A Look Back at Amazon’s First Month in Sweden
And how your brand can be successful on Amazon’s global sites
When it comes to eCommerce in the United States, Amazon reigns king. eMarketer predicts that this year, Amazon will own 38% of eCommerce sales in the U.S. And according to an estimate from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), reported by Digital Commerce 360, Amazon has a whopping 126 million Prime members in the United States alone.
The eCommerce giant is working hard to replicate its success in other markets, too. In fact, Amazon is quickly expanding its presence throughout the globe, with dedicated online stores in 16 other countries as of this writing.
According to Statista, Amazon’s most lucrative markets (after the United States) are the U.K. and Germany, with $22.2 billion and $17.5 billion in net sales in 2019, respectively.
Amazon Makes its Mark in Sweden
In October, Amazon expanded its reach even more by launching a dedicated website in Sweden. This marked the company’s seventh store in Europe — and its first foray into the Nordics.
Prior to the October launch, Sweden’s 10 million inhabitants could already order from Amazon — typically from the British or German store. But those who did were often faced with a very limited selection and steep shipping costs. Of course, these two factors were a major deterrent to Amazon’s growth in this market.
But not anymore.
According to Alex Ooates, Amazon’s Vice President of European Expansion, Amazon.se will “offer Swedish customers a selection of more than 150 million products, including tens of thousands of products from local Swedish businesses.” A Wired article reports that the eCommerce giant only has about 10,000 products from Swedish merchants today. But that will most likely grow over time.
What’s more, customers in Sweden can get free shipping on purchases over SEK 229 — which is equivalent to about $25 US. This is huge, as free shipping is a key reason for Amazon’s popularity in other markets — including the United States. According to data from Statista, “fast, free shipping” is the #1 reason U.S. consumers shop on Amazon.
Amazon has experienced a few bumps since launching in Sweden. Noteably the company got some bad press for displaying the wrong flag on Amazon.se. They also auto-translated listings from other Amazon sites, which resulted in some inaccurate (and at times, offensive) translations. But if past successes are any indicator, the eCommerce giant will iron out these issues quickly and be well on its way to success.
Amazon.se: An Opportunity or a Threat for Brands?
Like just about retail news, Amazon’s launch in Sweden has been met with mixed reactions.
Some worry Amazon’s presence in Sweden could threaten local businesses. The biggest threat would be to smaller businesses that don’t sell on Amazon. After all, it’s hard for these companies to compete.
But Amazon.se also has the potential to be a new, lucrative sales channel for Swedish brands.
Amazon has already made a name for itself in other European markets. Over a quarter of German eCommerce and 30% of UK eCommerce is generated on Amazon. Everything that’s made Amazon a success in these and other markets — including broad selection, product reviews, customer experience and free, fast shipping — could easily carry over to Sweden. And that means Swedish brands that opt to sell on Amazon could benefit from a large, loyal audience.
How Brands can Set Themselves Apart on Amazon’s Global Sites
Of course, it’s up to each brand to determine whether it makes sense to sell on Amazon’s global sites. But here at Reputation Studio, we highly recommend it. In fact, there are a ton of benefits to selling on Amazon, and we explored a few of the key ones in this recent blog post.
If you do choose to sell on Amazon.se (or another one of Amazon’s other 16 global sites) there are two key actions you can take that’ll have a huge impact on your ability to attract and convert shoppers.
1. Provide Plenty of Product Information
When a consumer is in a brick-and-mortar store, they can see, touch and experience a product before making a purchase. But when that consumer is shopping on Amazon, they depend on accurate, detailed product information to make good purchase decisions. So be sure you’re providing all of the information your shoppers need.
For starters, be sure your product descriptions are detailed and accurate. Great descriptions help shoppers make purchase decisions, and they also have a positive impact on how well your product pages rank on Amazon. But remember: never oversell your products or market them as something they’re not. Doing so will lead to unhappy shoppers, more returns and a damaged reputation.
You’ll also want to make sure you have plenty of reviews for the products you sell on Amazon. The presence of reviews will boost shopper confidence — and the likelihood that they’ll purchase your product. As an added bonus, reviews are full of great insights that can help you improve products — as well as your product descriptions.
Finally, be sure to include plenty of photos and videos of your products in action. A report from our friends at PowerReviews tells us that nearly three-quarters of consumers say they “regularly or always seek out visual content prior to purchase.” But be sure to display a mix of professional and user-generated photos and videos. After all, 88% of shoppers specifically look for photos and videos from other shoppers before buying a product.
For example, someone shopping for this sweatshirt can easily find plenty of professional and user-generated photos and videos before committing to a purchase. And the user-generated ones give them a better idea of what the sweatshirt looks like “in the wild.”
2. Deliver Great Service
In order to be successful on Amazon, you’ve got to consistently provide great service. Great service leads to happy customers. And happy customers lead to positive reviews, a strong reputation, repeat business and sales growth.
An important way to provide great service prior to a sale is to answer shoppers’ questions quickly and accurately. For example, this customer is shopping for a pressure cooker — but has questions about how two models differ. The brand responds quickly, clarifying the key differences of the two models.
In fact, Amazon wants its brands to answer shopper questions in real-time. This might seem impossible, but if you’re a Reputation Studio customer, it’s a whole lot easier. With Reputation Studio, you can manage and respond to all reviews and customer questions from one platform — regardless of where they originated. And you can receive alerts each time you get a question so you’re able to provide quick, accurate answers.
It’s important to provide shoppers with great service post-purchase, too. A key way to do that is to address and resolve issues that shoppers mention in product reviews. For example, this shopper wrote a one star review for the pressure cooker we mentioned earlier, detailing the problems she’s had with the appliance. The brand publicly responds (which lets future shoppers know they take feedback seriously) and asks the shopper to reach out with more details so they can help resolve her issue.
Again, if you’re a Reputation Studio customer, it’s easy to respond to all of your reviews from one platform — regardless of whether they were written on Amazon, your eCommerce site or another site. You can also set up alerts so you’re notified every time reviews are submitted that include negative keywords you specify. For example, if you’re a skincare brand, you might set up alerts for words like pain, rash and redness. That way, you can quickly address the negative reviews that mention health and safety issues — and have the potential to do the most damage to your reputation.
Leverage Amazon’s Global Sites to Grow Your Product Sales
Amazon is rapidly expanding throughout the globe. In fact, it’s predicted that Amazon’s global eCommerce sales will grow more than 20% this year and will reach $482.72 billion in 2021.
Selling on Amazon’s international sites can be an effective, lucrative way for brands to grow sales, especially at a time when eCommerce is growing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.