When it comes to business dreams, going global is at the top of the list for many entrepreneurs and business owners. While Australia packs a punch in the e-commerce space, our relatively small population can limit the potential of some brands targeting only local shoppers.

Yet, the thought of branching out overseas and selling in a foreign country can be intimidating for some. It’s a huge leap into the unknown, a leap that will see many business owners give up before they even start. But what if we told you it’s not as difficult as you think? That your brand could access customers around the world? And that your international expansion may just be a few clicks away?

Penny skateboards

Overseas made easy

Despite a clear desire to expand globally, a new ‘Global Empowerment’‘[1] study, commissioned by Amazon Australia, discovered that a quarter of the SMBs surveyed admitted to feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of expanding overseas.

The study, which surveyed a national sample of Australian SMBs, also revealed that more than one in four Aussie SMBs felt that they didn’t have the right tools, support or knowledge to expand their business globally on their own. Thankfully, Amazon are on a mission to support entrepreneurs on their path to taking their brand international.

Amazon Global Selling helps sellers to list and sell their products on Amazon’s global stores. Once they sign up as an Amazon seller, business owners can choose to list and sell their products on 13 other international Amazon stores.

“We aim to be a destination where local small and medium business owners can take their venture to the next level. We welcome local sellers to harness the benefits of Amazon’s brand recognition, tools and features to help them list and manage products, and our fulfilment services around the world,’ explains Head of Amazon Marketplace Australia, Amit Mahto.

“From small family businesses beginning their e-commerce journeys, to rocketing start-ups exploring new countries, we’re extremely proud and humbled by the diverse and ever-growing community of sellers building their businesses with our global marketplace.”

Since launching, more than 11,000 Australian businesses, many of which are SMBs, are now selling through Amazon, and have sold more than 25 million units across its Australian and international stores in the past year.[2]

Penny skateboards logo on back of skateboard

The American dream

While the world is your proverbial oyster selling on Amazon, the standout country for most Australian sellers is the US. The huge population, cultural commonalities, and thriving e-commerce make North America the number one on the Aussie SMB hit list, with one in five local businesses already operating there, or at least hoping to, according to the survey.

And one of the homegrown crop of businesses who have made their American dream come true is Penny Skateboards. The cult Aussie skate brand is one of the many local sellers using Amazon to help make their mark stateside.

“Whilst we previously had a presence in the US, selling through Amazon has enabled us to catapult our sales and reach a huge range of American customers,” says Penny Skateboards Head of Operations, Nathan Reid.

“With peak periods and high demand, we were able to sell and fulfil significantly more without the need to expand staff, warehouses and overheads.

“More recently, we were fortunate enough to integrate our e-commerce system with Amazon and set up US fulfilment solutions just before the first wave of COVID hit, meaning our sales have been able to thrive during the pandemic without encountering any issues with overseas fulfilment.”

Tricks of the international trade

Recognising the challenges and need for support, Amazon Australia has launched more than 100 features, tools and services for its local sellers. One of the most popular features is its flagship fufilment solution, Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), which helps sellers with packing, shipping and customer service when selling internationally.

In 2020 alone, FBA helped thousands of Aussie sellers achieve a 26 percent average uplift in sales[3]. Penny Skateboards credits the service as a huge reason they were able to recognise $1.73 million AUD in revenue through Amazon globally over the past 12 months too.

“Amazon manages all the heavy lifting for you,” says Nathan. “The recommendations that they offer for things like demand, planning, inventory performance, even campaign suggestions, really helped drive our next steps.”

“That kind of learning that Amazon offers its sellers is a huge plus. In short, selling on Amazon has paid off, big time!”

Penny skateboards founder showing skateboard to kids

Skating to success

With their eyes now set on Mexico, Canada, the UK and Europe, Penny Skateboards is counting on Amazon to help them continue kicking their international expansion goals.

“I have no doubt Amazon will help us build more brand awareness, reach more customers and share the fun of skateboarding globally,” says Nathan.

And for other SMBs looking to follow suit and grow their business overseas, Nathan is confident that Amazon is the best way to do it.

“It’s simple, easy and so effective,” enthuses Nathan. “Regardless of how much experience you have with eCommerce, or the countries you’re expanding to, for any business owner that has dreams of going global, then there’s no better partner than Amazon.”

For more information, and to learn more about selling globally with Amazon, head to  https://sell.amazon.com.au/global-selling/guide

[1] All data unless stated otherwise is from the ‘Global Empowerment’ study commissioned by Amazon Australia and conducted by McCrindle in October 2021, surveying 1,003 Australian small to medium sized business owners. The survey is a random sample of the general population of SMB business owners across Australia, and not a survey of Amazon third-party sellers.

[2] Amazon Australia seller data sourced between the period of 1/9/2020 - 31/8/2021. Australian businesses were identified based on the country of origin information provided by sellers to Amazon.

[3] Comparing performance of similar products with at least one sale 60 days pre and post a product’s enrolment in FBA in 2020. Future results may vary.