23.05.2023 | by Lili
The life of Amazon sellers in Europe just became much easier. In an announcement published on 18 April 2023, Amazon launched its newest tool, the European Expansion Accelerator (EEA).
Curiously, the abbreviation of this tool is the same as that of the European Economic Area, the internal market comprising the EU’s Member States and three EFTA countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Whether that’s intentional is unclear; however, the effects of Amazon’s EEA will certainly be felt across the European e-Commerce market.
According to Amazon, the EEA allows marketplace sellers active in any European market to expand their services to any other (or even all) Amazon markets on the continent with just a few clicks.
The idea is really simple and quite useful for existing Amazon sellers. For example, a seller on Amazon.fr can use the EEA to start selling in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, or any other of the nine Amazon markets currently available in Europe.
As Xavier Flamand, VP of Seller Services Europe remarked, “European Expansion Accelerator is a solution our selling partners were missing for years; to grow and offer millions of new products to Amazon customers in multiple stores. We’re pleased to be able to now offer this two-click step to sellers in Europe so that they can expand their businesses with Amazon.”
Sellers interested in the EEA can go to Seller Central, log into their account and find the EEA section on the site. They can go through the tutorial material, including a video and a written help section, and look for their source store, i.e. the market they’re currently active in.
Below that information, a list shows all the other markets they’re not present in. Sellers can choose the one they want, or even select all markets, should they wish to expand to all of them. Once they check the target stores, all they need to do is press the “start expansion” button and wait for the EEA to do the rest.
The EEA is fully automated, which means that sellers can save time and effort while the program registers their new accounts on the chosen new markets, creates their product catalogues, translates all listings, sets up shipping and payments, etc., all within three business days.
Screenshot of https://sellercentral-europe.amazon.com/
The advantages for sellers are obvious. New markets at their fingertips without any significant admin efforts is certainly a big plus, especially since EEA users can continue to rely on Amazon’s other tools like the VAT services program, analytics, marketing material, fulfilment, payments and all the rest. This is especially beneficial for small businesses who’d find an international expansion too daunting on their own.
Consumers can also look forward to a larger array of products to choose from, as well as extended price comparisons and a better chance to find bargains on their Amazon market.
Unfortunately, the EEA is quite likely to have some negative effects as well. While it’s great that it takes care of lengthy admin duties for honest sellers, it does the same for counterfeiters and other fraudsters.
Which means that the wider choice of products consumers get to experience is bound to contain IP infringing goods like fakes, lookalikes and grey market products. Which is bad for consumers, and even worse for brands.
Since fraudsters will have an easier time to access new markets in Europe, your brand’s losses due to counterfeiting and grey market structures are bound to increase.
Especially the latter that are quite worrisome in this scenario, since thanks to the EEA, unauthorised sellers may find it easier to offer your branded products outside of your distribution channels, distorting your prices and eroding trust within consumers and authorised sellers.
But does this mean you have to accept these losses? Not at all. In fact, all you need to do is set up a comprehensive online brand protection programme.
Although the EEA is a new tool, our services are already fully equipped to deal with negative situations caused by it.
Take our marketplace monitoring service, for instance. Regardless of how a seller and their fraudulent listing got on a marketplace, we’ll find it. Our software tool, traxster is geared towards detecting infringing listings, including fakes, lookalikes, and even grey market listings that have somehow leaked from your authorised distribution network. We work on over 150 global marketplaces, including all of those covered by the EEA.
Once we have the listings in sight, we can move forward with a test purchase to find out as much as possible about the product’s origins and the seller. If you need us to do so, we can record our findings in a court-admissible format, ensuring that you have enough evidence to sue the fraudsters in a court of law.
Do you want to find out how your original products end up on unauthorised marketplaces? Then your best option is our partner compliance service. We conduct thorough checks to see whether your business partners adhere to their contracts, how they handle your patents, what they do with your products and much more.
Finally, should you wish to do so, we’ll enforce your rights and ensure the timely removal of any IP infringing listings from all EEA (and any other) online marketplaces.
The EEA is a great tool that makes the lives of cross-border sellers on Amazon much easier. Make the most of it - but don’t let fraudsters do the same! Contact us if you have any concern about the EEA, or any other IP protection issue your brand may be facing.