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It seems that we live in a much different world than we were in the beginning of this year and most of our day to day life has been turned upside down.
But, when it comes to eCommerce and Amazon in particular, what pandemic has shown us is that this online giant is here to stay and dominate.
More people than ever have turned to the internet to carry out all kinds of transactions, which helped Amazon reach earnings that blew past Wall Street estimates.
With this growth in the adoption of e-commerce that seems to be here to stay, Amazon is venturing into new international markets.
These new international markets present great opportunities for more regions to be opened up for sellers and brands and help them scale and reach new audiences.
In this article we will take a closer look at the new marketplaces that you might not have taken into consideration so far (Amazon Singapore, UAE and Saudi Arabia).
And If you’re looking into expanding to Amazon Europe in 2021, we’ll cover what we know so far about Amazon’s upcoming launches to Sweden, Czech Republic and Poland.
Amazon Singapore (amazon.sg): Is It Worth It?
Singapore is a relatively small market with a population of about 5.6 million people, but with a very high e-commerce penetration.
Despite its size and population, e-commerce penetration has been rising from 70% in 2019 and is expected to reach 73% by 2023.
Amazon officially welcomed sellers to this marketplace in October 2019 in selected categories (including Books, Video Games, Consumer Electronics, Baby and Toys, and Home and Kitchen).
The most dominant one seems to be Lazada which is owned by Alibaba and linked to Taobao (a huge Chinese e-commerce website and seventh-most visited website in the world, according to Alexa).
This allows Lazada to offer much cheaper prices of the online products since most of them are coming directly from the Chinese manufacturers.
Even though the company has a tough competition to beat, Amazon seems to be putting on a decent fight.
After its failed attempt of launching in China, it seems like the company has been paying much more attention to Singapore and focused on increasing its reach, brand awareness, and number of sellers on its marketplace.
Amazon put a lot of effort to attract a high number of Prime members on Amazon.sg by making the membership fees cheap (S$2.99)- and got hundreds of thousands of people to sign up for Amazon Prime with its 30-day free trial.
And Singapore, even being a relatively small marketplace, has become the world’s third-largest export destination from Amazon.
Emphasis has been placed on encouraging more sellers to join the Amazon Singapore marketplace and get onboarded.
With their current focus on getting more products and sellers on the marketplace, they have done a number of things to attract more brands.
First, they have waived the professional fees for sellers until the end of 2020.
What this means is that you do not have to pay for professional fees and you do not have to pay for deals.
Once you set up your account you get assigned an account manager who is very proactive and serves to support you with setting up everything properly and getting started.
In addition to that, Amazon’s team in Singapore seems to be quite engaged with the community and often organize webinars or telegram groups where they show support to sellers and answer their questions.
Overall, the Amazon Singapore marketplace definitely has potential and now is a good time to start exploring the marketplace and perhaps take the early advantage, but it will take time for brands and sellers to reach high volume sales.
So, our advice is to be patient.
There are just a few things you should take into consideration before venturing into the market:
- Do research on what products you sell.For example, in Singapore people often live in apartments and rarely have big balconies so anything in the Garden category would not be such a good idea. You have to keep in mind that it could be a very slow-moving market to start with. Try not to compete with super cheap products from Lazada and rather focus on categories that are not as popular on the competitor’s site.
- **Make sure you price your product right.**Singaporeans are very price-conscious and they do a lot of comparison with other products to make sure they got a good price. Also, they are very eco-friendly, so consider focusing on ‘’green’’ products.
- **Prepare for lots of “manual work’’.**There are no tools available for Amazon.sg, so you can’t count on Helium10, Jungle Scout and others to make your job easier. However, Amazon’s team seems to be working on introducing those tools very soon.
- Consider the available categories.
There are a couple of categories that are not yet available on Amazon.sg, for example, fashion.
- Start with small shipments, especially if you have a product that is manufactured outside of China.
We’d recommend starting at the moment with something simple like home products or beauty products and testing things out.
If you are interested in the long term game that gets you into the bigger Southeast Asia market, then Amazon.sg is the market you should try out.
For more information about this marketplace, check out the video our CEO Jana Krekic shared on New Amazon Marketplaces to Watch.
Amazon UAE (amazon.ae)
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a relatively small market with its population of about 9 million people.
Amazon launched its online platform in May 2019 with ten thousand sellers and managed to gain a substantial ground here, holding between 12% to 15% of the e-commerce marketplace.
