Step-by-step Guide: Selling on Amazon.com from the UK
Disclaimer note: Process and pricing is correct at time of publication, but Amazon can change these at any time. Check the Amazon website or talk to your Amazon Marketing Consultant at Major Tom for updated information if needed.
Amazon has a substantial market share and an equally large following of established, loyal clients, so it’s perhaps one of the easiest ways to enter the North American market if you’re a UK-based company. Amazon has over three billion unique visitors every month and their US marketplace is the largest of all their regional sites. There is a huge opportunity for you to be profitable there.
Think you have a product ready for US or Canadian consumers? Here is your step-by-step guide to selling on Amazon.com from the UK:
Step 1: Do your research
Before selling on Amazon.com from the UK, it’s important that you’re fully informed about what’s involved. The more you know, the more you’re set up for success.
Do some thorough research to learn how your products can be positioned in the market. It’s important to see what the competition is like in both the US and Canada. Make sure that the market isn’t overly saturated and that the pricing is reasonable to compete against. Even though the UK and North America have similar cultures, a product that does well in the UK might not necessarily be a hit across the pond. A good analogy for this is food. Twinkies and corn dogs are popular foods in North America but though tried and tested, they’re not a hit with the British. So make sure you analyse the market first before investing in the expansion.
First, identify that your products are not prohibited or restricted in either the US or Canada. Then decide on whether you would go with Merchant fulfilled shipping or Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA). Many opt for FBA as it’s usually more straightforward and competitive however you won’t know what’s best for you until you do the research.
Taxes and regulations
Each country you’re present in has its own requirements and it’s important to understand the costs and responsibilities of selling in a foreign country before embarking on the expansion. Some things to consider include:
Tax and customs
Marking and labels
Although this might seem daunting, there are plenty of businesses who have gone through this and succeeded. The best way is to partner with a consultant so that they can provide you with all the information and guidance needed to succeed.
Step 2: Check that you qualify for a seller account.
Now to get started on the Amazon platform! Depending on how many products you plan to list on Amazon, you can choose between their Professional Plan and Individual Plans:
Individual plans charge you a fee ($0.99 US + a percentage of the sale) every time you sell a product.
Professional plans just charge you a flat monthly fee ($39.99 US) for unlimited products and transactions.
Special Tip: Apply for a North America Unified Account. This will allow you to easily share your product listings across the US, Canadian, and Mexican marketplaces for the same flat monthly fee.
In your application, you will need to provide the following details:
Your business name and contact information
An internationally chargeable credit card (with a valid billing address)
A contact phone number
Your Tax ID info
Step 3: Submit your application
For a company that signs up 4,332 sellers every day, they are efficient in their approval process for new accounts. When you register as a seller on the US or Canadian Amazon marketplaces, approval often happens in as little as three days.
In some cases, you may be asked to provide additional documentation or information, extending the approval process. But once you’re approved, you can start executing your product marketing strategy and upload your products.
Step 4: Create a product marketing strategy
The US and Canadian Amazon marketplaces are quite large (with over 4,000 items sold per minute in the US) and even if you get approved, there is no guarantee that your products will be profitable. You need to have a well-researched product pricing, marketing, and advertising strategy to be successful:
Product Pricing: If you’ve only been selling the product in the UK, you may need to adjust your pricing for the US and Canadian market and currency. You will want to take other costs and expenses into account including any country-specific packaging you may need and additional fees associated with shipping, fulfillment, and currency exchange.
Marketing: Just like with Google, you need a SEO and keyword strategy for every product to best optimize each listing so it gets found by the Amazon search engine. This strategy will help you optimize the content in your listing so the Amazon search algorithms will show your product to the right consumers when they need it.
Advertising: You can buy sponsored listings on Amazon, or run paid search ads on other platforms to lead traffic to your Amazon listing. This requires a detailed strategy to be successful.
How to start selling on Amazon.com from the UK
There are over 2.2 million third-party sellers on Amazon. When you start selling on Amazon.com or Amazon.ca from the UK, you can join this growing group of sellers.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the process of selling on Amazon. With the support of Major Tom’s Amazon marketing and sales team, you will get the professional advice and robust strategy you need to launch a profitable Amazon store in the US or Canada. We can help you with your Amazon seller application and in optimizing your listing to minimize fees, maximize profits, and have a successful launch into the American market. Book a complimentary consultation with our Amazon Marketing team today to talk about how we can help you profitably launch your product into the US through Amazon.