Agency Best Practice

Expanding your Amazon Clients to Latin America

Expert People

Host and Guest

Paul Sonneveld

Paul Sonneveld

Co-Founder & CEO
Profile Pictures-May-06-2024-02-29-41-3734-AM

Vincenzo Toscano

Founder & CEO

Podcast transcript


Hi, and welcome to another live episode of Marketplace Masters, currently sponsored by MerchantSpring. Trusted by hundreds of Amazon agency, MerchantSpring Reporting Suite elevates your brand, improves client retention, and saves your account managers hours every single week. In this series of Marketplace Masters, we dive deep into the world of e-commerce, tackling the challenges and opportunities that agencies face as they try to accelerate client performance. And that includes taking their brands and expanding into new geographies and marketplaces.


Paul Sonneveld
I'm your host, Paul Sonneveld, I'm your host, Paul Sonneveld, and today we're going to explore how to expand your Amazon clients into Latin America. Now, I've invited Vincenzo Toscano, the Founder and CEO of Ecomcy, an Amazon and Walmart service agency provider known for creating marketing strategies that boost customer traffic, maximize ROI and drive sales. Vincenzo's passion for e-commerce began when he launched his own products on Amazon, leveraging his engineering skills and salary to scale his brand. After achieving success, he decided to use his expertise to help other e-commerce entrepreneurs reach their goals. 

So with over five years of experience in the e-commerce industry, Vincenzo has developed a deep understanding of the best practices and strategies for selling on these platforms, as well as the specific opportunities that they present. His mission is to empower e-commerce entrepreneurs with the tools and guidance they need to thrive on Amazon and Walmart. Thank you so much for joining us today, Vincenzo.

Vincenzo Toscano
A pleasure, Paul. Thank you so much for such an amazing introduction and thank you so much for having me.

Paul Sonneveld
It's absolutely great and I know you're a really busy guy. You're travelling a lot. I know you're in Madrid today, so thank you for taking time out of your schedule and do something virtual. I really appreciate it. You and I spoke You and I, I think what got this conversation going was a couple of months ago when we're both at Prosper and we really started to talk about Latin America as an opportunity. And I know that's something you're really, really focused on. 

Now, there's lots to unpack here, you know, and even I'm feeling sort of uncomfortable talking about throwing even the term Latin around because we're really talking about different countries and different approaches. But let's start with the thousand feet thing here, right? What do you think are the most promising opportunities for Amazon brands? And I'm talking about established brands in Europe or in North America. What are the most promising opportunities for them in Latin America?

Vincenzo Toscano
Yeah, so I would say Latin America, one of the things I love about selling this region is it's a blue ocean compared to what we're used to in the US and Europe. The market is so primitive compared to the regions that we are used to when it comes to selling on Amazon, which most people sell in Europe and USA that when you bring the expertise that you have to essentially implement to be able to survive in this competitive markets and then you go to play such as Amazon Mexico, Amazon Brazil you can have a huge advantage when it comes to selling there. Like a I mean going to Mexico a lot because something I didn't find the region is that there is a ton of business there in terms of manufacturers, retailers that really want to enter the Amazon space. But unfortunately, there's a huge gap in the market in terms of knowledge. I had to actually be successful into these marketplaces. 

So actually, you start to see now, just now Mexico is starting to see a huge influx, especially Chinese sellers that they have identified that a lot of people within Mexico are selling Amazon. They unfortunately don't have the knowledge yet. And these sellers are entering into some of these categories are pretty much as I say, blue oceans, they're taking advantage of that. So that's why I'm being a huge advocate when it comes to pushing Latin America because yes, 100% there's going to be challenges and there's a lot of filters that you have to go through, which we're going to touch some of them today. But the momentum that e-commerce is getting in the region is significant, especially after COVID, people in the region were pushed into basically figuring out e-commerce. Before that, Latin America It's been a region heavily driven on retail. Most people honestly like they were shopping just on physical locations. 

One of the main reasons for that is because before COVID, not a lot of people had access to online banking, right? And because COVID came and basically everybody had to stay home, a lot of people that never really need any banking or debit card or credit card, they had to get one to get some of the support from the government and so on. So because they were forced to basically figure out how to do online shopping, now people are starting to get more used to shopping online.

