Amazon Global Selling vs NARF
Amazon Global Selling has become a prominent solution for Amazon sellers seeking to expand their reach beyond borders, including Latin America.
But apart from Amazon Global Selling, many sellers also explore Amazon’s North American Regional Fulfillment (NARF) to sell in Latin America.
With Amazon revolutionizing how products are bought and sold worldwide, these programs offer tailored strategies to help ventures expand. However, both also present a unique set of challenges for sellers.
Let’s delve into the intricacies of Amazon Global Selling and NARF, shedding light on their features, merits, and limitations. We’ll also answer frequently asked questions related to selling on Amazon internationally, and discuss other alternatives for your expansion.
What is Amazon Global Selling?
Amazon Global Selling is a program and service that allows businesses on Amazon to sell on a global scale.
Through the program, sellers can list their products on Amazon’s international marketplaces, in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.
With the latest statistics showing that Amazon boasts 310 million active users worldwide, it’s not surprising that many storeowners want to sell globally. After all, doing so offers access to a vast customer base in different regions.
To register an Amazon Global Selling account, you must meet the following requirements:
- Chargeable VISA or Mastercard
- A verified bank account
- Standard product identification, such as UPC or EAN codes.
Accessing Amazon Global Selling in a specific marketplace requires setting up a new seller account tailored to that region. For example, selling on Amazon Brazil would require you to set up an account on Amazon.com.br, even if you already have an Amazon US account.
However, there are certain exceptions to this procedure. For instance, Amazon provides a North America Unified Account. This allows brands the opportunity to sell in the US, Canada, and Mexico from a single seller account interface.
What Does NARF Mean on Amazon?
Amazon has a program called North America Remote Fulfillment (NARF). Sometimes, you can also see Amazon referring to the program simply as Remote Fulfillment, since the marketplace is also pushing it into other regions globally.
NARF allows sellers to store their inventory in one country, such as the US, and fulfill orders to customers in other North American countries, such as Canada and Mexico.
So, if you already have an Amazon.com seller account, NARF allows you to start selling on Amazon Mexico without having to open a separate Amazon account.
There are certain requirements to be able to enroll in NARF, however:
- You need an Amazon Professional account to use NARF. Sellers with an Individual plan are not eligible to join the program.
- Brands must upgrade to a North American Unified Account. Doing so will allow you to sell internationally on Amazon – specifically in the US, Canada, and Mexico – from a single seller account.
- Only FBA sellers are qualified for Remote Fulfillment. The FBA system will allow you to sell to buyers abroad without sending inventory to another country.
- Note that you’ll also need to comply with the trade compliance requirements in the countries where you’re selling.
Data from World Population Review says Amazon has the most revenue from the US in 2023. However, it’s important to note that the marketplace has grown significantly in other regions over the years.
For instance, Mexico and Brazil markets were also included in the list of Amazon’s largest markets, as presented by World Population Review. This is one of the reasons why being an international seller on Amazon is an aspiration for many.
Amazon Global Selling vs NARF Comparison
Here are a few factors to compare and contrast Amazon Global Selling vs NARF:
Amazon Global Selling
- Focus. Sellers can list their products on multiple Amazon marketplaces by creating separate listings and accounts for each desired marketplace.
- Inventory and Listings. You’ll need to create individual listings for each marketplace. Sellers can use Global SKUs (stock-keeping units) for easier management, but separate listings are still required.
- Shipping and Fulfillment. Brands have flexibility in choosing fulfillment methods, such as FBA or FBM, to ship Amazon internationally.
- Market Reach. You’ll have access to most Amazon’s marketplaces around the world.
- Focus. NARF is a subset of Amazon FBA that allows merchants to store their inventory in one country, and fulfill orders to customers in other regions without the need for separate fulfillment centers.
- Inventory and Listings.You can share your stock across the US, Canada, and Mexico with a single Global SKU.
- Shipping and Fulfillment. NARF primarily uses Amazon FBA. So, the marketplace handles the storage, picking, packing, and shipping of orders.
- Market Reach. You’ll focus on selling across the US, Canada, and Mexico.
Challenges of Marketplace Expansion
Now, while Amazon Global Selling and NARF can be valuable solutions for marketplace expansion, they may not always be the best fit for every business due to several reasons.
Latin America comprises diverse countries, each with its unique cultural, economic, and regulatory landscape. Though Amazon Global Selling offers language switching and currency conversion features, they may not be enough to navigate country-specific challenges.
Tailoring the shopping experience to the local market might require more personalized approaches.
Latin America’s infrastructure and logistics systems can be less developed compared to regions like Europe or the US. This can lead to longer delivery times, higher shipping costs, and potential customs and importation issues. NARF may not efficiently handle such complexities.
Aside from logistics, product eligibility could also be an issue. For instance, Remote Fulfillment with FBA lists a range of products considered restricted, prohibited, dangerous, and blocked for importation to Mexico.
A seller who wants to sell on Amazon internationally should master these limitations.
Alternative Solutions to Amazon Global Selling and NARF
Amazon Global Selling and Remote Fulfillment with FBA can be valuable options for expanding into Latin America, but they may not always address all the specific needs and challenges businesses face in the region.
Fortunately, you can partner with agencies that assist in cross-border expansion. For instance, an ecommerce consultancy like AMZ Advisers and a local distributor and ecommerce seller like GoAvance can offer massive potential for business growth in Latin America.
Here are the invaluable advantages of partnering with ecommerce experts like GoAvance to expand your business in Mexico.
Local distributors can provide end-to-end support from importing and logistics to marketing and advertising. As a result, you can enjoy a seamless and hassle-free entry into a robust market like Mexico.
Expanding into Mexico requires a deep understanding of the local market, cultural nuances, and regulatory dynamics. An ecommerce expert would have the advantage of local expertise and knowledge, leading to more effective strategies and better decision-making.
Navigating Import and Compliance Challenges
Importing and compliance can be complex processes, especially in a new market. A local expert could take the lead in navigating these challenges, ensuring that your products are safely delivered to the Latin American market.
They could also help you in handling all necessary approvals and tax compliance.
Customized Marketing and Advertising
A reputable ecommerce expert would have in-house talent who can tailor marketing and advertising strategies to your brand and target audience.
Their creatives can optimize gallery images, create SEO-driven copy, and manage effective advertising campaigns to maximize visibility and conversions.
By having someone take care of the intricacies of your expansion, you’ll have more time to focus on your core business. A reputable partner like GoAvance can offer solutions to streamline the growth process, allowing you to make faster progress in the Mexican market.
Amazon Global Selling and Remote Fulfillment with FBA offer many benefits. That said, businesses looking to expand into Latin America might find more tailored and localized solutions through a local ecommerce service provider.
Services like GoAvance feature comprehensive services, local expertise, and commitment to long-term partnership. This makes them a compelling choice for businesses seeking success in the Latin American e-Commerce landscape.
Carla Bauto Deña is a journalist and content writer producing stories for traditional and digital media. She believes in empowering small businesses with the help of innovative solutions, such as e-commerce, digital marketing, and data analytics.