Expanding into Foreign Markets

Expanding into Foreign Markets
The Faces of Business

Expanding into Foreign Markets

In this, The Faces of Business episode, Andrew Cooper, Head of Sales and Marketing, Global E-commerce Experts Ltd., talks about Expanding into Foreign Markets and solutions for product-based firms looking to break into international markets.

Andrew has been in sales for over two decades. He specializes in consultative selling and is equally competent in marketing. He has spent the last ten years taking a particular interest in ecommerce. During this time, Andrew has observed the patterns of Amazon, e-Bay, and Alibaba. This helped to prepare him for this role at GEE.

GEE is a UK-based international ecommerce consultancy that works with US-based ecommerce sellers to overcome expansion-related issues, like VAT obligation, custom clearance, and logistics. It helps them establish their businesses in the UK and the EU.

Download our free business valuation guide here to understand more about business valuations and view our business valuation FAQs to answer the most common valuation questions.

In his role as the Head of Sales and Marketing with GEE, he helps ecommerce sellers find the resources they need with sales, marketing, and other related matters to cover their end-to-end needs when expanding their markets into the UK and Europe.

Damon is pleased to welcome Andrew to the show. Since the guest hails from the UK, Damon thoroughly understands that the time is rather late. So, he appreciates Andrews taking his time. Damon also relates that he’s going to dive into “what you guys are doing with their global e-commerce experts every day.” Damon’s listeners are US-based companies, and they want to expand their businesses into the EU and the UK.

The host asks Andrew to talk about his background and how he got into helping companies do this. The latter gives a brief introduction to Global E-commerce Experts (GEE). So far, they have helped around two and a half thousand clients expand into the UK and Europe. Many companies want to explore the EU because these markets typically follow US trends, buying habits, and product categories. Moreover, in his view, it’s an easy transition to make, for they have helped multiple brands.

Do you want to know if your business is ready for your exit or what you should do to prepare? Learn this and more with our business exit assessment here.

Damon asks him about the typical conditions US manufacturers should expect while exploring the European markets.

Making the transition from the US to the UK is straightforward. He supports his answer with reasons that packaging requirements are similar. They need to make a few changes to their packaging. Moreover, once a business gets its VAT business compliance done, it makes business expansion less arduous.

However, due to Brexit, the UK has become a self-sufficient market. An American looking forward to settling their business here will have to comply with the local laws. Another problem comes across if they only go for other EU nations. There the US companies will be dealing with many translations and people from different cultures. On the whole, the US and the EU offer lucrative business opportunities.

Get the most value for your business by understanding the process and preparing for the sale with information here on our Selling a Business page.

Andrew explains the price difference that usually baffles a US manufacturer. If they sell a product for $30, they cannot simply convert this price into the local currency. In the UK, US goods are taxable, and VAT is taken out from their sales price.

Moreover, the product and label compliance is also similar “to what a brand would experience in the US.” But the challenge remains to relabel all of the stock into the EU languages. Andrew advises that such manufacturers should split their stock according to the demand. Another way to tackle this problem is to prepare label stickers. Manufacturers can also insert label information into the packaging to meet the demand.

Damon asks Andrew whether or not the UK law requires manufacturers to have inventories in the US setting. He quotes Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) as an example. The UK has limited land. It is the only restriction. Having inventories can be tough, but it maximizes returns.

Once they are “over those first hurdles, have the ability to sell goods, it’s a relatively straightforward process.”

Damon curiously wants to know how the demands of the UK customers are met. As a helping hand that accommodates the US vendors into the UK markets, Andrew talks about some challenges the foreigners face. The first problem is the whole process and management of the logistics. Second is the management of the stock “because it isn’t anywhere close to where they used to be.”

Andrew discloses that the UK is slightly easier because 24-hour delivery is pretty standard. In other EU countries, where border crossing is included, a customer is communicated a 48-hour estimated delivery time throughout Europe.

While commenting on the brighter side of expansion, Andrew draws Damon’s attention to possibilities that foreign manufacturers can explore. “Trust is everything.” Whenever an opportunity arises, a businessperson must explore potential markets. An entrepreneur can learn not only different languages but also systems.

Damon believes that unlike McDonald’s and Starbucks, Amazon “gives ecommerce sellers a bit of learning curve to working with a third party logistics (3PL).

Andrew says that GEE offers many services. For sustainable growth, however, the vendors themselves should undertake a feasibility study to understand which products are going to sell best in the UK. It gives them an insight into the buying habits of the target class. They must research top-selling SKUs. Customers’ likes and dislikes may vary from area to area, “we recommend that they do look at that.” This research is to make sure that businesspeople are “doing the utmost to get you the most ROI.” Damon thinks, “that’s paramount.”