There was also about a stigma in the past in Latin America that if you shop online, you are going to get scammed. Now that's pretty much eventually going away with all the measures that Mercado Libre and Amazon are bringing to space to protect you as a consumer. And therefore, I feel it's just a momentum that's getting built in the region that if you don't take advantage now, that's still very primitive. Like in five years from now, you're going to then regret like the same that happened a year ago, why I didn't jump in the region when it was early. So yeah, those are some of the, of course, high-level points that then we're going to go deeper into those. But yes, I 100% believe if you produce the right fit, Latin America is a region you should be exploring.

Paul Sonneveld
That's very exciting. Sounds like there is definitely, I don't know if this is surfing analogy holds true, but there is a wave there and this is the opportunity, this is the time to ride the wave, by the sounds of it, as it's really emerging and probably accelerating. Now, let's unpack the broader go-to-market approach a little bit here, because there's a lot of countries that are covered by the term LATAM. 

There are some really big ones with really large populations. There are, I guess, some that are more Amazon-friendly, because Amazon's got a presence there. How do you think about segmenting the countries in Latin America in terms of like, go here first, go there second, don't bother about these. If you could paint a picture for us, that'd be awesome.

Vincenzo Toscano
Yeah, of course. So I would say the number one go-to country, it would be 100% Mexico. That would be the first entry point. First of all, because it's very close to the US, so some of the clients we work with, let's say they're manufacturing in the US, so they have a 3PL in the US, it's very easy for us to move inventory into Mexico and therefore start operations in there. 

The second thing is that when it comes to e-commerce, Mexico is one of the countries right now that has adopted e-commerce the fastest. That's why Amazon and Mercado Libre are going very hard, head-to-head, in terms of releasing new programs, being incentivized in service and so on, because the momentum of what e-commerce is taking in that specific country is becoming very fast. 

Now, a lot of people then ask me, like, what about Amazon Brazil? The thing with Amazon Brazil, unfortunately, is that there is a lot of bureaucracy to enter that region. Because especially when it comes to taxes, they have pretty much implemented similar than the Trump tariff, but on extra right, essentially, like very high, high taxes when it comes to import into the country. 

And one of the reasons why they did that is essentially political reasons that they want to protect, you know, national production, they want to protect products that are made in Brazil. And therefore, some of the clients that we manage in Amazon Brazil are very successful. Most of them, they have products that either are made in Brazil or they're made in the region, because in the region there's something called Mercosur, which is basically the organization like the European Union seem relative. 

And therefore, if you're manufacturing in the region, and then you import in Brazil, you have, of course, an easier way to sometimes not pay taxes. So, you have some treaties between, let's say, Brazil and Colombia, Brazil and Bolivia, et cetera. But if you bring things from China, which is what most Amazon sellers do, you're going to have a very high taxation, right? 

Therefore, that's something some sellers still don't experience in Mexico. And therefore, I would say if you really want to, you know, have a starting phase with the less friction possible in Latin America, Mexico is definitely the place to go with Amazon America and Mercado Libre.

Paul Sonneveld
So I heard some rumors about Amazon opening up in some other countries as well. I don't know if there's any public knowledge there. I don't know whether you have any insights into that. Like, are there other countries that are going to follow soon?

Vincenzo Toscano
Yeah, so Amazon Colombia and Amazon Chile. I know for a fact that these, of course, are being delayed a little bit because of political reasons in the region and so on. So, which is one of the things you have to get used when you operate in Latin America. There is a lot of fluctuation all the time, not only from a political side of things, but also economically. 

So that's something I feel you need to get used to, which is not the case, for example, in the US and Europe. Inflation in Latin America is something that is much higher rate than compared to the US and Europe. So if you don't build your P&L to be basically dynamic in terms of pricing, you might struggle. But yes, Colombia and Chile are on the horizon. I believe the dates now are closer to 2025 now, but those are for sure the ones that are already being confirmed and ready to go.

Paul Sonneveld
I was going to ask just a couple of follow-up questions on Amazon specifically. How does Amazon operate in LATAM? Is it like Europe where it's sort of a PAN-LATAM model? Is it easy if you're listed, say, in Mexico to then sell products in Brazil? Or they really treat it, it's a bit like Australia and Japan. I think technically you're running off the same system, but there is no kind of click-a-button and all of a sudden your products are over there. What does it look like at the moment?

