Amazon.com: Expand to Europe - Seller Advice Series: Deciding What to Sell

Reach millions of new shoppers: start selling in Europe

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SELLER ADVICE SERIES:

Deciding what to sell

Learn how to decide which products to sell first when expanding your business into Amazon’s European marketplaces.​

Reaching millions of customers across Europe can boost your sales and take your business to the next level. But many sellers have trouble deciding which of their products to sell first.

After all, some products might not be worth the costs, including compliance approvals and fulfillment center storage fees. In this article, you’ll learn how successful sellers choose which products to sell initially, maximizing your chances for success in Europe.
So many products: Which should you sell first?
Many sellers have thousands of listings on one marketplace, such as Amazon.com. How do you decide which items to start selling in Europe?

“One of our main challenges getting started in Europe is the lack of sales data familiarity with the customer,” says Elena Castañeda, a US-based seller who launched in the UK in 2010 and whose international sales surpass her US sales. “Just like when we first launched in the US, we had to get over the demand uncertainty and just get started, then test and learn as we began to see what sells and what doesn’t.”
What to consider when choosing what to sell
With Amazon’s Build International Listings (BIL) tool (sign-in required), it’s easy to add all of your US listings across Europe, get them translated, and set prices. However, you also might be required to do the following before selling in Europe:
  • Make sure you’re allowed to sell the product. Understand your distribution rights. Also, be aware that European safety and compliance regulations differ from those in other geographic regions.

    An Amazon seller who expanded to Europe in 2015 and now has annual European sales of over $900,000 says products that pass testing in the US might not in Europe. “We also had to source and include a different plug for Europe products, as the outlets are different than the US—meaning we now needed two different versions of a product,” she says.
For help with European compliance, visit our Solution Provider Network.
  • Get the listing translated. Depending on the product, the ASIN may not already exist in some or all of Amazon’s five European marketplaces. Before creating the listing, get it translated, either through Amazon’s Translate Your Products tool (sign-in required) or a translation solution provider.
  • Ship to a European fulfillment center. Just like in the US, millions of European Amazon Prime customers love fast delivery. To maximize your product’s chance of success through Prime eligibility, consider using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).

3 STEPS FOR DECIDING WHAT TO SELL

“Choosing what to sell isn’t as simple as taking all of your existing listings and simply replicating them across Europe,” explains Aroldo Filizola of the Amazon Global Selling team. “The most successful sellers develop a go-to-market strategy and prioritize specific products to send first, in order to avoid wasting energy on the wrong products and accelerate their break-even time.”

HERE ARE THE MAIN STEPS THAT SUCCESSFUL SELLERS USE TO DECIDE WHAT TO SELL IN EUROPE:

Step 1: Analyze the market and test a group of ASINs
To increase your chance of success, focus resources on a subset of all your listings. There are many ways to decide which ASINs to choose.
Amazon recently launched Global Expansion Opportunities (sign-in required), a tool that reviews your products and then recommends which of them to sell in a different marketplace.

“The GEO tool makes recommendations using algorithms that analyze a number of factors, including product type, brands, reviews, and sales for similar products,” says Esther Kim of the Amazon Global Selling team. “We built GEO to help sellers take the guesswork out of deciding what to sell.”
Along with these recommendations, sellers often use more traditional methods to choose products.

“We took our best-selling ASINs from the US and tried those out first,” Elena says. “It was interesting to see the results: Some ASINs that don’t sell well in the US do much better in Europe, and vice versa.”

If you plan to use FBA in Europe, start with a “wide and thin” approach.

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” Aroldo says. “For their first FBA shipment to the fulfillment center, most sellers start with a pretty broad range of ASINs and a smaller number of units.”
Step 2: Drive initial sales for the test group
After creating a prioritized list of products to sell, you’re ready to drive initial sales for your test group of ASINs. To maximize sales, use FBA to ensure Prime badging and Sponsored Products campaigns for advertising.

“Just like on Amazon.com, it takes dedication and investment to drive traffic to your product page, then to increase conversion,” says Carolina Aguerrevere of Hot Chocolate Designs.

“We employed the same strategy we used for new products in the US, although we have the added benefit that products in Europe will display US reviews until they receive Europe reviews,” says the seller whose European sales top $900,000 annually. A new launch for her business consists of:
  • Complete listings with images, videos, top-notch content, and keywords
  • Pay-per-click Sponsored Products ads and Sponsored Brands (formerly known as Headline Search Ads)
  • Great products and customer service to drive positive reviews
Amazon Europe provides a full suite of advertising and promotion services for sellers to increase product exposure and generate initial sales, including Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands (formerly known as Headline Search Ads), and Lightning Deals.
Step 3: Invest more in the products that sell well
Once you’ve run your initial trial, invest more in the products that are selling well.

“An increasing number of sellers do not necessarily want to send a large shipment straight away and tie up a large amount of stock without knowing how the market place will first react to their product,” says Neil Curran of Regional Express, one of Amazon’s solution providers. “Depending on the product, sellers usually start with a few small boxes or single pallet by courier or air freight. If the product shows signs of selling successfully, they then follow up with a larger, more cost-effective ocean shipment.”

You can also use best sellers to prioritize your listing updates.

“We keep a list of our best-selling ASINs and start with that list whenever we take action,” says the seller who expanded to Europe in 2015.

“For example, over holiday season, our team checks each of our top-selling items daily to make sure the listing is active and has not been modified. When we create translations or update images and videos, we make sure our top-selling products are updated first. When we design deals and promotions, we often only target our top-selling products.”

“We’re constantly using the feedback from our best-selling products to iterate and improve our offers,” Carolina says. “We try all sorts of things, from tweaking the product listing and ad copy to even adding new product variations.”
For more guidance on selling in Europe, see our European marketplace entry strategy.

Start testing your ASINs now!

Ultimately, there’s always an element of risk in deciding which products to focus on when launching in Europe. But with risk comes opportunity.

“The main thing we realized is the value of making a decision regarding which products to start with, then quickly listing and promoting those products,” Elena says. “Don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis mode—if you move quickly, there’s a big opportunity to be among the first in your product niche.”
To see your recommended products, go to Global Expansion Opportunities (sign-in required).
Ready to list products in Europe? Go to Build International Listings (sign-in required).
Ready to start selling in Europe? Sign in here.
Get step-by-step guidance on selling in Europe.

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Already selling on Amazon?
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