So you want to grow your business internationally, and you think selling on Amazon Germany could be the way to go? You might be right.
Amazon.de is the second largest Amazon marketplace behind the U.S. with about 15 percent of the Amazon international market and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The overall German online market is growing by about 12 percent annually, and cross-border e-commerce sales are growing as well, meaning Germans are warming up to the idea of purchasing from the U.S.
You’re probably thinking Germans are ripe for the picking for a savvy seller like yourself, but before you take the plunge into Deutschland, consider these helpful tips about Amazon Germany buyers and how they differ from their American counterparts.
1. Germans are highly focused on security and avoiding risk
German buyers want to avoid wasting time and money on low quality products, so they will likely do much more research before buying compared to Americans. Not only will they research the product they are interested in, but they will generally research brands, their quality and their reliability. And, if you don’t have a local address associated with your account, German consumers may assume you will be difficult to contact or returns will be burdensome, which could deter them from purchasing.
2. German buyers want to know your credentials
An Amazon Germany customer is searching for more than your statement of reliability and quality. They want factual evidence from 3rd parties, such as reviews from fellow Germans, or certification compliance with German or EU-based institutions. So while your FDA approved product might win over buyers in the U.S., it will mean virtually nothing to most German buyers. That’s not to say you won’t sell anything without a local certification, but depending on your product, your chances of increasing sales with a local certification is high.
3. Germans aren’t interested in your showy marketing lingo
In the U.S., many buyers like to be wowed and dazzled with pretty marketing language when looking at a product. They want to be told yours is the “best”, “greatest”, “most effective” or “the only one of its kind”. Germans are more detailed and fact-driven. They want to know why your product is better than someone else’s with honest, modest facts. So if you think you can simply translate your U.S. listing copy with Google Translate, think again. Not only will the translation likely be poor due to language and phrasing differences, but it may not resonate with German buyers.
4. If a German buyer doesn’t like your product, they will return it
U.S. buyers may return an item if they are unhappy, but if the item was low cost or they think the process could be lengthy, many will just keep the item or throw it away. In Germany, if a buyer is unsatisfied with your product, they’re much more likely to return it and get their money back. And, unsatisfied German customers are much more likely to contact sellers about their unhappiness and/or leave a negative review. In many cases, there’s a greater chance that Germans will leave a poor reviews if they are unhappy than positive reviews if they are satisfied.
Speaking of reviews…..
If you’re thinking about using the same email marketing tactics as in the U.S. to help generate reviews and client rapport, think again. Germany’s email marketing laws are some of the strictest across the globe, and ignoring their regulations won’t just land you with a slap on the wrist, but a fine from the German government.
The bottom line with Amazon Germany and interacting with German consumers is this: do your research and don’t just assume that buyers have the same expectations cross-culturally. Every Amazon marketplace is unique, but if you’re looking for a thriving online market to grow your business beyond the U.S., Amazon.de is a great starting point as long as you take the time to do it well and consider cultural differences.
If you’re concerned about your product selling well on Amazon Germany and are searching for a better grasp of market trends overseas, check out Market Intelligence International to evaluate the market, validate sourcing ideas and provide sales estimates. When you’re ready to take the leap, check out our international launches to get your product visible and sales up and running!
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