Vincenzo Toscano
So as of now, with the NARF program, you can now basically have a listening. They also added Amazon Brazil for this now, so you can have listings in Brazil and Mexico and as the sale happens the product ship. Now the downside of this is that most of the time you're going to have a huge bounce when it comes to conversion and sometimes complaints from customers. 

Because even if the listings and the checkout specify this, like they have to pay huge sometimes taxation or when the product arrives to the port is basically stranded. So it's not the most efficient way of doing things, but yes, you can basically, it's similar to EFN. You put your listings in Amazon Brazil and Mexico, and as the sale happens, it gets basically pulled from your FBA inventory in the US. 

Now, when it comes to putting the listings, you use an international builder within your Amazon account. If you have a US account, you can essentially use global selling to open your operations in Amazon, Mexico, and Brazil. For whatever reason, Brazil sometimes it doesn't appear by default. You will have to raise a case either within Amazon or Europe to enable Brazil. Sometimes it's not by default that you can open Brazil. 

And then of course, when it comes to the most efficient ways doing FBA, sending inventory straight to Mexico or Brazil, and then of course you become prime eligible, right? So yeah, those are essentially the two forms that right now exist when it comes to selling those two markets.

Paul Sonneveld
Yeah, it makes sense. A really good point around the global selling and asking seller support to switch on Brazil, which doesn't sound like it happens by default, which is a really good nugget there. So before we go too deep into Amazon, I want to sort of just zoom out a little bit more because there is a big elephant in the room called Mercado Libre, kind of the homegrown competitor there. And then Walmart is quite active in this region as well. 

Maybe can you just sort of round out our education a little bit here in terms of relative size, dominance in different market, and particularly as an Amazon seller, what is that competition like and should we even be entertaining maybe expanding onto some of those platforms? Lots of questions there, feel free to take just a couple there.

Vincenzo Toscano
One by one, yeah. So, essentially, when it comes to the region, the biggest players are, of course, Amazon and Mercado Libre. Walmart, as of now, has entered Latin America as of a few months ago. They announced that in Prosper. They are in Chile right now. Essentially, now you're going to be able to do selling in Walmart Chile as well. If I'm not mistaken, it's kind of by invitation at the moment, but you can essentially apply and get approved and then start selling in Walmart Chile. It's very small at the moment. Essentially, what happened with Walmart in Chile was a merge. They bought another small marketplaces and they changed the domain to Walmart. So that's essentially what happened there. 

And when it comes to Amazon and Mercado Libre, the biggest player in South America, of course, is Mercado Libre by miles. Mercado Libre, you have to understand that the reason why they became so strong is because it behaves as a two front marketplace. It behaves like an eBay, where people do a lot of flipping, use things, you buy a product on a retail, you don't like it, and you sell it again on Mercado Libre. It's like a Facebook marketplace to some extent. And at the same time, they've been trying to rebrand the whole platform to allow also brands to thrive into the platform itself. 

Now, from experience, if you are a brand that is very premium or you are like very in beyond like 20, $30 like you're going to struggle with Mercado Libre because Mercado Libre is not built for things that are commodity to some extent. I would say Amazon is definitely a better marketplace for you if that's the direction you're taking as a private level. 

Now, in terms of dominance and size, in Mexico, as of now, I know Amazon pretty much overtook Mercado Libre. When it comes to Brazil, does the same. Actually, in Brazil, they are kind of there 50-50. But besides those two regions, Mercado Libre dominates the whole LATAM in terms of e-commerce. Now, when it comes to Amazon, that's why they want to enter in Colombia and Chile because those are the next two regions that in terms of size when it comes to e-commerce are very big. 

So, it will be interesting to see how the power shift from Mercado Libre to Amazon once they enter. I mean, once Amazon entered Mexico and Brazil, a lot of people started to transition from Mercado Libre to Amazon. Because at the same time, even the customer experience, we have to be honest here, the customer experience in Amazon is better than Mercado Libre. 

Unfortunately, Mercado Libre still has that eBay vibe. It doesn't look like It doesn't look clean. It still gives you the vibe that you're flipping things. It has also a reputation for being scams and products not being fully, It doesn't have as much protection as Amazon in terms of brand registry and all of that. Products can be easily counterfeited. 

