The Amazon North American market now includes Amazon in Mexico. With the new Amazon.com.mx website, the expansion is proving to be a profitable one for the retail giant.
If you’ve been thinking about expanding internationally but are wary of the costs and headaches involved, consider expanding to Amazon in Mexico. It’s not too far away, and this new location can serve as a good launching point for you to see how Amazon global selling works for you.
Of course, there are a few considerations to explore before jumping onto Amazon in Mexico. Let’s dive right in.
Do You Need Amazon in Mexico?
Amazon in Mexico has offered Prime since 2017, but only offers on-day and two-day shipping in select locations, suck as Mexico city. Access is definitely not as good as the US market, but the Amazon in Mexico does have a good number of customers.
Carefully weigh the available opportunities for your business against what opening up an account there will entail.
There’s always the option of shipping to Mexico from the US. You don’t need to set up warehouses there. You can set up FBA for Amazon in Mexico by enabling international shipping. If you use Buy Shipping Services for your labels, you can also get recommendations on which couriers meet Amazon’s requirements for timely delivery.
The problem with serving the Mexico market from Amazon.com is that there are fewer buyers there than on the website for Amazon in Mexico. If you’re looking to target Mexican shoppers, you really need to be on Amazon in Mexico to reach them. They’re not going to visit Amazon.com to see what’s available if they have what they want on Amazon.com.mx.
Keep in mind as well that the farther away you ship, the greater chances of packages getting damaged or lost in transit. Crossing the border is always something of an issue. Expect shipping delays and lost packages. Scam buyers also use this known issue to claim non-delivery and get product for free. This is something you may not be willing to deal with as a seller.
And don’t forget that when you have to manage returns and replacements, it can triple your risks. If you don’t maintain an address in Mexico to accept returns, you need to pay for international shipping back to your location or issue refunds without returns. If you do set up a return address, you’ll need people to handle receipt, repacking and reshipping for undamaged product. Only FBA can mitigate this risk, and that means getting set up on Amazon in Mexico.
Even if your US listing gets translated, it’s never 100%. And that only works if shoppers know how to translate a webpage or are willing to set that up. If they can’t fully understand your listing, they’re not going to trust it. And that trust is vital, especially for online sales.
Customer service is another problem. If you can’t provide native support for inquiries, they are going to be wary of buying from you. If you also can’t give them shipping updates and support for issues in their native tongue, it’s not going to be a good experience for them. Most shoppers will know this even before they make a purchase – a barrier to communication is a barrier to sales.
Expect to pay more for fulfilling orders internationally as opposed to locally through Amazon in Mexico or from local warehouses. Amazon does not recommend USPS because they coordinate with Correos de Mexico, which does not have a good reputation for making deliveries on time. Using services like UPS, FedEx or DHL cost more.
The obvious longer shipping times for international orders can also mean higher costs for you in terms of reviews, feedback scores, and your general performance ratings. Customers will not want to deal with the hassles if they can buy the same thing on Amazon in Mexico.
International orders also entail currency conversion (3% on every transaction), duties, taxes and other fees. You need to know exactly how much this will cost you and factor that into your pricing. This is important for both your margins and the likelihood that shoppers will go for your higher prices.
Language aside, there are other cultural preferences that you have to understand, accept and cater to if you want to succeed in an international market. This goes for any international expansion, not just Amazon in Mexico. You need to do some research in that market specifically.
Payment preferences are one example. This preference will be a combination of the specific requirements in Mexico, other factors that make one or another option possible, and which of these is the most convenient. Bank accounts aren’t the norm in Mexico, so phone-based payment is likely going to be the best option there. If you can’t support this, then you will have lost customers before you even start selling.
If you’re not discouraged by the above considerations, then you can experiment with shipping to Mexico. If you’re not getting the volume you expected or if you are sure that you want to go full bast into that market, then it’s time to get an account set up.
Setting Up an Account for Amazon in Mexico
Just like expanding into Canada, selling on Amazon in Mexico requires a North American Unified Account. If you’re a newer seller, check to see if you’ve been registered automatically – you’ll see Canada and/or Mexico in the language switcher if you are. Professional accounts in Canada have automatic access to Amazon in Mexico. If you don’t have these options, applying is not difficult. Here are the steps:
- Check your account health to make sure you are in good standing with Amazon. If you are, contact Amazon Seller Support to get approval.
Note: If you got brand registered before you got a unified account, then you are not automatically approved for Canada and Mexico and you have to apply for access individually.
- Update your inventory to meet Amazon’s requirements. You’ll need SKUs that meet the global standards.
- User the Build International Listing tool to create FBM listings and select your source marketplace.
Note: FBA can come out cheaper for you in terms of both actual shipping costs and convenience if you expect to sell a lot on Amazon in Mexico. (See below this list for details on using FBA in Mexico.)
- Check the automatic currency conversion adjustments that Amazon makes to your pricing and shipping against your profit tolerance.
Once you have approved unified status, you can begin selling on Amazon in Mexico.
Using FBA for Amazon in Mexico
Using FBA for selling in Mexico makes fulfillment so much easier:
- You don’t have to worry about anything in the process except having enough product in stock at Amazon’s warehouses.
- It cuts shipping costs considerably.
- It almost ensures that you get better scores because of Amazon’s guarantee.
- You don’t need a Mexican Tax ID, knows as a RFC ID. (The shipping company provides this.)
- Returns go to Amazon warehouses where they can be reshipped, removed or destroyed as you see fit.
Only you can decide whether you should expand into Amazon in Mexico, and how you should do it. What we can do is present the main considerations – what you’re selling and how you offer it along with how that fits into the market. A good amount of research and possibly some experimentation is needed to know whether it’s worth a try at least.
Shipping internationally may not be the best option for you if you want to push for a major expansion. It works well enough, however, for conducting a test run for how your products will sell in Mexico. The key is to take it slow, starting with a few test products to see how everything works in your real world situation. When you’ve determined that Amazon in Mexico holds promise for your business, you can do more and see if it pays off.
Remember that Amazon would never have ventured into Mexico if they didn’t see huge promise in that market. Amazon is also constantly making improvements, so if you’ve tried Mexico before and it didn’t pan out, you might want to see how things have changed before you dismiss the opportunity entirely.