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Selling on Amazon FBA Germany in 7 steps
Selling on Amazon is not always easy. Our partner Amazon Advies explains how to sell successfully on Amazon FBA Germany in 7 steps!
We all know Amazon by now. Whether you use it or not, this huge Marketplace is here to stay. Worldwide, Amazon has more than 200 million Prime Subscribers, about 150 million of whom live in the United States (US). But in addition to the U.S., there's plenty in Europe, too.
Amazon has established an unprecedented e-commerce infrastructure. Amazon owes its success to several factors but crucial ones include:
- Customer focus (fast delivery, best price and fast customer service);
- Fulfilment By Amazon (inventory storage & shipping through Amazon including return processing and customer service).
Amazon prides itself on making everything as customer-centric as possible. As one of the pioneers in "one-day-delivery" in countries like the U.S. and Germany, it became increasingly tempting to get products into homes via this Marketplace. Combine this with a huge selection and competitive prices, and you have a working formula.
Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA)
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service from Amazon that offers sellers support for warehousing, packaging, shipping and local customer service. This can make selling on Amazon a lot easier for you as a seller.
Think of FBA as a logistics system where you and your company can ship your goods to one of Amazon's fulfillment centers in Germany. From there, your items are stored in warehouses until they are sold. When an order is placed, Amazon employees prepare the order and ensure that the right order reaches the end customer in the right quantities. Returns are also handled and some of the customer service is taken care of.
The advantage of FBA is that you can offer and have your products shipped throughout Europe from one country. Amazon has 981 million monthly visits from Europe (excluding the UK), representing 19% of its total traffic, compared to 38% for the US. It would be a pity to leave this additional sales channel untapped.
Selling on Amazon FBA Germany in 7 steps
- Product(s) compliant with European legislation
- An Amazon seller account
- Arranging the relevant legal matters (including German VAT number)
- Arranging your Seller Central account
- Stock delivery
1. Product(s) compliant with European legislation
It may sound obvious, but make sure you have a good (assortment of) product(s) to sell. Tools such as Helium10 and JungleScout allow you to (partly free) find out search volumes for similar products and make choices based on data. Provide a product with an EAN code that is registered with GS1 and unique per product you want online. Preferably, offer a product that is under a brand for which you have full rights.
Size: In addition, consider the size and weight of your products. Say you deliver your products to Amazon, then the maximum standard size for a box that you pay the least for storage and shipping is 60x60x60 cm and a weight of 23KG. If you can put multiple products in this box, it will impact your profit margin positively as you only have to ship once. Bigger is possible, but then the cost will also be higher.
Electrical and Electronic products: With electrical products, note that from January 1, 2023, WEEE registration will be required with the associated obligations.
2. An Amazon seller account
Amazon Europe is currently divided into 10 different platforms based on geographic location. These countries all come together in your European Amazon environment. You can create an account at: https://sellercentral.amazon.nl .
Before you can start as a seller on Amazon, you need a few things:
- Email address;
- Business info & contact information;
- Business registration: Chamber of Commerce number;
- Mobile number;
- Taxable credit card, registration with iDeal is not possible;
- Personal ID details, passport and driver's license are allowed.
Then follow the step-by-step process you need to complete the registration.
3. Arranging the relevant legal matters (including German VAT number)
Please note, some products have more requirements than highlighted below, but in all situations the following applies:
In order to sell on Amazon, you must be registered with the Chamber of Commerce. Upon registration, the Chamber of Commerce sends the company information to the Dutch Tax Office, they provide the company with a Dutch VAT number. With a Dutch VAT number, you can sell worldwide.
German VAT number: However, as soon as you place stock in Germany, you are required to have a German VAT number. When selling through FBA, you put your goods in an Amazon warehouse in Germany. To sell through FBA, you need a Tax Certificate (also called Steuernummer, German VAT number and German VAT number) and a Tax Identification Number (also called Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer, USt-IdNr., Tax Identification Number and German Tax ID).
Packaging Law: The VerpackG packaging law in Germany has been required since June 15, 2022 if you have stock in Germany. You as a seller are responsible for LUCID registration with the central government and with a waste disposal company.