And Amazon also happens. But Amazon has a more robust system compared to Mercado Libre, which doesn't have a lot of checkpoints when it comes to that. But at the same time, Mercado Libre has also entered the game to compete with Prime with the Full, right? Mercado Libre Full, which is the same that FBA essentially just sent inventory to Mercado Libre. You can offer next day delivery or same day delivery in certain regions. So Mercado Libre is catching up with that. 

But when it comes to technology, you also have a glimpse of how they compare side by side. Like I know people coming from Amazon they will expect a ton of customization but unfortunately Mercado Libre is very limited like you don't have a lot of freedom when it comes to title, bullet points like things are very like even titles very short bullet points very short you don't have like a lot of things such as a plus a premium you don't have PPC doesn't exist in Mercado Libre PPC in Mercado Libre is like eBay you put what is the ratio of acres you are looking to sacrifice on a sale and Mercado Libre does everything for you. So you lose a lot of power when it comes to scaling brands. 

But yes, I would say both are very powerful. I would say at the end of the day, it comes down to your product. If your product is something that it can fit on both kind of avatars, like Mercado Libre avatar that is more price-sensitive and more like toward the commodity, and Amazon, I would do both of them. But if I have to choose one and you're coming from, let's say, USA and Europe, and you have already a very strong brand, more on the premium side, I would say Amazon is definitely the place to go.

Paul Sonneveld
Yeah, that makes sense. As you were talking, there's a lot of analogies with eBay. I remember here in Australia, because Amazon entered the game so late, eBay was just a dominant player. Not so much because they were innovating like crazy, just because they were the only person there and everyone went on there. 

So Okay, right, let's go back to Amazon and let's go a bit deeper. Because you made it really clear your first opportunity should be Mexico here, right? So, let's paint a scenario. Let's say, I know you're in Spain today, which is convenient for my next question. You know, I'm an agency in Europe. 

I'm managing a couple of brands. I already have listings on Amazon Spain, right? So I have some Spanish content, right? And I've got some good reviews. I've got some good products. How should I think about expanding to Mexico? You know, what are the things that we're going to have to fix, invest time in versus what are the things I can just pick up and move across?

Vincenzo Toscano
So, one of the first thing before you do anything is market validation, right? And I see this all the time. People assume because you have a bestseller in Spain and in the USA that you can bring it to Mexico and it's going to be a success, even if it has a thousand reviews. And that actually is not always the case because at the end of the day, Amazon, you're selling keywords, you're not selling products. And even if you assume the product might be super interesting and engaging, if there is not an actual search, for that specific product, like the semantic behind what is the solution that this product is solving, you're not going to do a successful launch on that region. 

So the number one thing that you have to figure out is, first of all, if the product is suitable for that specific country, because there are other things beyond only keyword. There are things that have to do with culture, religion, price point, even a seasonality. So, if you don't take those things that shift drastically from region to region, you can do a big mistake that just assuming because you have some insights from what has happened to you in one region that it's going to get replicated, that's not the case. 

So how do you do that? Very easy, like you have Brand Analytics. Brand Analytics is going to be your best friend, especially the Pro Opportunity Explorer. You have access to figure out what is happening in terms of that specific product, that specific niche. And with Brand Analytics, you can also dive deeper into keywords, like what is the search frequency? How are some of the competitors behaving on a specific keyword? 

And then you can use software like, for example, Helium 10 , Jungle Scout, and so on, to figure out, OK, what is actually the search and the momentum of this specific product on that specific country. Once you validate that, because that's the first phase, let's say you figure out that there is a demand, there's an opportunity. 

The second thing you have to figure out is the economics, because things in Latin America, as I briefly mentioned, they have a lot of fluctuation, right? So your pricing has to be built with certain a cushion to be able to accommodate that. So one of the first things is taxes. Taxes and importing Mexico is completely different than if you're selling in Spain, sometimes much higher. So if you don't take that into consideration, your whole margin can be wiped just by taxes alone. 

The second thing is the price, right? You have to be mindful that if let's say you're bringing a product from Spain to Mexico, let's say you're manufacturing this product in China for whatever reason, right? And then there's already some national manufacturing in Mexico, which again, Mexico is becoming a huge hub for manufacturing, they are going to have a huge advantage against you in terms of taxes, in terms of a cost of goods and all of that. 