Similarly, Andrew departs very valuable tips for potential vendors who are looking forward to expanding into foreign markets. “Absolutely consider what your plans are for Europe.” He suggests that manufacturers tailor their products to the target country. For example, a product designed for sunny countries like France and Spain cannot work in the UK.

“Also, your shipping terms and customs clearance is important” because some countries take months to get VAT.

Moreover, like the “Amazonians army,” vendors must learn to use software to enlist their companies in the local markets. Helium 10 is always good for data backup. Jungle Scout is good for investigation. A deep insight into FBA products can help many manufacturers to understand the needs of EU consumers. All of this is meant for making an informed decision.

Andrew shares his profound vision of Amazon’s performance in Europe. The ecommerce giant is almost pretty nonexistent in the Netherlands. Likewise, its share is tiny in Paris. Germany, however, is the biggest lucrative market for Amazonian vendors. The guest advises the business owners to think out of the box to promote and sell their products in foreign markets.

Before wrapping up the discussion, Andrew speaks to the US manufacturers. A successful transition is favored by bold decisions and confident measures. “Of course, there’s a lot of nervousness about going to another country,” he continues, “speak to the right people.” He cordially invites the interested vendors to have a chat. “You can have just as massive, much success in Europe as you can in the US.”

The conversation ends with Damon thanking Andrew for his time.

The Faces of Business

Learn about the strategies that have allowed other business owners to overcome all kinds of adversities and limitations to achieve their business goals successfully.

All The Faces of Business episodes are

 

Check out this episode on LinkedIn
Linkedin-Live
The Faces of Business on Twitter:
Listen to this episode of The Faces of Business on these podcast channels

ABOUT EXIT YOUR WAY®

Exit Your Way® provides a structured process and skilled resources to grow business value and allow business owners to leave with 2X+ more money when they are ready.

You can find more information about the Exit Your Way® process and our team on our website.

You can contact us by phone:  822-BIZ-EXIT (249-3948)   Or by Email:  info@exityourway.us

Find us on LinkedIn:  Damon PistulkaAndrew Cross

Find our Companies on LinkedIn: Exit Your Way®,  Cross Northwest Mergers & Acquisitions, Bowman digital Media 

Follow Us on Twitter: @dpistulka  @exityourway

Visit our You Tube Channel: Exit Your Way®

Service Professionals Network:  Damon PistulkaAndrew Cross

Facebook:  Exit Your Way® Cross Northwest Mergers & Acquisitions

Other websites to check out:  Cross Northwest Mergers & AcquisitionsDamon PistulkaIra BowmanService Professionals Network (SPN)Fangled TechnologiesB2B TailDenver Consulting FirmWarren ResearchStellar Insight, Now CFO, Excel Management Systems  & Project Help You Grow

40:22

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

uk, amazon, people, product, eu, good, fba, vat, absolutely, pl, sell, europe, buying habits, biggest, listings, e commerce, ecommerce, business, compliance, stock

SPEAKERS

Damon Pistulka, Andrew Cooper

 

Damon Pistulka  00:00

All right, everyone, welcome once again to the faces of business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. And I am excited today because I’ve got Andy Cooper here with me today from global ecommerce experts, we’re going to be talking about expanding into foreign markets. Andy, welcome.

 

Andrew Cooper  00:18

Welcome, Damon. Thank you. Great to see again. Thanks for having me. And thanks for your wonderful listeners. And, yeah,

 

Damon Pistulka  00:26

I’m excited about this. And I want to say thank you, first of all, because you’re, you’re coming, you’re coming to us from the UK, it’s late in the evening there. And now I say thanks for that, first of all, and and we’re gonna we’re gonna dive into what you guys are doing their global e commerce experts every day. And that’s helping ecommerce companies go into markets and specifically with you guys. And I think it’s specific it’s of interest for my listeners is US based companies that want to go into the EU in the UK. So yeah, awesome stuff. Now, tell us talk a little bit about that.

Because we were on before we were on today, you said that business was brisk and into q4 so far, and it’s, it’s it’s sometimes slows down a little bit. But when when you’re what are some of the initial questions? Well, first of all, let’s back up a little bit. Because I always like to, I’m getting down the road because I’m excited what we’re gonna. Yeah. Let’s talk a little bit about your background and kind of how how you got into helping companies do this? And then how you fit in with global ecommerce experts? And what’s fun about that for you?

 

Andrew Cooper  01:47

Yeah, great. Andy Cooper, Head of Sales and Marketing at global e commerce experts G for short. I’ve been involved in E commerce now for a number of years. GE has been around for about six years now. We’ve helped circa two and a half 1000 clients expand into the UK and Europe. Predominantly, you meant quite rightly mentioned earlier diamond, most of the US businesses and brands just seems to be naturally where, where it’s sort of gone.

