar with a product – marketing can help with this!
To overcome these obstacles, brands could have a dedicated team for international marketplace expansion, or they could work with an experienced third party seller who knows how to successfully navigate these channels.