And if you don't take that into consideration, the fact that Mexico is already a powerhouse in certain materials and certain products, and you're sourcing from China, and the ones dominating the market that give you the shiny object that are making a lot of money, they're manufacturing in Mexico, you might do an assumption based on the fact that they're also sourcing from China. That's not the case. 

So it's very important you go deeper into, okay, what is the product, what is the material, what is essentially the process behind making the manufacture of this product and see if actually it's possible to make it in Mexico in the first place. Because if that's the case, it removes a ton of friction from the perspective like you don't have to deal with all the important taxes, which is one of the big headaches when it comes to dealing with Mexico. I want you to figure out that phase two, which is economics. 

The phase three is dealing with everything in terms of the paperwork to enter Mexico. One of the big also things that delay the process is things to do with getting your VAT registration, paperwork and all of that. There's a ton of local authorities. I always recommend working with local authorities because that's something that unfortunately you learn from living in Latin America that things in Latin America work if you know people. 

It's not about who is the best or if you know how things work. It's about working with the agency in Mexico that he knows the guy within the government or he knows the guy within the tax authorities and then he's able to get his clients fast track compared to somebody in the U.S. that he also understands Mexico. Application process, but he's just going to be left on a waiting list that is not going to be prioritized because he's not friends with the guy within the government that he knows. 

So that's the reality. You need to work with local people. And that comes out not only with taxes, but also if you have to do anything in terms of importing, anything to do with bureaucracy, work with people based in Mexico, make sure that's the case. And then, once you figure out the street prices which is market analysis economics and not the paperwork that's when I will then do my launch strategy within Mexico itself. 

I will say a in terms of how aggressive I usually do this in. I try to be also to some extent conservative because the last issue you want to have is that you over send inventory and then essentially you sacrifice opportunity cost in terms of you have inventory sitting in Mexico that it could have been used in Spain or USA your home country to have a faster cash flow. So start conservatively and then start building from there. 

And a final tip I will give all of you. There is a tool within Amazon itself, because this is a thing people ask me all the time, like, how do I know how to deal with the compliance of things? Because Mexico itself has also sometimes extra compliance in terms of import and all of that. So, there is this section within Amazon called a compliance reference. A lot of people don't know this exists, but this is essentially where some agents out there charge you thousands and hundreds of dollars. 

Amazon give you exactly the answer while you need at the problem level. You go to your Seller Central and you write a specifically compliance reference on the search bar and it's going to take you there or the link is going to be, which is basically a revision of compliance reference. So you're going to be Hey i'm going to put in the link actually on the notes here so you have it this link is something people a lot of people not exist and then you just put your product the countries coming from the hs code and amazon tell you instantly what is exactly. 

Actually, I'm going to put it here in the chat for you, Paul, so you can put it as a banner maybe on the thing. So that's a link and it tells exactly what you need from Mexico. And then that removes a huge headache a lot of people have like, what do I know from Mexico? What is the documentation? So just go to the link and Amazon tell you why you need to get that product and that category on that contract.

Paul Sonneveld
Great nugget. Thank you for that. We'll post it in the comments later as well. Great little tip. Just a minor bill. Is it possible to fulfill, let's say I'm already in the U.S., right? I mean, I have inventory there. Can I fulfill from the U.S. in the interim to sort of, you know, hedge my inventory risk in Mexico? Or there are downsides to that?

Vincenzo Toscano
You mean like a pan-European approach? 

Paul Sonneveld
Yeah. Yeah. 

Vincenzo Toscano
Yeah, no, unfortunately, you cannot do a direct shipment, you have to do it with a 3PL or somebody. And I will prefer to do it that way regardless, because as I say, you don't use somebody within Mexico that deals with your important shipping, then it can get stuck in customs, then it takes a huge headache to get it unstranded. So I'd rather do shipping privately with a person that understands the game and can make sure my product gets to the border without any issues.

Paul Sonneveld
Yeah. Okay. Thank you. So I just want to talk a little bit more about content, right? And we haven't really spoken about what are the differences in consumer habits and how people shop and even how they pay and all these things. So we probably don't have that much time to get into that. 