I think it’s because the UK and EU typically follow us trends, buying habits, you know, product categories. You know, we like to we like to know what we all up to over there. I mean, it’s just an easy transition to make. And so yeah, we’ve we’ve helped multiple brands, I’m sure we’ll touch on the service offerings later. But yeah, we can offer multiple services. So it just helps that transition and knowledge and experience in terms of getting into UK and EU markets.

 

Damon Pistulka  02:46

Yeah, yeah. So this is this is interesting, because I know there are a lot of E commerce companies out there in the US that are that are sitting here now going, man, we’re just beating our head against the wall trying to grow our, our sales in, in the US or in North America. And they’re really looking at other places where they can sell. So what are some of the things that that you’ve seen as beneficial for companies that have moved in there is a less competition, better advertising? What are some things that you see that people are telling you typically when they move in,

 

Andrew Cooper  03:28

I think the biggest the biggest win for us ran going into UK and Europe. We’ll start with the UK. So making that transition from selling than us to UK is really straightforward. for the obvious reasons such as we’re speaking predominantly, the packaging requirements are very similar. You need to make very few changes to your packaging. You know, we understand the buying habits, as I’ve mentioned earlier, and actually entering into the UK for that respect is relatively straightforward.

Once you’ve got your VAT your business compliance done. So I just think it’s the it’s the obvious step because it’s more most familiar. And that makes it less arduous, you know, especially when you’ve got some support.

And then the next step of the sidestep of that is into the EU, which whilst you’re then dealing with lots of translations and people from different cultures it’s next door and despite our split from Brexit, you know, which will lessen we’ll talk about that period that we will be on if we’re gonna, but I’m also different Brexit obviously had some complications, what what didn’t interrupt was the way in which we can do to conduct business and turn that off and compliance and regulatory perspective.

So actually, although it seems quite daunting, it’s a relatively straightforward process. Once you Wait a step in the UK? So I think a direct answer to your question is it’s just familiar.

 

Damon Pistulka  05:04

Yeah, yeah. So you mentioned a couple of things that, that people may feel uncomfortable don’t know about, like, the VAT and some of the business compliance things. What are what are some of the the things that people bring up that they go? Wow, I didn’t really think about this. And it this is a lot different than in the US are what are some of the differences and similarities, I guess, that people talk about?

 

Andrew Cooper  05:37

Yeah. I mean, I suppose the obvious ones when talking compliance or VAT are the VAT versus sales tax. Yeah. And essentially the same thing we just do it’s do it in slightly different ways. So that’s often a question which gets raised about, what does that look like for when I’m selling a product? You know, we’re in the US, and we’ll sell it for $30. And although it’s not going to, you know, transition over exactly to that, but if we’re still in the UK for 30 pound, is, is that the same?

And the answer is no, it’s not because obviously, in the US UK sales, taxable on top of that people are consuming then you’ve got in the UK, where VAT is taken out from your sales price.

So that’s a it’s an odd, you know, it’s a conversation that we we have on every occasion, actually. And then the second part of that is the product and label compliance where, you know, it’s it’s not too dissimilar to what a brand would experience in the US. But it’s the assumption that it’s going to be that it’s going to cause complications, and you’re going to have to re label all of your stock, or you’re going to have to, you know, get in contact with your manufacturer and have different labeling for all of your products.

And then you’ve got to split your stock, and you have some shifts, and they can just, you know, when you think about it, that’s obvious, and you sort of think, well, that is what’s going to happen, but the reality is it isn’t. And once you’re over those first hurdles, have the ability to sell your goods. It’s relatively straightforward process.

 

Damon Pistulka  07:14

Yeah, so that you bring up the first one, it seems like the the vat, the vat, the VAT tax is you just have to account for it’s a little different way of accounting, and you know, it’s not added on the top, you need to include it. So if you normally saw 30, you might throw that 35 Or whatever the percentage that you want to add on top comes off that way. That’s fairly simple. And then you find in when you’re talking about label compliance, that it’s more that we might just modify our label slightly. So it’s good in the UK and in the US and go, is that what they do more than anything?

 

Andrew Cooper  07:53

Absolutely, that Yeah, yeah. All adds, you know, an additional sticker to the stock. Commonly that’s done, excuse me, was done on the inbound? Yep. As another way of then keeping you stuck exactly the same for multi regions, and then just pay in a small fee or whatever it down when it reaches its destination.

 

Damon Pistulka  08:17

Yeah. Now, that’s, that’s a good point. Because do people are people using that, like, when you’re gonna go, I can send my US based labeled product into the UK? And just sticker it to be in the UK? Do they do that as well when they need to translate the labels?

 

Andrew Cooper  08:35

Yeah. Oh, yes. So there’s, there’s a few common ways of doing it, which is, by appealing reveal label, which was maybe familiar with it sort of Konstantinos out from a normal sticker. If you’ve got the ability to have an insert in your box for your packaging. Another great way, or just a simple over sticker depend on the amount of information that needs to be translated.

