If you’re selling in the U.S. Amazon market and are trying to expand your business, the solution you seek might be up North — in Canada.
The Canadian Amazon market might not be as huge as the American market, but it’s growing fast and has the potential to grow your revenue by about 20% organically. In this blog post, Michael Facchin from Ad Badger and Blair Forrest from AMZ Prep break down everything you need to know to expand your Amazon business to the Canadian Market.
Why Should Amazon Sellers Expand To The Canadian Market?
If you want to increase your sales on Amazon, you typically have to turn up your advertising a notch, whether it’s Amazon PPC or off-channel — and this will cost you more. But did you know that expanding to international markets can achieve the same results without all the extra advertising costs?
Take expanding to the Canadian market, for example. You’re not expanding your product line or promoting your products in the competitive American market. You’re just offering your product catalog to more people in a low-competition market.
Going international with your Amazon advertising can help you boost sales without breaking the bank.
What Are The Requirements For Expanding Into The Canadian Amazon Market?
If you’re considering expanding to the Canadian Amazon market, you’ll have to make a few adjustments. Let’s go over some essential info to make your journey smoother.
Here are the requirements you need to know before you join Amazon.ca:
North American Remote Fulfillment (NARF)
NARF is an Amazon program that bridges the fulfillment gap between the American Amazon marketplace and the Canadian and Mexico marketplaces. It allows you to store your products in Amazon fulfillment centers in the U.S. and ship to Canada or Mexico when you have orders from these marketplaces.
You need to turn NARF on in your dashboard, not to use it for shipping, but to get a gauge of the Canadian market. See, NARF isn’t the best way to ship products to your Canadian customers. It takes longer and costs more. But it’s the best way to test out the market without having to commit to building shipping channels to Canada upfront.
$50K Monthly Sales Revenue
According to Blair, the best point to expand from Amazon.com to Amazon.ca is when you’re consistently making at least $50k a month in sales.
Expanding before reaching this level in the American marketplace means you’re expanding too early — basically biting more than you can chew. You want to ensure you’ve conquered your marketplace before expanding to new territories.
Non-Resident Importer Registration (NRI)
One of the common misconceptions about expanding to Canada is that you have to register a business entity in Canada. You don’t.
All you need is to register as a non-resident importer so you can ship into Canada without being a resident. It takes 3-5 days to register, especially when you’re in the U.S.
Shipping in Canada comes with a lot of paperwork. You need someone to help you make sure all your paperwork is in order. We’ll explore this in the next section.
Expanding to the Canadian Amazon market can be a smart move. Just remember to activate NARF, hit that $50k monthly sales mark, register as a non-resident importer, and get your brokerage account sorted. These steps will set you on the right path to explore the Canadian marketplace and unlock new growth opportunities.
The Playbook of Expanding Into The Canadian Amazon Marketplace
Now that you have your requirements ducks in a row let’s walk through the step-by-step playbook for expanding into Canada on Amazon.
How Do I Expand My Amazon FBA Into The Canadian Amazon Marketplace?
What Common Challenges Should I Consider When Expanding To Amazon Canada?
Expanding to the Canadian market on Amazon isn’t complicated, but it does come with its set of challenges, including overstocking concerns and keyword strategy variations.
Let’s explore these potential challenges in detail.
Expanding to Canada makes you prone to overstocking, especially if your products are doing well in the U.S. market.
The assumption is that a well-performing product in the U.S. will also perform well in Canada, in which case you may send a lot of inventory to Canada in anticipation of the same demand as the U.S. market.
If the Canadians don’t receive your product well, however, you’ll end up with a lot of inventory that people don’t want to buy.
To overcome this challenge, we recommend doing a pilot run with 10% of your top products to see what performs well in Canada.
Amazon Keyword Strategy Variations
There are differences in some word spellings between U.S. English and Canadian English. These can make a huge difference in your Amazon keywords’ effectiveness if you’re using the same keyword optimization strategy as you use in the U.S.
For example, in the U.S., it’s gray. In Canada, it’s Grey. You need to optimize your Amazon Canada listings with Canada spellings.
Another thing is the use of foreign words as backend keywords. Sellers in the U.S. use Spanish keywords in the backend to capture the people who speak Spanish in America. Not many speak Spanish in Canada, so having Spanish keywords won’t be very helpful. You’re better off replacing the Spanish backend keywords with French keywords since there are a lot of French speakers in Canada.
Navigating these challenges will help you have a smoother transition into the Amazon Canadian marketplace.
Ready To Conquer The Great White North?
Although Canada is a relatively smaller market compared to the U.S., it’s still a treasure trove of growth opportunities for Amazon sellers seeking expansion.
If you’re thinking about expanding, then the best time is now, and this guide will be your road map to expanding into the Amazon Canadian market. So what are you waiting for, rally the troops, sound the horn, and conquer the Great White North!
The PPC Den Podcast
If you enjoy supplementing your long reads with audio or video, we cover this topic on our podcast as well, The PPC Den.
- Where to find Blair Forrest, AMZ Prep
- 10 Steps To Maximize Amazon FBA Inventory Limits
- Amazon Case Study: How Freshfield Conquered A Competitive Market
- Growing A Global Amazon Empire: How To Reach International Markets
- How Do I Perfect My Amazon Inventory Management? [PPC Den Podcast]
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