Taking content across to Latin America, I mean, what would be kind of your, you already talked a little bit about, like, obviously there's differences in seasonality, there's cultural differences. Yeah. But practically, if I were to take a, you know, a PDP or an ASIN from even from Spain or somewhere else, beyond just basic translation, what are the things that you would check for to make sure that it hits the mark in Mexico and other countries?

Vincenzo Toscano
Yeah, so when it comes to branding itself in Latin America, Latin America is a region that is heavily driven on word of mouth, unfortunately. Sometimes the most successful brands I've seen in Latin America, the reason why they're successful is not because they have the best product, it’s about whoever gives the perception of having the shiniest object, right? And this is done with influencer marketing. 

Influencer marketing in Latin America is huge, especially in Mexico. For whatever reason, I know it's also huge in US and Europe, but here it's to the point that they are very loyal to the influencer. If the influencer says, buy this, they buy regardless of the price and question. So Something we do a lot when we went to Latin America, we tried to establish ourselves with heavy influencers in that specific niche and that helped us a ton. 

Then when it comes to the content, we tried to also do a lot of UCG content with these influencers. So when people shop the product, they see the face of the influencer and that also is huge compared to only using generic people in your images. Again, you may assume this is expensive, but actually you can find very good influencers. And again the economics in Latin America are much lower than US and Europe so you can find people with big following that are not expensive and give it a social product in Latin America is definitely a must. 

And then when it comes to localization that's huge as well you have to be mindful that. Even if you come to Spain and you may assume Spanish it does not the case. In fact, when it comes to localizing, you have to do everything from scratch, your key research from scratch. Even if you have data when it comes to PPC from Spain, I would recommend starting your study from scratch because the way people interact, especially in terms of language, is different. Even if Spanish, to some extent, has the same fundamentals. Things that have to do with informality in terms of how people discover product or people talk on their day-to-day operations is different. 

So you have to be mindful of this language to make sure it's part of your strategy as well. And when it comes to also localizing your listing, it's not only at the ASIN level, but also the images. So to complement my UCG kind of strategy at the beginning, you also want to make sure that your images actually have some cultural interaction with the actual region as well. Let's say you're selling a toy for a kid, right? And all the kids and the image are people that are definitely all European or people from Asia. It's like, yeah, you're not connecting with a specific region. And this tip applies to any region when you expand. 

So make sure, You take your time you work with somebody to understand the region and make sure that you tap into those emotional factors that are driven by tradition, culture, political things and all of that. So when the people see a listing they actually think it's somebody from the region that understand the consumer, right? At a typical international person that just there to take their money, which is actually something that in Latin America, there's a big stigma when it comes to that. They see people from overseas, oh, they're coming to our region to take our money and all of that. So you don't want to be seen as that businessman that is just trying to take advantage. You want to actually make sure you are taking care of that. Those are some of the tips, of course.

Paul Sonneveld
No, no, really good, really good. I've actually been taking a lot of scribbles here. I'm also looking at the clock. We've gone over the half an hour mark, so we've got to wrap up. But I've got a couple of questions. One question for me, and we've got an audience question as well. The question, let's start with the audience question. So, thank you, guys. If you've got any burning questions, anyone who's watching this live, throw them in now, and I'll do my best to squeeze them in. But we have one from Zlatana. Thank you very much for your questions, Zlatana. It's actually more about Amazon Vendor. Yeah. So I guess just to clarify, I know Amazon Vendor operates definitely in Mexico. 

Vincenzo Toscano
Yeah, it does. 

Paul Sonneveld
Do they operate in Brazil as well? I should probably check that.

Vincenzo Toscano
Yeah, they do. But just to answer your question, thank you very much for the question. Vendor is the application is at the country level. So, the fact that you got invited to the US doesn't guarantee that you get invited to any other country. So, the invitation has to be done by the specific rep at the country level. Yeah.

Paul Sonneveld
Yeah. Yeah, certainly, as I've interviewed others with vendors, it's very hard nowadays to get an invite unless you're on a 

Vincenzo Toscano
I mean, you can move your pieces, you can try to talk to your rep and like, yeah, please don't name me with whoever is in charge in Mexico, push my brand. Like, yeah, you can do that. But it's not like a button like global selling now. You have to be invited from within Mexico vendors.