And all the size of the product, of course, you can just simply put a label over it. And there’s a couple of things to that which which, from a commercial perspective, brands think about and need to understand is the aesthetics of it. If you’ve got a nice shiny black gloss bottle, and that’s your branding, and then you’re going to stick a plain white sticker on it. It’s probably not good. No, exactly. But I mean there will things which are relatively easy to overcome, just planning

 

Damon Pistulka  09:33

Yeah. Now the other thing that I was thinking about when we when we move into the into the UK or the EU expected delivery times I mean, do we if if I’m going into the UK, I pretty much I have to have inventory in the UK setting there ready to go right?

 

Andrew Cooper  09:56

Yeah, yeah, absolutely preferred route off Are customers what you’re getting out there? Damon is. If we’re going into FBA as an example, yeah. One of the one of the restrictions we have, particularly in the UK as storage limitations within Amazon, because we’re only small, I don’t know, yes, everywhere in Amazon, but you can almost sort of condense that down quite quite a lot because of just a pure size of the UK. So it’s absolutely recommended that you have you have a three PL to be able to, yeah, send in more stock, and then and then drip feed that into Amazon.

And or open up other marketplaces, because, of course, that’s gonna give you the ability to do that, then because you can fulfill directly from from your choice of free PL. So yeah, I mean, you’ve gone a long way, you know, if you’re, if your goods are manufactured, wherever they’re coming from over to us or China, or if they’re coming a long way. And so of course, you want to be able to send as much as you can, your business can afford to send in to maximize your return.

 

Damon Pistulka  11:02

Yeah, you definitely are going to want to pull the container loads in and that kind of thing. And it’s in our the, our the speed to the customer demand similar in the UK and the EU that as they are in the US where, you know, they want to get it the next day or two days after kind of thing.

 

Andrew Cooper  11:22

Yeah, so that’s absolutely. Yeah, that is definitely the case. UK slightly easier, because 24 hour delivery is pretty standard. Unless you’re in Holland, and somewhere, you know, it’s generally achievable. But of course, when you go to the EU, in some cases, like crossing state borders, or your delivery times, you know, become more difficult. But typically, you get 48 hour delivery throughout Europe. In most cases. Cool. Yeah. The demand and the requirement. And you know, people’s expectations. Yeah, ya know, that no different to to anywhere else to us in terms of what it now?

 

Damon Pistulka  12:10

Yeah, yeah. So, so as as you’re doing this, you guys have you guys have, you’re helping people with compliance, a three PL growth management, some other things like that? Where do you see, the hardest part is for us based sellers? Is it? Is it the customer service piece? Is it advertising? Where do you really see that they struggle the most, when they move there? Outside of I’ve got my product there, it’s listed, we’re ready to go?

 

Andrew Cooper  12:45

I would say yeah, once they’re there, I think the most difficult pies, probably the management of the whole process and management of the logistical side of it, the management of the stock, because it’s not anywhere close to where they used to generally, if they’re only in the US used to dealing with it. So Trust is everything.

And I think, you know, being able to whatever service provider you choose to use in any one of the service offerings, I think is really, really important that if you’ve got the opportunity to visit them, go and see and live and breathe it for a little bit. Fantastic. That’s not available to everyone I totally understand. But you know, having the opportunity to speak and spend time with how the systems work, you know what that looks like for you. So not just, you know, we’ve got a fantastic in warehouse management software that will give you this and tell you that and you’ll get a pull a report for this and the other.

Okay, it’s all great, but what’s that look like for the person who’s trying to deal with it? 1000s of miles away? So yeah, I mean, trust, I think is probably the, you know, the most common sort of Kava and not not all the time, are people clear about that, because it’s not something that you often want to admit, but probably the biggest thing, because fear is not going out of control. exactly what’s going on and putting your faith in, in somebody else.

And And it’s funny, because, like, if you’re coming from an Amazon background, yeah, that’s always been the case, you’ve always put your trust in Amazon, given them a load of stock. Yeah. And, and they’ll look after it and babysit and send out to the client. And of course, doing the same thing anywhere in the world of Amazon is generally going to be the same. I think it’s gonna go outside of that and then start exploring, you know, other three pills or different logistical partners or, you know, different customs agents, you know, different shipping routes or whatever it may be, is, yeah, probably the biggest challenge.

 

Damon Pistulka  14:53

Yeah, so get going out like you make a good point. You know, it’s like, it’s like a McDonald’s. You can go to McDonald’s anywhere in the world or Starbucks and you get pretty much the same this product, walking and walking out the door. And Amazon gives ecommerce sellers that so there is a bit of learning curve, to, to working with a three PL are moving into those, those areas there. It is interesting to that. And you make a great point about the fact in the UK and even in, in in the EU too, is that the three peels are almost necessary.

