7 common reasons why brands fail selling internationally on Amazon

Selling in your home marketplace on Amazon can be tough, but selling internationally is tougher! Brands fail when launching their brands globally due to making too many assumptions about what will work en masse. A lack of research and forgetting to formulate a strong global sales strategy means that many brands end up misunderstanding their desired marketplace and therefore end up failing to sell globally. At Molzi, we see brands which do well in one market fail to launch and sell successfully in new marketplaces because of this inexperience. We have compiled a list of the top 7 most common reasons we see brands fail when selling internationally.

1. Translation rather than transcreation

A common mistake that brands make is the assumption that simply translating their copy into another language will suffice. In most cases, it doesn’t! Relying on google translate or a simple translation agency is not best practice. Instead, companies need to regionalise their content and transcreate copy so that native speakers understand all elements. Although an extra expense, this small detail ensures that your product assimilates into the specified country, is professionally written and seamless. 

2. Selling internationally on a whim

This is a big no-no! Deciding to sell internationally shouldn’t be something your brand decides on in the spur of the moment. It requires a lot of patience both before doing so and during. There are a lot of logistics that must be thought about before deciding to ‘go global’. Is it financially possible to do so? Which country would be the easiest to break into? How will you ship your inventory? Have you tested your products in the new marketplace before a full launch? Brands should make sure that they are fully prepared for the Sisyphean challenge that selling internationally can become by making sure they have a fool-proof strategy in place before jumping right in.

3. Not enough market research

Similar to when you first set up your brand, if you don’t do any research into the market you want to sell in then how can you expect to succeed or know the challenges you must overcome? No two countries and audiences are the same so if you expect to just copy your business strategy from one country to another, then your sales will be sure to suffer. It is worth having a look at your main competitors in that country to determine how they do well. Chances are that they are not going to be the same ones back home. With a new country comes new challenges and the best brands usually realise this straight off the bat. Alternatively, get in touch with our data experts to learn how we can help you test new products and new marketplaces to ensure it’s right for you. 

4. Deciding to ‘go it alone’ with no support channels

It is one thing to sell internationally, but it is another to do so without support from those that have experience and knowledge in doing so. Without any guidance other than your own, you may find it difficult to integrate your business. International online marketplaces, such as Amazon, can help bridge this issue by being the go-between. As an already established channel, you can be certain that your products will be shipped accordingly and bought by the local market. This might mean changing your business model overseas so that you can benefit from Amazon’s presence. For example, would your company benefit Amazon’s Pan-European FBA programme or is it worth changing your Amazon account to Vendor or Seller Central? Those are questions an Amazon agency can help you answer!

5. Choosing the wrong country to sell in/not being specific enough

When someone says they want to sell in Europe, the first question the Amazon experts at Molzi ask is ‘where in Europe?’ Usually people are stumped by this question! Choosing to sell internationally means choosing exactly where you want to sell. Selling in Spain for example would be very different to selling in Sweden despite both being part of Europe. The better you define where you want to sell, the better the results. You might even find that specific areas are vastly different even though they are close to one another. For example, selling in France is different than selling in Germany. Culture, language and even internet usage are very different between them so much so that selling on amazon.cn may not have the same affect as selling on Amazon elsewhere. China has their own flourishing marketplaces such as Taobao which Amazon has struggled to compete with. Therefore, the better you know where is best to sell, the more likely you will flourish in that area.

6. Extra accumulated costs

Selling internationally isn’t the same as selling locally. You may find that there are extra costs than what you are used to or prepared to spend. Extra taxes, shipping and storage fees may all affect how important it is to sell certain products abroad. It may be worth exploring which items would provide the best revenue abroad rather than deciding to sell everything internationally. It’s best to seek advice before launching in a new marketplace to understand any costs. 

7. Poor execution of strategy

You might officially be selling online globally and doing everything right, but if you don’t execute an efficient strategy properly then it will all be for nought. If you aren’t a transnational brand, then chances are nobody has ever heard of you in the specified country. Awareness is important and that means advertising is key. Ensure people know who you are, what you do and what you stand for and most importantly be patient. It takes time to build recognition so don’t expect the same revenue as you are making back home on day one of your international launch.

Thinking of selling internationally the right way?

At Molzi, our team of experts cumulatively have all the skills needed to make your break into another global market simple and effective. We understand what makes a brand succeed internationally. We look at every country’s marketplace separately to determine the best strategy to put in place before we decide to plunge headfirst into another country. From content optimisation through to dealing with the challenges that come from being an international seller, our team is fully prepared to make your brand a global success. Contact us now to discover what we can do for you.