Brief about Amazon

Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Amazon was founded on 5th July 1994 by Jeff Bezos and today is the largest e-selling portal across the world both in terms of market capitalization and market sales. Initially it was started as an online bookstore but later on diversified into other areas as well such as DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs, video downloads/streaming, MP3 downloads/streaming, audiobook downloads/streaming, software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, toys, jewellery, kitchen appliances, home furnishings and decorative. Amazon has recently started with the Amazon pantry for grocery items. Apart from the above mentioned lists, it is also one of the largest providers of cloud infrastructure services such as Iaas and Pass.

Started in the year 1994, Amazon has already surpassed Walmart in the year 2015 an das of today own approximately over 40 subsidiaries including Zappos, Shopbop, Dipaers, Kiva systems also known as Amazon Robotics, Audible Goodreads, Teachstreet and IMDB.

Amazon Global Selling - How To Start Selling Globally With Amazon

Amazon – Favorites Online Shopping Portal

What makes Amazon a popular and favourite online shopping portal is that it has separate retail websites for the countries it cater for such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Australia, India, Brazil, Japan, China, Mexico and recently started Dutch,Polish and Turkish versions of its website.

There goes a history behind why the company name was changed to Amazon, replacing the initial name “Cadabra”. It is said that the founder of the company i.e. Jeff Bezos browsed through an English dictionary to find a word starting with “A” considering the importance of alphabetic placement and was looking for a word which means “exotic and different”. Also as a reference to his plan for the company’s size, he wanted the same to reflect the size of Amazon River, famous as one of the largest rivers in the world and thus zeroed down the present name i.e. Amazon.

Amazon decided to test Indian waters in the year 2012 by introducing a website called as Junglee which allowed the user to compare the price of various items, however there was no provision of making a direct purchase from Junglee and progressed further by introducing its Indian counterpart Amazon India in the year 2013 with an investment plan of more than 2 billion US Dollars and Amazon India presently sells millions of goods over its platform.

It was in May 2015 when Amazon launched its global selling program which facilitates easy, simple and convenient access to you to sell your products globally and as of today approx 37,000 Indian manufacturers, sellers and exporting are making the best use of Amazon’s global selling program and using it to explore 10 different marketplaces across the world namely North America, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Japan and Australia. Categories like home décor and handicrafts, tapestries, bedsheets and duvet covers, dinnerware and copper mugs, art supplies and writing instruments, ethnic wear and women dresses, kitchen linen and leather messenger bags are quite popular amongst the natives of these countries. Whereas some Indian sellers prefer to explore both the national and international market, many of them prefer to sell only in the international market whereas few of them are happy to stick to their country’s market.

Why Choose Amazon for Selling Online?

The prime reason why more and more people are opting Amazon’s selling platform is because of the numerous advantages it offers over starting your own e-commerce website when you start your own selling website; you have to take care of each and everything starting from its development and maintenance, maintenance of the online marketplace, logistics handling, marketing etc whereas Amazon is taking care of all the above mentioned activities on your behalf.

Indian regulations are as such that prevents multi-brand retailers from selling their products online directly to the consumers directly and thus Amazon acts a third party seller to India’s online shoppers and third party retailers sell their products using Amazon site using its marketplace model, which is a very familiar retail concept in India where sellers product is stored in Amazon warehouse near Mumbai and then it packs and courier the product as per the order placed on Amazon.

Become Seller on Amazon

In order to become a seller on Amazon, you need to first get yourself registered on the its seller sign up page and in order to do so, it is important that you register yourself either as an Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) or One Person Company (OPC) or Private Limited Company because firstly registering yourself as either of the above firstly provides you with limited liability protection and secondly it is easier to start as compared to other entities and it is always better to cover yourself with limited liability protection because while selling products through e-commerce portals such as Amazon or Flipkart, it is not very unusual to face litigations from the consumers/vendors. Also it offers you with world class logistics solution – Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) which helps to pack and ship your products to international customers across the globe in a time as low as 2 days. Apart from FBA, it also offers solutions like “Sponsored Products” which along with advertising your products in global world also helps in increasing brand visibility.

How to sell your products globally with Amazon?

  • Choose and register the marketplace you want to target or sell in: Before you start selling off your product, it is very important rather mandatory to select the marketplace you want to target. You can choose to sell national, internationally or both and in case you opt to test international waters, you have to pay monthly subscription fees which is unique to each marketplace which can only be done by a credit card for international markets.
    • For example, in case you want to sell your product in the United States and Japan, then you choose from two selling plans i.e. Professional or Individual selling plan as per the applicable terms and conditions i.e. both for the professional and individual selling plan, you can list products under 20 categories but for the professional selling plan, you have the added benefit to add products under 10 more categories and whereas individual selling plan is free of cost, you have to pay fees of $39.99 for professional selling plan. Also Amazon lists out the specifications like dimensions, unit weight, outbound shipping weight etc for your products. Like it is the case with US, Amazon has different selling plan for Europe and countries as well. In case of Europe, you can choose from two selling plans i.e. Sell a little (Basic) or Sell a lot (Pro) and irrespective of the plan you choose, you will be able to avail benefits of its logistics solution i.e. FBA.
  • List your products: Depending on the product you are selling, you have to list it down as per its defined category.
  • Submit your documents: Before you start selling your products, you need to register the required documents as per the checklist as per the marketplace and in order to verify your account, you will need one identity proof and one business address proof. Amazon has listed checklist of documents which need to be submitted as per the marketplace i.e.
    • In case of Australia, for proprietorship, you are required to submit your passport or driving license (proprietorship) and bank account statement that matches with your legal entity and for incorporation, you are required to submit incorporation certificate, VAT certificate, GST certificate and your bank account statement matching your legal entity.
    • In case you have opted for the United States as your marketplace, you are required to furnish documents such as driving license or passport or Aadhar card or PAN card along with your bank account statement matching your legal entity.
  • Manage delivery of your products: Here you can either choose to deliver your products directly to your international customers or you can opt for Amazon’s FBA solution, where your products are stored in Amazon’s international fulfillment centers and once an order is placed on Amazon India, Amazon will pack and ship your product to the international customers . Amazon also helps you by offering services of carrier partners at competitive prices.
  • Be prepared to cater for increase in demand, if applicable: In order to grow in the business you have started on Amazon platform, it is important for you to be prepared to cater for increase in demand because in case you are not prepared you will end up losing your customer base.
  • Select your prices: In today’s world which is filled with plethora of options, it is advisable to offer your customers with the best of the prices and there is no better time than the holiday time to offer eye-catching discounts on featured products. You can also avail the Automate Pricing tool in case you want to ensure than you always have the best price for your product.
  • Advertise your products: If you want to grow in your business, it is very important that your product(s) is visible and reaching more and more customers and in order to reach more and more customers, you can use Amazon Sponsored Products with which you can use pay-per-click ads in order to make your products appear in highly visible places like page with keyword-targeted ads.
  • GST registration: Starting from 1st July 2017, GST registration has become a mandatory part for conducting business and in case for the products for which GST is applicable and mandatory, you are required to furnish GSTIN number in order to start selling your products through Amazon India.

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