Because here in the US, we have the massive Amazon facilities that they can hold a lot of inventory. And even there, they’re cutting back some but we still find that there’s a lot of companies that’s how they operate, they don’t have a lot of three PL facilities, they have a lot of stock in Amazon. And in the UK or the EU, if that’s different, that’s something coming there that we need to know as Amazon or as E commerce sellers is, especially if you’re doing FBA Amazon that you know a three PL is, is going to be needed, not just a nice to

 

Andrew Cooper  16:04

have. Absolutely. And I think we’re we’re quite blessed actually in in terms of our free PL opportunities within the UK. So I think, you know, for your listeners, anyone looking to expand, there’s lots of great free PL, you know, totally built for E commerce fulfillment partners really? That? Yes. So I think you know, this is good opportunity. If you are then yes, you need one you absolutely right. Unless you’re really fortunate with Amazon and the amount of stock you can hold. But yeah, research.

 

Damon Pistulka  16:41

Yep, that’s for sure. So as you’re as you’re looking at this, and you’re helping people come in, they’re they’re seeing the product move. What are some of the benefits? You really see? Are they are they? When when you’re talking to us based suppliers? Are they seeing different demands, they go? Okay, this is kind of cool. And my product line in the US, I sell these three products, they’re my best sellers in the US. But in the UK in the EU, I’ve got these other six items that that sell a lot. But are you seeing that they’re selling a fair amount of different things? Or is it kind of popular as popular?

 

Andrew Cooper  17:23

That’s a really good question. So when we’re speaking to clients, we, we offer, and there’s many services. So if you can offer this, but a feasibility study to understand which products are going to sell best in the US. That’s and I definitely recommend wherever people to get our font, then definitely do it. Because it’ll give you an insight into the buying habits of your people and your Works products are going to sell the best, but what tends to come out of that is that the skews will generally be the same as the US.

So it’s a great starting point. Because if somebody’s got 100 different parents shoes, and they want to start off and test the water in the UK, it’s unlikely that 100 SKUs are going to be used to test that water in the UK. So the obvious choice clearly is to choose the top selling skews, send them over now we do tend to find that we we have the same likes and dislikes as a US so those products will generally do okay.

But what does happen is when the other stock starts to be introduced, we then got a like for a particular product subsequently, the other skews that might have done so well in some states starting to pick up in the UK or they’ll go into France and you know, completely different buying habits to to the British people, and you’ll find that it will completely turn on his head.

And it’s weird, there’ll be a product that you might not have thought was going to do particularly well. But there’s you know, there’s lots of software out there that can identify, you know, marketplace trends. And, and, you know, there’s some real obvious ones that you know, brands can use, and we recommend that they do look at that. But again, we go back to the web used earlier, just research and make sure that you’re doing the utmost to get you the most ROI.

 

Damon Pistulka  19:23

Yeah, that’s, that’s cool that because you think about that, it could be a way for you to really expand the products that you’re selling.

 

Andrew Cooper  19:32

Yeah, absolutely. And in fact, you know, if you’re talking about Europe, and we’re saying that the best selling SKU said okay, in the UK, some of your slower moving skews somewhere else, likely to be your best selling, excuse me, another country. So, again, it’s a good way of, you know, increasing your sales volume of your whole portfolio and not ya

 

Damon Pistulka  19:57

know, the feasibility study two, I think would be really interesting because you could get that you could get that feedback from the feasibility study, and it could give you some ideas where yes, you’re probably the ones will probably still be popular.

But if there’s those, those ones that are not so popular, that would really help to round out your your product sales lot. Absolutely, yep. Hmm. Hmm. Interesting. Interesting. Interesting. Because that, that could be, yeah, that’d be very, very profitable for some of these companies where they go, you know, our product line moves really good here, but it doesn’t in the other part, this part of our product line doesn’t move as well.

So what are some of the other things that that you think that people should really be considering? If they’re going to make the move outside of the US? They’re gonna go into the UK? They’re gonna go into Europe. You mentioned a feasibility study, I think that’s paramount. They’re probably going to need to look at a three PL, what are some of the other things they need to consider us are going to do this?

 

Andrew Cooper  21:10

Your route of entry. So when we’re talking about the EU, so absolutely consider what your plans are for Europe. Now, I appreciate that serve bit of a throwaway statement, because it is a bit of a if, but in some cases, but have a have a sort of a plan on where you want to be, you know, are you planning on doing a pan EU programme of Amazon? Or are you looking to just start off in Germany, because we you know, we know that the biggest Amazon Marketplace, is your product more tailored to you know, Sunny country.

So if then don’t send it to the UK, you know, send it you know, France or Spain might be the best Catherine area for you. So, really do some, some research into where find out the best route for the goods to go in. So where you’re going to ship them to and think about the customs clearance. You know, spoiler alert here, but I’m sure everybody will know that Germany is not the best place to get the goods in. And that’s just that’s fact was not me saying it, as a rule of thumb is not the best place to get your goods into. So just seek advice on where to go.

