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The 3 Biggest Mistakes That Hurt Your Sales on Amazon Europe

Guest PostGuest Post
December 12, 2017

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from David Barry, Amazon seller and co-founder of AMZEurope.com.

Interested in expanding to Amazon EU? David and the AMZ Europe team offer a turnkey service that helps sellers successfully launch their business on Amazon Europe – it covers everything you need to get started, including VAT and translations.

Let’s Get Started

Based on my own experience as a seller and working closely with many other sellers, I have identified the three most common errors that limit sales and success on Amazon Europe.

In this post, I explain each issue and how you can address it. If you can apply the advice in this post to your Amazon Europe business, your sales will grow in no time!

Now, let’s take a look at the first critical mistake that sellers make.

Mistake #1 – Insufficient Market Research Before Launching Products

Before launching products on a new marketplace like Amazon Europe, market research is essential.

This will allow you to determine the level of demand for your products, the competition you’ll be facing from other sellers, and ultimately, the sales and profit you can expect to generate.

Many sellers make the mistake of assuming that their best selling products on their original marketplace (e.g. Amazon.com) will also be their top sellers on Amazon Europe. This may not be the case (due to market factors, cultural differences etc.) and so, you must do the research to ensure your time and money are invested in the right areas.

It’s a costly and frustrating mistake to spend your hard-earned money on shipping a batch of products to Europe, only to later find out that demand is low and/or that the European market is oversaturated with similar products.

The two key areas your market research should focus on are sales demand and your competition.

1. Estimating sales demand

When you are assessing potential sales for a product on Amazon Europe, this is the question you need to address – “What level of sales can I expect, based on the performance of similar products on Amazon Europe?”

There are a number of tools available to estimate and track the sales of products on Amazon Europe, including Jungle Scout, AMZ Tracker, Sellics and AMZ Shark.

If you don’t have access to tools like this, you can use free keyword tools like Google Keyword Planner to identify the search volume for your products in Europe. A low search volume on Google UK for a specific keyword, suggests low sales in the UK.

Regardless of the tools or methods you use, you should ideally use two or more data sources. Amazon doesn’t provide accurate sales data to the public, so all data sources are estimates. Due to the inherent uncertainty of estimates, it’s not advisable to rely on just one.

By using multiple sources and comparing them, you’ll be in a better position to forecast your sales on Amazon Europe.

If it’s clear that there is a lack of sales of your type of product on Amazon Europe, it’s best to move on and assess the potential of another product.

What if your product is unique and will be the first of its type to be sold on Amazon Europe?

Without knowing the sales of similar products, you won’t have data to indicate how much your product will sell in a new market. This represents a higher business risk.

With higher business risk, you must seek to lower financial risk – this can be done by sending a smaller quantity of inventory to Europe as a way to test the market.

2. Assessing competition

Assuming you deem there are sufficient sales in Europe for a certain product, you must next determine the level of competition you’ll be facing.

You don’t want to launch products in a highly competitive market.

There are a number of important factors to take into consideration when evaluating the level of competition from other sellers on Amazon Europe:

How many competitors are selling products similar to yours?

If there are many, the market may already be saturated.

Conversely, if there are no sellers, this may suggest a lack of demand.

Do the top-selling products in your niche have a large number of reviews, that may make them difficult to outrank?

This is generally not the case with Amazon Europe, although it should always be researched.

How does the quality of your product compare to those being sold?

You can evaluate this by looking at the images of your potential competitors on Amazon Europe and the average customer review rating for their products. For example, a niche that has a plethora of products with a five-star rating will be more difficult to penetrate and gain market share.

To ensure sales are sustainable going forward, your product should offer some unique benefits or features compared to your competitors. Otherwise, you will just be competing on price. This can work temporarily, but there’s nothing to stop a competitor pricing lower than you in the future. Downward price pressure like this erodes your profit margin and market share.

What is the quality of your potential competitors’ product listings?

Here are some factors that indicate under optimized product listings and thus weaker competition:

  • Poor quality and/or very few product images
  • A very short product title
  • Very short or no product description
  • Fewer than the allowed five bullet points

Now, let’s look at the second key mistake made by Amazon Europe sellers.

Mistake #2 – Selling Only On Amazon UK

According to Marketplace Pulse, there are almost 61,000 active sellers on Amazon UK. This is the largest number of sellers of any Amazon EU marketplace. However, the majority of these UK sellers are not selling on the other Amazon EU marketplaces – Germany, France, Italy and Spain. This is likely due to the language barrier presented by the other marketplaces and the fact that most sellers think Amazon UK accounts for the majority of sales in the EU – regarding the latter point, this is actually not the case.