Paul Sonneveld
Yeah, absolutely. Last question from me. What is the biggest mistake that either you've made with your agency as you've taken clients there, I'm sure there's been plenty because that's how we learn, or what you've seen others do? I mean, what's the one pitfall you'd really want to encourage everyone else to avoid?

Vincenzo Toscano
I would say one of the mistakes, yeah, it goes down to assuming that because of probably you’re successful in the US, it is successful in Mexico. We did this mistake that we had this client that he had like almost 10,000 reviews, very dominant player in a specific category. And we just over promise and we say, yeah, let's send 5,000 units. We send a ton of inventory to Mexico. 

Big part of it goes talking in customs because there were some people are missing because we didn't did the proper compliance check and everything. So a lot of the things I'm telling you now in terms of compliance we learned about mistakes. Validating market we at the beginning we're assuming that because you're a big player in USA you're going to be successful in Mexico that's not the case. 

And the final mistake was especially at the beginning where we were entering Mexico. We did a mistake of not localizing. We're just using a copy-pasting or translating straight to English to Spanish and that's it. And we wasted a ton of money because of that. So just those three things alone, they're going to save you thousands of dollars.

Paul Sonneveld
Yeah, that's a really good, good wrap up. I mean, I think that just says do your product research. Make sure you're all over compliance. Use that link. We'll post it in there.

Vincenzo Toscano
A link alone is going to save you a ton of money because I know if you try to do this on your own, they're going to charge you like $500 per check. And this is Amazon telling you exactly what you need, and you don't have to pay anything.

Paul Sonneveld
Perfect. Hey, Vincenzo, thank you so much for joining me live today. It's been a great session to set the scene and how we think about it and where we go first and with some practical tips alongside that. Really great. You and I should talk about how do we unpack Mexico in the next level of detail. There's obviously a big question, what can Amazon brand do now to be in a good position for Columbia when it opens? And then, you know, Beaumont, Mexico, right? Where is that?

Vincenzo Toscano
So we can do a lot more. Yeah, there's a ton. I would say if you want to get ready for Colombia and Chile, just as a tip, what we're already starting to do is use Google Trends. Look at the keyword trend in that specific region and try to extrapolate what is already being searched in those regions and then it's an indicator guess of course but again you can use google to try to extrapolate behavior on those regions so when amazon opens you know based on google what people usually shop on those regions and you can be ready so.

Paul Sonneveld
Yeah and start thinking about sourcing maybe locally right start you know having to think about you know sourcing from Mexico as opposed to spending all that money trading containers from China. Yeah, absolutely. Hey, Vincenzo, for anyone that's watching this live or on-demand out after, they want to get a hold of you, maybe talk about this opportunity in a bit more detail. What's the best way for them to get in touch with you?

Vincenzo Toscano
Sure. So you can reach out to me by going to my email, You can also find me as Vincenzo Toscano on all the social media channels. And then it comes as well in all the social media channels. So, feel free to reach out. I'm very easy to get a hold on. Reach out and ask any questions. And if you want to go deeper, of course, we can jump on a call with the team and figure out how we can help you.

Paul Sonneveld
Awesome. Thank you so much, Vincenzo. Really appreciate it. I look forward to our next session.

Vincenzo Toscano
I appreciate the opportunity, Paul. Thank you so much.

Paul Sonneveld
You're welcome. All right, everyone, that is it for today's episode on expanding your Amazon brand to Latin America. And as we heard, I encourage you to start off in Mexico and expand from there. I hope you find it useful. If you are I've got burning ideas on what you would like to me talk about next, or more importantly, what experts you'd like me to find to talk about next as far as episodes, please drop me a note. I'm always interested in making sure that I value back to my network to all of you. 

And of course, if you're looking to streamline your analytics across marketplaces, Amazon, Mercado Libre, Walmart, LATAM, whatever it is, MerchantSpring can help you. So, I'd love to share how we can help you with that. Drop me a direct message on LinkedIn and I will be in touch as well. That's it for today. Until next week, stay safe and take care.


Learn more in our FREE product demo!

Witness first-hand how MerchantSpring can help you streamline insights and reporting for your e-commerce portfolio. Watch it LIVE!