Is Amazon Europe worth the investment? Part 1: Identifying demand in Europe

8 August, 2022
3 minute read
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Whilst we say Amazon Europe, the truth is we can’t bundle all marketplaces into one as it is a lot more complex than most brands initially think. Selling to Europe basically means selling to 8 different marketplaces with 8 different languages, cultures and nuances. This includes the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden. Plus we’re sure there are more to come!

As an agency we speak to many brands who are successful in the US and looking to enter into Europe. Expansion seems like the next best step to increase sales but the question here is whether or not it is a viable option and will it bring the right ROI.

Before even entering Europe there are a number of areas sellers and vendors must take into consideration as part of assessing the true viability:

  1. Which marketplace to start with?

Going into all 8 countries is a route we highly recommend avoiding. This will definitely consume your resource, come at a high cost, and potentially put you off selling to Europe for a lifetime. We recommend taking small steps, focusing on 1-2 marketplaces to start with. The largest marketplaces being the UK. and Germany, followed by France. 

  1. Is there demand for your product?

We could advise you to start with the largest marketplaces but first you need to ensure there is actually demand for your product in that market. Selling swimming pool filters in the UK where few people have swimming pools is probably not the best of ideas, selling an electrical appliance with a US plug is a definite no given the voltage is different in mainland Europe and the UK. Make sure you do your research and see if there is actually a demand for your product and that your product or category is not restricted for sale on Amazon. 

  1. How competitive is the market?

Familiarise yourself with the restricted categories and products and if there are no restrictions and you identify demand, you need to check there is a gap in the market for your product. Some countries are dominated by a few brands, making it difficult for new emerging brands to enter and take market share. Ask yourself if you have a point of difference strong enough to compete in a new market where there is zero awareness of your brand.

  1. Does your brand translate well?

That leads to brand names, always double check your brand when translated into the country you wish to sell in and that it doesn’t mean anything that could have a negative impact on sales. Whilst Amazon doesn’t sell cars (yet), an amusing example is the Vauxhall Nova. No va in Spanish means ‘doesn’t go’, as you can imagine that was definitely not the picture the brand wanted to paint and so they changed the name to Corsa to suit the Spanish market. Also make sure your brand has not already been registered as a trademark in Europe or the UK with another company.

Once you have identified demand, an opportunity to compete, and that your product translates well, the next step is to look at the operations; ensuring your product is legally compliant, you understand the costs and shipping requirements as well as understanding your tax obligations. We will cover the operations in part 2.

If you need assistance on your Amazon Europe journey, contact us to see how we can help.

Disclaimer: This is only a guide and we are not specialists in VAT, product compliance and any other country specific selling requirements. Please ensure you consult the required specialists and work with Amazon approved providers where needed.

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Carina McLeod

Carina McLeod

Carina spent over seven years working in Vendor Management at Amazon UK and now is the CEO and Founder of eCommerce Nurse and Vendor Society. Carina loves sharing her Amazon knowledge and helping vendors and sellers grow their business on Amazon.

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