However, the e-commerce market in the UAE is still dominated by Noon due to its ability to offer fast shipping and delivery and of course attracting online shoppers much much sooner.
Even in light of this, Amazon UAE is a very viable market with its offers of cheap Amazon Prime and free delivery because people in UAE love a fair price.
The established ex-pat community also makes Amazon UAE a great marketplace for sellers.
Expats often need certain products, particularly products that have to do with furniture and home decor.
The lack of variety and expensive nature of these products in the current e-commerce space presents a great opportunity for you sellers on Amazon UAE to create a niche market for yourself.
Amazon Saudi Arabia (amazon.sa)
Though still new with not a lot of new sellers yet, Amazon Saudi Arabia might be a great opportunity for brands in near future, but it will take a while for it to start rolling.
Amazon launched in Saudi Arabia in June 2020, replacing Souq.com – the largest e-commerce platform in the Arab world it acquired for $580 million in 2017 – with Amazon.sa.
The reason why we see it as a great potential is the fact that this marketplace is three times the size of the Amazon UAE, which means sellers on Amazon Saudi Arabia will have greater access to a larger number of people in need of their products.
It is available in English and Arabic language and of course, there are still no keyword tools (or other Amazon tools) available on this marketplace, meaning there will be a lot of “manual’’ work and testing of what works here for a while.
Other reasons why you might be looking into Amazon Saudi Arabia as a good market to venture into are the high % of e-commerce shoppers and the high purchasing power in Saudi Arabia.
The e-commerce giant just announced that they are finally launching in Sweden, marking its first step to establish a local presence in a Nordic country.
With a population of 9.6 million people and a very high number of sales being made online (up to 94%!), the high penetration of e-commerce is an advantage for Amazon Sweden and would work well for sellers who leverage this.
Taking Amazon.nl as an example, we can expect sales to start rolling out on Amazon Sweden in 5-6 months, so probably by 2021.
For now, if you go to Amazon.se, you would still get redirected to Amazon Germany.
It will be interesting to see which categories will be allowed at the beginning. The most popular categories seem to be clothing and footwear (about 40%), beauty products, books and media, and home furniture.
If Amazon wants to win over the Swedes that have their own e-commerce culture and local websites (think Ikea, H&M, Nelly.com), they will more likely focus on attracting the new audience with lower prices, fast delivery, and top-notch service.
With such an extremely high number of online shoppers and revenue projections Sweden seems to be a very, very attractive marketplace to explore in 2021.
Amazon Czech Republic
The Amazon Czech Republic market will be rolled out soon, most likely in the first part of 2021.
This is something to look forward to particularly because the Czech Republic e-commerce market had the fastest growing market in Europe which has grown by 16% in the past year.
But, it is still not on the level of Poland and other European countries.
Previously, the Czechs were known for their preference for cash. However, there has been a change as more Czechs are open to making online or digital payments.
If e-commerce continues growing as fast as it did previously, Czech Republic might be a very interesting marketplace to keep an eye on for 2022.
This is yet another market that is about to be rolled out in the coming months.
In Poland, 77% of sales are made via the internet, and there is about 11.6 billion in e-commerce sales. There are around 12,000 online shops, so it is safe to say there is a big e-commerce culture.
Allegro.pl is their top online shopping site and right now in one of the top 10 world marketplaces (right behind likes of Shopee and Lazada).
One of the good indicators of the potential of these newly launched marketplaces is that, in June, Zalando preceded Amazon and entered Poland, Sweden, and Spain.
This shows that more than one online shopping platform is focusing on the same countries and we are sure they did their numbers.
Poland will most likely be on the radar of brands already selling on Amazon Europe due to the high number of online customers and a very high number of e-commerce sales.
To summarize, if you are interested in venturing into any of the new Amazon international markets, you should check the categories because not all of them will be rolled out at once.
You should take some time to step back to think through your whole selling process and to do the necessary research.
With 5 new marketplaces just launched or about to be rolled out (and counting), it is clear Amazon’s aim is complete global e-commerce domination.
The question is, which one will be the right market for you to launch your next products?
If your aim is to expand now, then more established marketplaces such as European ones (UK, Germany, Italy, Spain), or Amazon Japan could be the right fit.
In case you need any help with listing translations, our team of Amazon-trained translators available for every existing marketplace would be more than happy to do that for you.