Using website traffic as a proxy for size, you can see that Amazon UK only accounts for 31% of the European market. Furthermore, Amazon Germany is actually bigger than Amazon UK.

And so, this brings us to our second common mistake by Amazon Europe sellers. Just selling on Amazon UK. Those who do so are missing out on almost 70% of the European market and significantly limiting their sales.

While the other three marketplaces (France, Italy and Spain) have lower traffic, they are growing fast and are home to millions of more potential customers for your products!

There is much lower competition outside Amazon UK too. This is evident by fewer sellers, fewer product reviews and generally lower costs for pay per click (PPC) advertising.

Selling outside of the UK is not complicated – one seller account can be used for all five marketplaces, and all orders can be fulfilled from inventory stored in the UK (using Amazon’s European Fulfillment Network).  

Translating your listings to the local language is the only initial step, and there is no extra cost to list on these marketplaces.

I see the language barrier as an opportunity, as many other sellers don’t do a good job at translating, and adapting their product listings to non-English speaking marketplaces. That’s actually the third common mistake and what we’ll look at next.

Mistake #3 – Translating Amazon EU Listings

A typical US Seller spends a long time (and often a lot of money) doing keyword research and crafting excellent sales copy for their products on Amazon.com – all to maximize traffic, conversion, sales, and profit.

But, for non-English listings (Amazon Germany, France, Italy and Spain), many sellers just hire a freelancer online to translate their listings.

No keyword research, no copywriting. Two big mistakes.

As a seller, your goal is not just to get a listing that is translated accurately. You want a listing that will entice customers in that market to buy your products.

And so, your listing must not only be translated but also localized.

Localization is a combination of translation and copywriting, which generates a listing that is adapted to the local culture and encourages buying behavior. The focus is on conversion, not just translation.

By just translating your listings, you’re not adjusting your sales copy to the local market you are targeting. This often results in a low conversion rate and leaves many sellers scratching their head.

“How can my product be so successful in the US or UK, but doing so badly in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain?”

Localization is often the solution to this.

In addition, it’s also essential that keyword research is performed in each language before launching a new product on Amazon Europe.
This will help you identify the best keywords in each target language – those which customers use to find a product like yours – and include them in your listing and back-end search terms.

Failure to do keyword research in the local language is one of the biggest reasons why sellers struggle when moving to Amazon’s non-English speaking marketplaces.

Keyword research should be done prior to localization, as the top keywords identified should be prioritized when localizing your sales copy.

If English is your first language and you’re selling on non-English speaking marketplaces, you should hire a native speaker to do your keyword research. A native’s comprehensive vocabulary will be key to finding the best keywords for your listing and including them in your listing.

Furthermore, a native speaker will ensure that only keywords relevant to your product are included – non-relevant keywords will result in traffic from non-relevant customers, who are not searching specifically for a product like yours, and will likely hurt your conversion rate.

You may be tempted to just translate your English keywords, but this is a mistake too.

Some languages have a much richer vocabulary (in general or when describing particular products). Without doing the “research” part, you will miss some keywords – if they’re high volume and relevant keywords, this can significantly reduce your traffic and sales.

Furthermore, a direct translation of a keyword from English into another language can produce a phrase that has a totally different meaning than intended – just look at the two examples below.

The result is that you’ll be sending non-relevant traffic to your listing and likely lower your conversion rate. Bottom line – don’t make this mistake!

So in summary, how do you optimize listings for more sales on Amazon EU?

By doing keyword research AND localizing, not just translating!

Don’t have the time or expertise to do this?

You can hire our expert team to optimize and localize your listings for more sales on Amazon EU (Germany, France, Italy and Spain).We have optimized hundreds of listings to date and you can learn more about our service here –  https://www.amzeurope.com/amazon-product-listings-europe

Final Thoughts

I hope you found this post helpful. Now, it’s time to take action and apply the advice in this post to your Amazon Europe business!

But one more thing before you go. Don’t leave empty handed, we have a freebie just for you!


For a limited time only, we’re offering free access to our new course – 5 Steps To More Sales On Amazon

Sign up and you’ll receive 5 detailed guides (direct to your inbox), which have been specially designed to help US & EU Sellers increase their sales on Amazon!

If you have any questions, you can get in touch with me through our website: www.amzeurope.com. Please share this post if you like it, too!

Let David and the AMZ Europe team help you launch your business on Amazon Europe!

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