This post is by Craig Agutter, EMEA Ecommerce Manager at international currency transfer provider WorldFirst.
Amazon’s recent launch in Australia has opened up what was once a difficult market for international sellers to access. In fact, when the retail giant opened its doors down under last December, it experienced more orders on its first day than any other Amazon launch in history.
The demand is definitely out there, and Australia and New Zealand are fast becoming two of the most exciting ecommerce markets for international businesses. In particular, sellers with seasonal demand find Australia and New Zealand lucrative markets to offload surplus stock, once the season is finished in the northern hemisphere.
Whilst Amazon’s launch now makes it easier for you to sell down under, it isn’t the only show in town. Here we take a look at some of the marketplaces to explore if you’re eyeing up the opportunities in Australia and New Zealand.
eBay Australia has enjoyed a relative lack of competition and dominated the online market in Australia for the past 18 years. It is the country’s fifth most popular website – more than 11 million Australians visit every month – and is responsible for over half of the total online non-food retail sales in the country.
For international sellers it is the ideal platform to begin your expansion into the Australian market, due to the user and seller-friendly nature of listing on the website. eBay also encourages international sellers on its platform through its cross-border trade program.
- If you purchase the international site visibility listing upgrade, you can simultaneously list across eBay Australia and other international websites giving you maximum visibility for your product.
- eBay charges 10.9% for every product sold plus other fees (e.g. insertion fees and for listing features) so can be expensive for smaller sellers. However, for businesses selling more than 40 items a month, there are a range of packages that make the marketplace competitively priced.
- eBay’s Global Shipping Program takes the hassle out of international distribution.
One of eBay Australia’s top sellers, Selby Acoustics, was interviewed on Web Retailer in 2016.
The launch of Amazon’s marketplace in Australia had been widely anticipated and did not disappoint with tens of thousands of customers visiting the site in its first 24 hours. Whilst Amazon is a staple in many other regions, it is still in its infancy in Australia, so the first sellers on the platform could benefit tremendously from reduced competition and first-mover advantage.
Nevertheless, the retail giant still has huge brand recognition in the country and has found it easy to market to customers. Australians are already one of the biggest buyers of products from Amazon U.S. so this new platform is likely to cement their dominance in the market.
Furthermore, for international sellers already on Amazon’s other country marketplaces, the entry requirements for Amazon Australia are minimal.
- Amazon offers its fulfillment service (FBA) in the region, which can take care of a large part of the logistical difficulties of reaching customers in Australia.
- Selling on Amazon Australia costs AU $49.95 per month (excluding GST) plus a fee on each product that is sold, which varies across categories. Amazon is currently offering half-price monthly subscriptions for two months.
- Sellers will need to provide Australian bank account details when registering.
Read Chris McCabe’s tips on getting started on Amazon Australia.
If you’re interested in reaching New Zealand’s middle classes (and a growing customer base) then you need to be on Trade Me to succeed. It is the country’s most popular website and largest digital platform with nearly 4 million registered users. Estimates suggest that 85% of the population in New Zealand hold a Trade Me account so most experienced sellers will find a ready-made customer base for their product on the site.
Like eBay, Trade Me is a listing-based platform and products can be sold either by auction or at a fixed price. The most popular categories are clothing and footwear, home and living, toys and games and sporting accessories.
- There is an application and approval process for international sellers looking to list products on Trade Me.
- Trade Me typically provides international sellers with an account manager to provide assistance on listing and maximizing the retail opportunity.
- It is currently free to post items with a basic listing, and Trade Me takes a commission of 7.9% of any successful sale over $1.
Trade Me was covered in depth on Web Retailer in 2016.
For sellers specializing in large business assets or with excess stock, GraysOnline is the perfect platform to sell off some of your products. It is the largest industrial and commercial online auction business in Australasia with over 187,000 active customers and a database of nearly 2.5 million customers. Categories vary from engineering and manufacturing kit to wine, home and garden appliances and even fashion and apparel.
GraysOnline covers both Australia and New Zealand and their network means vendors can access a range of buyers from across the world.
- The platform offer sale guarantees for when sellers need to free up funds or get rid of stock.
- GraysOnline have a team of category experts who can advise on the best way to increase sales on the site.
- Because of the specialized nature, buyers on the platform also tend to have industry knowledge of products.
MyDeal is one of Australia’s ecommerce success stories. Started in 2012, the Melbourne-based online marketplace now serves over half a million buyers and over 1000 sellers. Deloitte named MyDeal the 9th fastest-growing Australian tech company in 2015.
The website is definitely one to watch for international sellers, as it has experienced 150% growth year on year and has become a firm favorite for Australian shoppers.
- Businesses need to sell between 10-100 products to access the platform.
- Sellers of big bulky items tend to find more success on the platform – e.g. mattresses, chairs, ping pong tables.
- The marketplace is hands-off when it comes to fulfillment and logistics so sellers will have to organize this themselves.
Known as Australia’s biggest daily deals site, Catch.com.au launched its online marketplace in the summer of 2017 as it looked to strengthen its status as the number one destination for Australian online shoppers.
The website has already signed up big brands like Speedo, North Face and ASUS and are looking to have millions of products sold on the site over the next couple of years.
- As the marketplace is still in its infancy, sellers will need to apply to become a marketplace seller, with niche products that are difficult to source being the most sought after.
- Catch doesn’t sell the same product from multiple suppliers so it is important to pitch unique items.
- Catch is primarily a discounter so sellers with the best pricing models are likely to be the most successful.
Fashion website ASOS’s marketplace has come into its own over the past 5 years and is arguably the destination to reach fashion-conscious buyers. For businesses specializing in fashion, it is the best place to start despite the high commission and subscription charges.
Best of all, ASOS Marketplace allows you to reach buyers across the world from the U.S., to Australia and New Zealand so it’s a fantastic platform to reach the widest audience if you sell unique designs or vintage clothing.
- ASOS only accepts sellers with design talent, or sellers of sought-after vintage selections, although categories have now expanded to include jewelry, watches and accessories.
- Sellers have full control of building their own branded boutique with everything customizable, from the storefront to how you showcase your items.
- ASOS requires that each boutique must have at least 10-15 product listings at all times, with vintage boutiques needing to stock a minimum of 20 items.
It’s definitely worth taking the plunge to start selling out there and there are tons of opportunities for sellers keen to make the big leap.
WorldFirst’s multi-currency World Account, available to online sellers in the U.K. and Europe, provides free AUD and NZD accounts to make it easier, cheaper and faster to get paid in those currencies. Find out more at WorldFirst.com.