You know, and also your shipping terms and customs clearance is important. And yeah, think of a medium to long term plan and where you’re going to need VAT, for an example, because some countries take months to get VAT. So if you’re wanting to kick start in Europe, and you’ve got your German VAT, if you want to move into France very soon take into consideration the timescale and getting everything set up for that relations, you’re going to need VAT, you’re going to you’re going to need to either arrange, you know, Amazon diofar site, or maybe a three PL there.

So just make sure there’s plenty of planning in advance. Outside of that, I think the listings, setup of Amazon sites and the optimization of them. So we see quite commonly where clauses duplicate listings from the US simply pick it up and put it into amazon.co. UK, same A plus content, similar optimization, obviously, all of them reviews and stuff can come across, which is fantastic for a start.

But actually, even though we share the same, you know, keep referring to but share the same buying habits and likes and dislikes, or two we interact slightly differently. So yeah, we’re okay in the US are unlikely to fit in, who are born in the UK. So again, either if, if you’re a wizard that which most Amazonians army are pretty good at it, then do some research into that yourself, use a software available or enlist somebody to support you with that, get it set up, make that small medium investment into getting your Amazon sites optimized, and your content good, because that will give you the best start.

 

Damon Pistulka  24:26

Wow, that’s really that is that is really something and I think that’s a that would be overlooked by a lot of people is really to two things in there first, and we’ll back up but I think the listings and optimization for the different countries is going to be really really key. And even not not just the languages but the different buying habits what people want to see the images that need to be the first image to see compared to first image someplace else or, or you know, just the way that the listings are made because yeah If you take a US listing and put it someplace else, it may not sell very well.

 

Andrew Cooper  25:03

Absolutely, yeah. And as you mentioned there, Damian came down to pictures. Yeah. Just we we interact with content and pictures and videos and stuff like that. And if it’s not relevant, or doesn’t appear relevant to the type of product we’re purchasing, and then it’s likely to turn away and that works. Well that works anyway, you know, any kind of go into, but both ways, but yeah, absolutely investment on that.

 

Damon Pistulka  25:29

But there are I mean, it is it is it has to be advantageous to really think about that. And if I can optimize my listings with graphics and text and everything else, that makes it feel native to the country I’m selling, and it’s going to be I’m going to perform better

 

Andrew Cooper  25:47

100% Yeah,

 

Damon Pistulka  25:50

yeah. Now the other thing i You said to our backup to one more thing Passat but that that time to time to the VAT and being set up to sell on in different countries. And you said sometimes it’s a few months, that’s a, that’s significant in like you said, some take some time to plan early to get those things done, because you wouldn’t want to be shipping containers, a product over which, you know, the parts will probably accept it. And, and the three L’s would probably accept it. But if you can’t sell it, you’re gonna sit on it.

 

Andrew Cooper  26:24

Absolutely. And then you’re going to incur charges and all of that all the hard work and the, you know, the potential profit that you’ve got built up in this good could whittle away. So yeah, I can’t, I can’t just born that just plan. You know, and listen, support, if required, yes, you’ve got a great logistics network, and you’re used to it fantastic. If you’re not so used to that, then definitely make the make some calls and get some advice on it. And just make sure that you are all set up ready to go before you hit that hit that button on your shipment.

 

Damon Pistulka  26:58

Yeah, yeah, that’s for sure. Because once it’s moving, it’s moving. So you talked about initial research nissle research into these different kinds of things. Are there places that you guys recommend customers to go? Are there good information sources? Or?

 

Andrew Cooper  27:18

Well, there’s the, you know, the key sort of software, so Helium 10, is always good for that sort of data for backing up or identifying? Where, where best where best to go? Jungle Scout? You know, there definitely are, so if you want to do it yourself and investigate it great.

But of course, you can’t, you know, it’s the I can’t think of a spin off top, my head diamond. But you know, you’ve you can’t be somebody who does it in does it day in day out knows exactly what they’re doing. And so sometimes do it yourself not always best what I’m trying to say. So there’s there’s 100 1000s of businesses that offer similar services, and use similar software to enable them to do it. But if you’re competent enough, absolutely, given their investment on it.

 

Damon Pistulka  28:14

Sometimes it’s just getting the initial research where you get just enough knowledge to be dangerous, and then you find the professional that’s going to really help you do it.

 

Andrew Cooper  28:22

He absolutely, yeah. Absolutely.

 

Damon Pistulka  28:28

That’s what we try to recommend with our clients is, hey, you know, make get educated well enough to make an informed decision. And then let the professionals take it from there, if it’s if it’s something like that.

