Optimize Listings for Amazon International
Amazon allows businesses of all sizes to expand internationally easily. Discover how to enhance your listings and learn how to sell internationally on Amazon with our helpful guide
Amazon is the most popular e-commerce marketplace in the world. As a result, the online giant is usually the first place we think of when talking about online shopping.
With over 300 million active customer accounts worldwide, Amazon is the perfect way to get a foothold in lucrative international markets like China and Japan. In this article, we’ll go through how to update your product listings to increase your Amazon international sales.
We’ll talk about things like:
- How to sell internationally on Amazon
- How to enhance your listings for Amazon international sales
- The value of translation
- Tailoring your products to consumer preferences
- Dropshipping for easier international supply chain management
How to sell internationally on Amazon
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a popular way of selling products on Amazon — particularly for companies intending to scale their business into new international markets.
In essence, sellers obtain their goods from suppliers and ship them to an Amazon warehouse. The process is then taken over by Amazon, which they will pack and ship items on your behalf once a customer places an order. Moreover, Amazon handles customer interactions such as shipment notifications, tracking, reviews, returns, and customer care in the customer’s “target language.”
Remember that there is an inevitable trade-off if you select the FBA service. Although you won’t have to worry about storage, Amazon will still charge you a commission. However, on the whole, Amazon FBA offers you the unique freedom to evaluate the market response to new items at minimal risk.
Amazon Global Selling
Amazon Global Selling (AGS) program enables vendors to advertise and sell goods on Amazon’s marketplaces in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East. Amazon operates 20 online marketplaces globally (Nigeria, South Africa, and Colombia are up-and-coming in April 2023). So, e-commerce sellers can feel empowered to expand their businesses to every corner of the world, regardless of where they’re officially based.
If you sign up for Amazon Global Selling, you can use the Build International Listings (BIL) tool to list your products in one marketplace and then expand them to other marketplaces. It’s an excellent way for sellers to save time and effort by managing their offers in one place.
To enroll, all you need is an Amazon seller account, but you’ll need to register a new selling account for each marketplace you want to sell in (except for Europe and the US, which have unified accounts).
However, there’s a downside to Amazon Global Selling: it’s not available in some big markets like China and India. If you want to expand to those areas, Amazon’s FBA program might not be the best option.
How to enhance your listings for Amazon international sales
Now that you know the basics of Amazon international sales, it’s time to figure out how to make it successful. It all starts with your product listings. There are three main things you need to focus on to create a great listing on Amazon:
1. A product title that converts
Product titles serve two key functions: they help people find your products and entice them to learn more. Getting the title right is important because it’s one of the first things a customer will see while exploring Amazon. Think about the following while creating a product title:
- Keep it under 200 characters long
- Start with the brand name
- Use keywords to improve its discoverability
- Add descriptors (like color and size) to make comparison easier.
2. An eye-catching image
To optimize images, and increase Amazon international sales, take note of the following recommendations from Amazon:
- Products must occupy 85% or more of the picture frame, except for images for books, music, and videos, which must occupy 100% of the frame.
- Provide as many diverse photographs as you can. Swatch pictures and alternative images can be used with many product categories.
- Products must appear on a white background.
- Choose 500 × 500 or 1000 x 1000 pixels to improve listing quality.
3. Product descriptions
The product description gives important details about the item. But, as most customers scan for the essential information, use the bullet point section to highlight the product’s main benefits.
To make your product description more effective:
- Use a mix of keywords, including those used for the product title and some alternate ones.
- Avoid technical jargon or flowery language – remember the text will be translated into different languages, so keep it clear and brief.
- Describe the benefits of using the product, not just the features. Think about how your customers will use the product.
The value of translation
Research from Common Sense Advisory (CSA) reveals that 76% of online customers prefer content in their native language, and 40% will not buy from sites written in any other language. So, if you’re scaling internationally, prioritize translating and localizing your content to build trust in your brand among international audiences.
In light of this, here are some points you need to consider when translating your content:
1. Use professional, native-speaker translators
Entering your product information into free translation tools like Google Translate may seem easy, but be cautious. Machine translations can limit the conversion potential of your products as they often provide a literal translation of text minus your brand’s personality. As mentioned, focusing on the benefits and using precise language can help your marketing messages stay present.
Alternatively, working with a translator can help you create product listings that offer a more nuanced and culturally relevant viewpoint of your products and how they fit into your chosen market. If you want to build trust with your overseas customers, always aim to go the extra mile when showing off your products in the best light.
2. Multilingual SEO strategy
Keywords are another area where machine-driven translation programs fall short in hitting the mark with your international customers. English keywords can sometimes be difficult to translate directly into different languages. So, insisting on their usage can often hinder your products’ discoverability on the main Amazon search bar. Therefore, conducting region-specific keywords is a must.
Hiring native-speaker translation services can help you find relevant keywords for your audience. Once you have a list of well-known terms, tailor your product descriptions and titles to suit these terms. For example, suppose you sell gazebos in a country that doesn’t get much rain. In that case, your audience may search for products with ‘UV-protective’ qualities rather than ‘water-resistant’ and ‘windproof’ keywords.
3. Localize your texts
Localizing your listings doesn’t just stop at descriptions and keyword terms; sellers should also consider how to localize their listings in ways that aren’t related to their products and brands.
For example, you should also consider the following storefront details:
- Changing date and time formats to suit your new markets
- Converting measurements to those most commonly used by consumers
Tailoring your products to consumer preferences
Expanding into other countries is not a simple copy and paste situation. You can’t use the same marketing tactics to reach new overseas audiences on Amazon. Instead, sellers must adjust their marketing approaches and relevance according to different consumer preferences.
For instance, Chinese consumers prioritize ‘face,’ meaning they associate high prices with high quality. If Chinese shoppers cannot afford a more expensive product, they value high-quality, attractive packaging as the next best alternative. When expanding into this market, sellers should consider placing more value on how they price and package their products to ensure success.
By examining cultural differences and shopping preferences, you can avoid mistakes and increase your international sales on Amazon.
Dropshipping for easier international supply chain management
Dropshipping is a business model where the retailer sells to customers without keeping any physical inventory. Instead, when a consumer puts in an order, the transaction is passed on to your supplier, who then uses your company’s shipping labels to deliver the product directly.
This means you don’t have to worry about managing inventory or shipping products. You’re only responsible for marketing and communicating with customers. This business model is great for global expansion because it’s easy to set up and manage, which leaves more cash flow for the business.
You can dropship on Amazon, but you need to pay attention to some policy details:
- You must identify yourself as the seller of your products on all your product slips, invoices, and packaging.
- Remove any labels and information that come from your supplier
- You’re responsible for product returns and defects
- You must comply with all other Amazon seller policies
- You can’t buy products from another retailer and ship them to your customers
If you want to take advantage of Amazon’s massive reach without worrying about complicated supply chains, consider starting a dropshipping business. For instance, you can set up an account on AliExpress, find products to sell, add the listing to your Amazon page, and start selling!
Simplify your international Amazon venture with Zyla
If you’re planning to expand your business into international markets, think about teaming up with a B2B payment provider that operates worldwide, like Zyla.
We’re experts in cross-border business and can help you transfer funds quickly, send mass payments, and manage currency risk. And the best part is that your free-to-open Zyla Account allows you to lock in FX rates for up to 24 months, giving you more control of your overseas supplier relationships.
- Open multi-currency accounts with local account details
- Make fast and secure global payments to suppliers, staff and partners
- Collect funds from marketplace sales
- Keep costs down with competitive rates