by Dorothea Whitehead | 26. February 2018 11:29
Ein spannender Gastbeitrag von Judolaunch bereichert heute unsere Community: Was sind die aktuellen Trends, wo verkauft man 2018 am besten? Dieser Artikel gibt dir auch einen Einblick, was du beim Expandieren beachten solltest.
There is a good chance that you have already broken onto the Amazon scene.
Things took off when you first decided to become a private label Amazon seller and now you are looking for ways to continue to grow your business.
We have good news for you!
Whether you began selling in the US or you started your Amazon empire in the EU, you have an enormous amount of knowledge and experience launching products that you can easily use to break into new Amazon markets. It may sound intimidating, but your knowledge will give you an additional competitive advantage against other sellers in your new market.
The best news of all is that, if you are currently up and running in one market, you have already done 98% of the work required to launch those very same products in other Amazon markets.
You are literally sitting on an opportunity cost of 30% to 60% of your current market revenue by waiting to jump into other Amazon markets.
Amazon markets are trending upward in almost every way.
In the EU, Germany’s market alone grew almost 25% annually, making over $14 billion and accounting for 10.4% of Amazon’s entire company revenue — qualifying it as the second largest Amazon marketplace in the world. And stock for Amazon’s US market was up 50% year-to-date in the third quarter of 2017, and 360% over the past five years.
Amazon Germany, today, mirrors the trends of the Amazon US and UK markets just a few years back. Customers are beginning to rush onto the platform, Prime membership is skyrocketing, and yet sellers are still wondering if it is a good bet to make. But there is no question about it: the EU market is so strong that it’s not even a gamble.
Currently, Amazon’s five EU marketplaces (the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Germany) bring in 85 million unique monthly visitors, compared to the 100 million unique visitors who frequent Amazon.com each month.
And there is still room for growth.
Amazon’s EU site caters to several different languages and delivers packages to over 50 countries within Europe — including 26 FBA eligible countries — giving you access to over 700 million potential customers!
Of Amazon’s top 1000 sellers, 553 are in the US marketplace, 233 are in the UK, and only 77 are in Germany. In Germany, fewer sellers means a much less competitive marketplace, making it much easier to dominate a given niche. However, the competition has begun to grow in recent years, making it important to get in now before everyone else realizes the opportunity.
If you are already selling on the Amazon.de platform and are looking to expand to the US, the numbers still look good as the US market continues to expand. Already the largest Amazon marketplace by far, Amazon’s sharp business tactics mean that there is still plenty of room for growth in the US.
You will face more competition than you may be accustomed to in Germany, but with the right launch tactics you can still rise to the top. In fact, if you are an established seller in Germany, you will have a greater advantage over other vendors just starting out in the US marketplace.
There are several differences between the EU and US Amazon marketplaces that you will need to take into account.
The US continues to be the biggest global market and, while highly competitive across categories, is not as price sensitive as in the UK where price is very sensitive. The German marketplace, on the other hand, is much more of an emerging market with less price sensitivity, despite being the biggest market in Amazon EU.
However, Germany has more complicated anti-spam laws that may affect email follow-up sequences after customers purchase from you. For instance, Amazon sellers in Germany are only allowed to send a grand total of one follow-up email after a customer makes a purchase.
This is unfortunate since these types of emails are much more effective in the EU than in the US where customers are becoming numb to the heartfelt pleas for feedback programmatically sent out after every little item they buy on Amazon.
That said, if you are expanding from the German marketplace to the US, you will likely find that you have greater freedom to send follow-up sequences that could have a large positive impact on your product sales.
If German is your native language, you don’t even encounter this problem. For all other marketplaces with a different language you are not familiar with
Another obvious difference between the two markets is language, which creates a perceived language barrier that keeps many sellers from even attempting to enter a new market.
This is more prominent when English speakers are trying to expand on Amazon.de, but it can in some cases cause a minor difficulty the other way around.
If German is your native language and you’re English fluency is advanced then you will not encounter this problem. For anyone else, there are resources on Amazon to make the language transition easier, with a language submenu built into the Seller Central page so you can navigate the website in your native tongue.