Because it is, I mean, you brought up so many you brought up so many great, great things to think about in here when we talked about the route of entry, making sure you’re ready or the time to the VAT to be ready to sell on those countries before you do things optimizing listings, during the feasibility studies ahead. I mean, there’s, as you think about you know, I’m sitting here in the US as I’m thinking about moving a product line over to the to the UK or the EU, it’s it really is it starts with understanding what should we be moving?

And then if we’re going to move get set up, and figure out what that looks like for you, not only just not only logistically because in the US we just often think as well logistically get the product there to get it done. Yeah, see, we have to get the rest of it set up like you said that the the VAT and everything else that compliance, we think naming things that we need to do and and do that. And then down to optimizing and being ready to get those listings up and have them up and ready to go and product ready at that ready to go before your product hits the floor. So absolutely.

 

Andrew Cooper  29:48

Yeah, I mean, it seems like when you when you put it like that, I mean it is. It’s a process that you need to go through logically and think about, and it does seem arduous, but I And, you know, there’ll be far more than people that we’ve dealt with but the two and a half 1000 people that we’ve supported expanding. Yeah. And when they get to the end of it, they’re thinking, actually, it wasn’t that bad.

A bit of a relief from it. You know, it seems like a lot of stuff to do. But actually, in the world of E commerce, it’s forever changing. It’s not like anyone’s going to be not used to. Yeah. Lots of stuff changing and going on. So yeah, and you

 

Damon Pistulka  30:27

make a good point, once it’s, once you go through it, you look back. Yeah, we didn’t climb Mount Everest, it was there were some challenges on the way. The good part is, once you’re there, you’re there. And that’s, that’s what I really think and looking at the situation than us now, with our economy slowing down a little bit. And you know, there’s some ecommerce people that are setting on it setting on inventory, that, you know, looking at other places to sell, it is probably a benefit.

Yeah. And, you know, it’s was not even a couple of months ago, they were talking about how the ports on the western in the West Coast of the United States, the all the storage around the ports was as record high levels, and they’re nearing capacity. And then you heard, and I think, I believe this was in August, August ish timeframe.

And then you heard in September, and then into October about how some of the big retail chains, were really starting to discount product already, because they had so much product on hand, they had ordered over and you know, so you’re looking at if you’re setting on product, and you’re not selling in the UK or the EU, those are two areas where you could you could potentially go into and and increase your revenues and and get rid of some of that good product.

 

Andrew Cooper  31:48

Absolutely, yeah, yeah.

 

Damon Pistulka  31:51

So when you look at the companies that typically come through your company, give me some ideas of the kind of products.

 

Andrew Cooper  32:02

So our top five products again, they’re not going to be of any surprise to cosmetics, food supplements, food supplements, probably our biggest cosmetics, toys and games category. Consumer Electronics, the obvious one, so yeah, we don’t really we’ve got we haven’t not had anything we’ve got had such a variety of products, they do tend to be slightly more generic, rather than individual niche products. although that’s not always the case. But yeah, they tend to be you know, stuff that is available everywhere.

Tomato coffee, and example. Ya know, the nice stuff is not really coming over. But yeah, I mean, anything that’s, you know,

 

Damon Pistulka  32:52

that’s what that’s falls what’s a lot of popular the popular items on on FBA in the United States. It really does. And interesting.

 

Andrew Cooper  33:05

Yeah, cosmetics and food and supplements a huge, huge Oh, yes.

 

Damon Pistulka  33:08

Yes. Yes, that’s for sure. So what do you see on the horizon? Do you think that? Do you see? Yeah, just what do you see on the horizon? What’s interesting to you guys, now, what do you what do you you watching closely? What are you excited for? Yeah,

 

Andrew Cooper  33:25

I mean, for a few things really, were I think we were talking just before we come on it. And we’re not seeing any signs of new clients wanting to expand slowing down three to four, which is amazing. I know. We’re only a month into it now. But I mean, that’s great to see. And I think it’s it’s a good sign for them wanting to kickstart their 2023 journey, get started now build up through peak, you know, the sales are going to happen through peak.

We know that’s going to take care of itself with of course, a little bit of management and tweaking. So get ready for 2023. So excited for that we’ve sort of 2023 and what that brings. There’s a lot of stuff happening in Europe at the moment in terms of countries to import to and France opening up their postponed VAT, which is now part of that’s that’s quite an exciting time for getting goods into Europe from a cash flow perspective. So we’re looking at increasing our portfolio throughout Europe.

And we mentioned earlier about this is particularly to GE mentioned earlier about the timescales of delivery throughout Europe. And I mentioned that that’s typically for hours. But one of our one of our tasks and visions is to be able to offer 24 hour delivery throughout Europe, which means having multiple warehouses in order to be able to do that. So as a mini FBA, as it were, so for next year, that’s, that’s on our on our mind, but also further afield, so supporting other Other countries with with what we do here at GE would be fantastic.