4. Arranging you Seller Central/ EffectConnect account
Once the registration process has been completed successfully, and you are in possession of the correct documents and numbers, you can proceed to add your products. If you are not using integration software, you can do this within Seller Central. In Seller Central, you'll find the '"add products" option in the upper left corner of the dashboard under "catalog. If you use integration software to integrate your back office or e-commerce system with Amazon, you can do this within this software. Within EffectConnect, you add your product assortment through your Amazon channel in the Channel Manager.
Adding products can be divided into two categories:
Existing products you can sell by entering the EAN number and choose the product that is identical to your product. If you use integration software, then your existing product is automatically matched.
Adding new products consists of several additional steps. First you choose the category your product belongs to. Then you provide important/compulsory information such as:
- Product ID:This is the EAN Code of the product you requested from GS1.
- Product ID type:Select EAN.
- Product Name:This is the name of the product you want to add. Note: This will also be the title of your product listing!
- Brand Name:The name of the brand of the product you want to add.
- Manufacturer: The maker of the product. Do you have your own trademark? Then your trademark (if registered with the BIOP/EUIPO) is therefore the maker of the product.
- Manufacturer's part number:This is the model number of the product. Doesn't your product have a model number? Then enter something simple like SB-001.
- SKU (not required): The SKU number is not required but can sometimes be useful if you use certain codes for products in other systems. The SKU cannot be changed afterwards.
- Padding: Think about your product description, bullet points, images and dimensions. Make it as comprehensive as possible so your products are easy to find.
In addition, you should always fill in the price and how many items you have in stock. Enter 0 when if you don't want to start selling right away. Finally, you will have different requirements per category (for example, electrical products or hazardous materials). Within EffectConnect's integration software, it indicates exactly which fields are mandatory and which information still is missing.
5. Stock delivery
Effective September 1, the old workflow called Send/Replenish Inventory is no longer available within Amazon Seller Central.
All new FBA shipments must be created in Send to Amazon or via Amazon Marketplace Web Service API or Selling Partner API. The easiest way to ship inventory via "Send to Amazon" is through "Manage Inventory," "Manage FBA Inventory" or "Restock Inventory.
The most important thing is to label your products, as this is how Amazon scans and inventories your products within the Fulfillment Center. Through EffectConnect's Fulfilment Manager, you can easily mark your inventory as FBA. Second, there is an inventory ceiling at Amazon, this means you can't just put 10,000 of the same products at Amazon. If you have a new product, the inventory ceiling is normally at 200 units per EAN.
Within Seller Central, this is how you can manage this:
- Through 'Manage Inventory' you check the products you want to send;
- On the left above the checkboxes, select 'Convert to Fulfilled by Amazon';
- Go through the shipping steps;
- Pay close attention to which products are in which box and how many;
- As a final step, choose a carrier and print the shipping labels; your shipment is ready for shipment
Amazon, unfortunately, is not set and forget. The process involves continuous optimization. Improve conversions by expanding your content (keywords) and the design of your product(s). Among other things, you ensure better findability and more effective conversions through: Keyword research, A+ Content and Amazon Storefronts.
Keyword research: To make your products findable on Amazon, you need to know what your customers are searching for. By using Helium10, for example, you can find out what keywords are typed in when the customer searches for your competitor's product. If you then incorporate these into your own product description, your listing will come up faster. Within EffectConnect's integration software you can create smart titles that increase your conversion rate.
A+ Content (EBC): Do you have your own brand and do you want 5 to 10% more conversions on your product page? Then building A+ content may be of interest to you. This is a separate section on your product page where you can add a nice marketing story through rich content.
Amazon Storefront: Give your customer a shopping experience within Amazon. You can do this by building a Storefront where you open your own online store and display all your products. A customer can then make multiple purchases from your brand in your store. A Storefront works very well in combination with ads.
7. Advertising on Amazon
The key to driving traffic to your listings are ads. At the very beginning, your product will not yet have built authority within the platform. The most effective way is through Amazon Campaign Manager.
Campaigns: Creating campaigns and ad groups can include techniques where you can focus on keywords, competitors or automated campaigns. In addition, you can promote your Store or advertise with videos.
Within a keyword campaign, or a manual campaign you can then choose Broad, Phrase or Exact matches.
Scaling up on Amazon
Amazon is a bit more complicated to set up when comparing it to a platform such as bol.com or setting up your own online store. However, the amount of visitors offers many opportunities to scale up. To make use of FBA Germany, you will have to apply for a German VAT number, but this will allow you to serve all of Europe.