Malaysian Amazon sellers’ e-commerce strategies to sell internationally

[This is a sponsored article with Amazon Global Selling.]

Common goals for many companies include scaling their operations and expanding their presence in geographic e-commerce markets.

With the pandemic forcing most to venture into e-commerce, more and more entrepreneurs are now looking to venture beyond Malaysia’s borders.

However, this could be an intimidating task. It means entering markets with an unfamiliar language, legal process or culture.

Aside from these factors, a seller needs to think about the available technical infrastructure, the services offered, the customer support, and the duration of the fulfillment of the last mile to the end customer.

To get an idea of ​​how to manage these aspects of the business, we interviewed several local companies that have established an international presence to understand their strategies for selling products internationally.

Familiarize yourself with the region you are selling to

As with any business, you need to understand a customer’s needs and wants through market research.

For example Connie from Sparkling crafta company specializing in DIY party decorations, uses services from social media platforms and Google Trends to determine what customers in these regions are searching for.

Wong Kia Chik (KC), the owner of Matt offersan Amazon bike gear store and founder of More Web Services, uses big data analytics to Conduct keyword research for individual regions.

“For example, a bicycle tire brand known in the US may not be the same in Malaysia. Even the keywords customers use to search for their product could be different,” he said, adding that this is important search for alternative keywords to.

What are cyclists looking for today? How many times was this keyword searched in a month? Those are some questions he would ask himself. “My knowledge and experience as a Google Adwords specialist help me a lot in this case.”

Another reason for Conducting market research is to respond to the specific needs of customers in different regions.

For example, Handmade Heroes offers country-exclusive skincare and hair products like Drop Dead Gorgeous dry shampoo for fair hair, specially formulated for regions with colder climates.

Outsource your order processing and customer service

A big problem when running an international e-commerce business is order processing. It is the process of taking an order, processing it, packing the product and shipping it to the customer.

Handmade Heroes and Glittery Craft found that without a proper fulfillment service, their biggest challenge was not only having to handle the warehousing, but also having to physically pack, label, and ship the orders to international customers themselves.

“We were busy managing the operations and [had] no time to innovate and grow our business,” added Lynsey of Handmade Heroes.

When a seller has to manually process a large number of orders at once, it’s also easier for problems to slip through the cracks.

Also, not only do you need to do your own research on which courier ships to a specific country, but any disputes or refunds need to be handled by your company as well.

Photo credit: Unsplash

A solution for Streamline the entire fulfillment process is by using services like Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) where you can ship your products for storage to any of the 175+ Amazon fulfillment centers available worldwide through Amazon’s global logistics infrastructure.

When an Amazon customer makes a purchase in this region, fulfillment centers ship it directly to them within two days, allowing customers to receive their purchases faster.

KC said: “It simplified a lot of processes and especially you [are] able to compete with the local sellers of this marketplace.”

Plan your inventory

Local shipping doesn’t require as much planning because businesses don’t need to stock their products in fulfillment centers.

However, if you plan to expand your business globally, Glittery Craft points out, “Longer-term sales forecast and inventory planning [are] required for shipping abroad [through] Fulfilled by Amazon because [of] the need [to keep] Stocks in foreign warehouses.”

Matt Deals and Handmade Heroes agreed on that.

Choose the right service provider to support your business

Another aspect mentioned by the interviewees is ensure that your products comply with the laws and regulations of each country.

Photo credit: Amazon

Your company must too Submit taxes for each country your business works. However, finding service providers to assist you with these processes can be a daunting and time-consuming task.

In that sense, both KC and Connie use Amazon’s service provider network which helps with product compliance, taxes, payment, marketing, advertising and more.

What should brands pay attention to when expanding abroad?

When asked for tips on expanding a business abroad, Glittery Craft insisted that “don’t “Understanding foreign tax, customs and product regulation requirements” is a big mistake as there have been a few instances where a seller’s products have been confiscated.

Handmade Heroes, on the other hand, proposed being culturally sensitive in advertising Your products, as what seems appropriate here may not be appropriate in other regions.

Last but not least always Register your corporate brands internationally where possible to protect your business and brand. For sellers who are onboard with Amazon, this can be done on theirs Trademark Register.

The strategies shared by Glittery Craft, Matt Deals and Handmade Heroes are just a few pointers for local sellers to start selling abroad.

For more information on sharing best practices, see Amazon Seller Ambassador and connect with Amazon seller experts to grow your global business.

Alternatively, you can catch the upcoming Amazon webinar with partners like Axis and Matrade, taking place on April 21, 2022. There you will learn more about how SMEs can start their cross-border e-commerce journey and how the above partners can help.

Featured Photo Credit: Connie from Glittery Craft / KC from Matt Deals / Lynsey from Handmade Heroes

Leave a Comment