Last week, Payoneer’s own SVP for the Americas Ya Wen and his crack team of experts were thrilled to join thousands of Amazon sellers from around the world in person and virtually from Seattle at Amazon Accelerate, Amazon’s premier annual seller conference. For those who are new to the ecommerce scene, the event is a chance for existing and potential Amazon sellers to learn from Amazon executives about the latest tools and services to help them sell on the Amazon marketplace, and this year, for the first time, partners like Payoneer were invited to participate.
But this wasn’t Ya’s first Accelerate, as he used to lead Amazon’s US Global Selling business, helping US-based sellers expand internationally through Amazon. Though this time, he was at the Payoneer booth talking with attendees about how Amazon partners with Payoneer to pay sellers directly into their Payoneer account and the many other services, such working capital advances, that Payoneer offers to merchants.
I sat down with Ya to talk about his big takeaways from the event.
Ya, what was your overall impression of Amazon Accelerate this year?
This was a very seller-centric event. It was clear that Amazon is laser-focused on sellers’ needs and trying to support them across the board, to a degree we really haven’t seen before, and even extending to support outside of the Amazon marketplace. As Amazon’s Vice President for Distribution & Fulfilment said at the event, “ We are all excited about continuing to work backwards from your needs and see you all succeed on and off Amazon.” The sellers in turn were optimistic and engaged—they are embracing multichannel growth and seemed pleased that Amazon was recognizing that.
So omnichannel sales are hot, tell us more…
Many of the Payoneer customers we spoke with are not just on Amazon, they’re also on eBay and Walmart. They’re using Payoneer to get paid out of all of those marketplaces, which gives them a holistic view of their financials so they can better manage their businesses.
And many are also selling direct to consumers on their own webstores—or using the learnings they’ve taken from being on Amazon learnings to launch their brands on DTC channels. Just as Payoneer serves them on all of these channels, Amazon now wants to do that, for example with the new Buy With Prime button they can put on their webstores.
Does omnichannel also mean being on more than one Amazon site?
Definitely – we spent a lot of time with Canadian sellers who were on amazon.ca and who were looking to list on the US site because of the enormous boost in reach they would get. Expanding to other Amazon sites, perhaps starting with the UK or a location where you speak the local languages, is also a terrific way for sellers to enter international markets, given the supply chain and logistics support that Amazon can give you.
Your Payoneer account comes with you, too, of course, helping you get paid but also doing so much more. For example, your sales on one Amazon site can generate funding of up to $750,000 via Payoneer Capital Advance — with no credit checks — to help you expand to other sites.
Was there much interest in international expansion among the sellers present?
The interest is there, it’s all about taking that first step, whether it’s with Amazon, with another marketplace, or by setting up your own webstore. Many sellers are already operating internationally, however, because of their supply chains. As one Amazon seller from the US told us, he’s tired of paying for international wires to pay his German suppliers (and waiting for the transaction to go through). He was so pleased to understand that he could use his Payoneer account to handle this at a better price, at a better foreign exchange rate, and faster.
What was the mood at the event – are sellers concerned about the general economic situation?
Actually, the mood was quite upbeat, in part because Amazon is clearly investing more in supporting sellers’ growth. Most of the people we spoke with were especially interested in understanding how having a Payoneer account can help them to take advantage of the strong US dollar, keeping funds in dollars until they’re ready to pay out to suppliers or vendors in the local currencies they prefer. And of course, the Payoneer Commercial Mastercard is very popular among marketplace sellers because it allows entrepreneurs and small businesses to spend online or in stores in USD, EUR, GBP, and CAD completely fee-free in supported countries. And in addition to the cost savings, the ability to track all your card transactions in the Payoneer account and even automatically sync your payments and expenses with Xero and QuickBooks online really makes a difference in terms of managing your finances.
This event took place as we head into the peak holiday season. How does Payoneer support Amazon Sellers to prepare for what is often the major sales period of the year?
People we spoke to were really excited to talk with us about our Capital Advance program, which is available to Amazon as well as Walmart sellers. This working capital solution offers sellers up to $750K, which you can use to buy more advertising, stock up on supplies, or hire temporary staff, for example. There’s no credit check, because our offer is based on your monthly marketplace payouts.
Will you be back next year?
For sure – but don’t wait until then. Open a Payoneer account today to see how you can get the most out of marketplaces like Amazon, and hundreds more.