Where to sling your goods is one of the first decisions online sellers have to make, and it’s a big factor in your success. So should you guys start on Amazon.com or Amazon.com.au?
Let’s do this!
Amazon US vs Amazon Aus
First of all, Amazon was launched in the USA back in 1994 (can you believe they only sold books then?) and it’s grown to be the biggest online marketplace in the world. Just to give you an idea of its size, 327 million people are living in the USA and a 3rd of them have an Amazon Prime membership.
Amazon Australia went live on December 4th, 2017 and it’s currently Amazon’s fastest-growing marketplace relative to its size, having added more new sellers than Japan, Mexico, Brazil and China so far since its launch.
So although Amazon US is unquestionably bigger and has more opportunities to sell, the market is mature. You’re going to have lots of other people fighting for a piece of that sweet apple pie. Whereas in Australia it’s a growing market so there’s much less competition – and more pie.
Real estate analogy
To explain this I’m going to use my favourite analogy, real estate.
Imagine you want to buy an apartment for investment purposes. You could buy this apartment anywhere, so where would you choose? You could buy it in a stable market like Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. It’s a mature market that’s already seen its share of growth and if you’re renting it out you’re going to receive steady returns- it’s a safe investment.
Or maybe you buy in an up-and-coming market, say Port Macquarie (please don’t take this as investment advice!) This market is on the rise, so when you buy your apartment you’re going to ride the market up. Not only will you make a steady income from rent, which you could raise alongside demand, but as the property value increases, you’ll enjoy a nice bit of capital growth too.
Right now for me, Amazon Australia is like Port Macquarie. By selling on Amazon.com.au you’re investing in the next hot area that’s waiting to boom… rather than Amazon.com, or the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, where it’s already kind of ‘boomed out’.
How selling on Amazon works
The Amazon platform is designed for people who know what they want to buy. They type the name of the product (keyword) in the search box and check out the results. This is why it’s a terrible place to launch a brand new product. If people don’t know about something they’re not going to search for it – there are better platforms out there for that.
Let’s look at an example, say you’re selling baby seat mirrors – things you hook onto car seats so you can see what your kid is doing in the back. It’s a new, novelty item and there’s certainly demand from parents. It’s got a lot of potential.
Here’s how Amazon works, once you’ve done all the things we talk about on this blog to rank your product so you’re at the top of page 1, Amazon suddenly becomes a self-fulfilling cycle of success for you. Your listing gets seen first, you’ll get more sales and reviews and your position at the top of the pile strengthens. It’s a delightful and profitable cycle.
There’s tons of money to be made from securing the top spot for lucrative keywords like ‘baby seat mirror’ but more importantly, as more people start using Amazon in Australia, traffic will increase and your sales will naturally rocket too – without you having to do anything extra – so you’ll grow together with the marketplace.
So to conclude, If you’re in Australia, it makes sense for you to get started on Amazon.com.au. It’s a more forgiving market in which to start your business and you have the opportunity to grow it much faster. As soon as everything’s working well in Australia, then, by all means, scale up and start selling in the USA. I think that’s a sound strategy.
Hugs Stacey x