 

Damon Pistulka  35:05

Yeah, yeah. So at Ge Ge do you do direct to consumer shipping? Are you just going to FBA kind of locations but you do have direct to consumer as well?

 

Andrew Cooper  35:19

Yep. So you know, we Amazon clearly most places the biggest distributors so that’s that’s a key thing moving into FBA but yeah, we’re, we’re completely set up for D to see fulfillment. So not just on Amazon, we want other marketplaces, which is, you know, there’s lots of people, Brinker to Amazon, but it’s a bigger world out there. And Europe is a much bigger well from from ours in a lot of cases. So yeah, we did see fulfillment is, yeah, one of our specialities

 

Damon Pistulka  35:54

that that brings up another point we’ll go over quickly, but just interesting to me. So when you look at the E commerce market, the landscape in the UK and the EU, is Amazon a smaller portion than it is in the US?

 

Andrew Cooper  36:10

Overall, honestly, no. bhaker Wondering what country you’re in? Yes, absolutely. So as an example, the Netherlands, Amazon is pretty non existent there. And in fact, I don’t even know if it’s completed yet. But it was not completed very close, the first fulfillment center.

And so if you live there, bol.com was an example is is huge. And Amazon’s tiny, tiny piece in Paris, of course, you go next door to Germany. And then Amazon is the biggest but there’s other multi multi this other marketplaces that are not too far behind, even in the UK, like eBay wish, on boy, a starting to creep up the ladder there. I mean, we’re still not talking Amazon size, by the way, Damon, but that still there, they’ve got lots of buyers that are not Amazon buyers.

So you’re not pinching from somebody to, you know, to then satisfy another marketplace? are we actually doing is reaching a shedload more people? Because they don’t, they don’t conflict. So you know, it’s something maybe a conversation for another day, but the omni channel market, multi marketplace approach. It is. Again, really key to extension. Amazon, absolutely be on it. You’d be you’d be almost mad not to. But don’t just be blinkered and forward thinking tab think outside the box and about where else you can sell your goods.

 

Damon Pistulka  37:41

Yeah, yeah. Cuz as you mentioned, that I hadn’t because we, you know, we talked a lot about Amazon, but I didn’t really, that’s a big point. Because as you can do D to C or dt, or, or go to one of these or fulfill even for one of these other places like that, that don’t have their own fulfillment centers. You’re a big you can be a big piece in that. And then Amazon or not ecommerce chain.

So, yeah, that’s a big deal. That’s a big deal. Hmm. Interesting. It’s always it’s always so much fun to learn, learn about business and how business is done around the world. That’s for sure. So what So you’re excited about next year? What are some of the things you’d like to leave people with? Before we wrap up? Just

 

Andrew Cooper  38:34

make that transition? I think, you know, we speak to a lot of a lot of people. And of course, there’s a lot of nervousness about going to another country, but, you know, speak to the right people. You know, we’d be delighted to have a chat, but there’s speak to the right people get the right voice and make that transition because it’s a fruitful one. And you know, you can you can have just as massive, much success in Europe as you can in the US.

 

Damon Pistulka  39:05

Yeah, yeah, man, this has really been enlightening. And because it’s when you look at the just the things we talked about a the the logistical and that kind of thing. And then when you look at the different marketplaces that can open up and you know, you can have a product that is, you know, a hit and another country that it can be so so on the US too. I just think there’s so many opportunities for that kind of thing. But yeah, this van, thank you so much for being here today.

 

Andrew Cooper  39:36

Pleasure diamond and as always great to Great to see you and

 

Damon Pistulka  39:40

yes, yes. Thanks so much. Well, I just want to thank all our listeners today and thank Andy for being here. And if you want to connect with you, Andy, where’s the best way to to get a hold of you?

 

Andrew Cooper  39:51

Yes. So, LinkedIn, Andrew dot Cooper, or global ecommerce experts.com Are these just two ways?

 

Damon Pistulka  40:03

We’ll drop that in the in the comments to here as well. But thanks so much for being here today. Andy, thanks for everyone listening today. Thanks for Dylan and Mike for dropping some comments. And we’ll be back again next week. hang out for a minute and just

Schedule a call to discuss your business goals and answer your questions on growing business value, preparing for sale or selling your business.

Related content

These posts may also interest you

The Faces of Business Live Schedule

The Faces of business Livestream / Podcast episodes are conversations with interesting people sharing life and business experiences to entertain, engage, build community, & help others succeed.

Getting Past Ecommerce Objections

In this, The Faces of Business, The Real Jason Duncan, Founder, TRJD Enterprises, talks about exiting your business without exiting. TRJD Enterprises upskills business owners to exit without selling their companies.

Communicating More Effectively

In this, The Faces of Business, The Real Jason Duncan, Founder, TRJD Enterprises, talks about exiting your business without exiting. TRJD Enterprises upskills business owners to exit without selling their companies.