When it comes to listings, though, you will want to get a native translator to interpret, translate and optimize your listings. They will better understand the culture, language, and basic marketing communication than the direct translation robot.
You can hire native translators for very reasonable prices. Just make sure that you hire someone who was born and/or raised in the country and who has translated marketing content before. They will be worth every cent you pay once you see the rates at which your listings convert.
Having a native speaker on staff will also help you to stay compliant with Amazon’s TOS. You are required to respond to customer messages within 24 hours AND in the local language, which makes having a trusted partner who speaks the local language and who can communicate with customers even more important.
For this reason, we recommend using this automated Amazon account service, which gives you 24/7 customer care as well as listing translation services and optimization by native speakers.
Perhaps the largest difference you will have to deal with between Amazon marketplaces is the difference between the EU VAT and US sales tax.
VAT is charged upon importation of goods in the EU and on every subsequent sale in the supply chain, including the final sale to the retail customer. In the US, sales tax is applied at the state level and varies according to the laws of each state.
In the EU, once you are VAT registered you can recover the VAT you pay upon import when you do your tax filings (which are once a month in Germany and quarterly in the UK). This is not possible in the US.
On the customer facing side, you are obliged to incorporate VAT into the retail price of your goods in the EU. In the US, on the other hand, customers can often expect the price to change from the time of purchase to when the charge goes through on their credit card as Amazon will collect the sales tax based on individual state and local laws on the vendor’s behalf.
In the EU, you will need to complete a non-resident VAT registration to become compliant with European VAT legislation before you can make any sales there. There are multiple organizations that will handle both your sales tax filings and VAT compliance for you so you can stay completely hands-off.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is one of the most convenient services offered by the e-commerce behemoth. FBA in the US is relatively straightforward with one main service, while there are three different FBA options within Europe.
The Pan-European option is very similar to how FBA works in the US. You send your inventory to one EU Amazon country (or state in the US) and they will distribute it to warehouses across the region, making you liable to collect and pay VAT (or sales tax) in any country (or US state) where you have inventory.
The European Fulfillment Network (EFN) allows you to send inventory to fulfillment centers only in the UK where they can then be bought, packed, and shipped to other countries. You will need to pay cross-border EFN fees if your items are shipped to any other country.
The third option is Multi-Country Inventory, which allows you to choose to store your inventory in up to all five EU Amazon countries. Amazon will then fulfill your products based on the countries where you have stored your inventory. You can enjoy more favorable local fulfillment fees for in-country sales but can still sell across borders through EFN.
The registration process is the exact same in the EU and the US.
You can register the same company you are using for your US or EU account and link the same bank account. Amazon will automatically do the conversion and transfer the Euros, GBP, or USD you receive from these markets into your account in your local currency.
However, if you started in the US marketplace and are expanding to the EU, you will need to use a different email address to register your Seller Central Europe account.
One of the questions we get the most at Judo Launch is whether or not someone should go for the US or EU market first.
You should aim to be a part of both at some point, but if you are just barely getting your footing in the world of Amazon, you may be better off starting in Europe where Amazon is still in its infancy and the level of competition, sophistication in launch strategies, and ease of ranking is still favorable.
The Amazon EU marketplace still has a massive amount of growth to do and those who get in now while things are still small will be dominating the market in the months and years to come when things completely take off as they have done in the US.
By the time your competitors realize the opportunity, you will have firmly cemented your Amazon empire in the EU and will enjoy the rewards for years to come. More importantly, by learning the ropes in the EU first, it will be much easier for you to transfer to the US market where competition is higher. You’ll be able to hit the ground running and never look back.
If you’re interested in reading more about expansion to Amazon EU click here to download our free guide.
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CEO and Founder of Judolaunch and an Amazon business veteran himself. Chris has successfully launched 242 products on Amazon (and counting). Judolaunch was founded with the goal of helping fellow Amazon sellers launch their products on Amazon US, EU & Japanese markets and automate their businesses to free up their time.
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