Looking For International Expansion?

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Sellers looking to expand their reach into other countries continue to have fruitful conversations with experts at Frisbi. The New York-based company serves as a launch pad for global expansion, helping online sellers reach additional markets. “We don’t just guide a seller or an e-commerce owner through the journey,” says Ryan Cramer, head of Marketing at Frisbi, “we hold their hand every step of the way.”

Consultations can aid in launching for the first time, getting compliant in various markets, and helping sellers lower shipping costs through Frisbi’s partner carriers. “We also handle importation and ensure door-to-door small parcel delivery to Amazon,” Cramer adds. “Our job and goal is to help unlock brands, overcome barriers, and grow companies and brands to international markets.”

Frisbi has embraced the relatively new Prosper show, exhibiting four years in a row and establishing a solid presence in the community. The Prosper Newsletter sat down with Cramer to learn more about international expansion and how to prepare for the holiday season. 

Prosper: What should sellers be doing right now to prepare for the holiday season?

Cramer: Just like any other industry, you’re always onto the next thing. Because we’re an expansion company, we’re always helping people think further into the future of take their brand to the next level, to grow into the market, and sell more products.

Prosper: Is it possible to build on Prime Day momentum?

Cramer: People are coming off of that Prime Day high—that two-day high. It doesn’t mean that there’s not opportunities for further growth. There are ways of continuing to take advantage of that boost and getting that exposure just by marketing and attribution through Prime Day. Especially in the inventory space, you can only be as successful as the inventory you have in stock. Make sure that you are secure in your supply chain. Make sure you know the numbers, your profitability and margins. Reload if you stock out, because it’s time to stock back up.

Prosper: How did Prime Day turn out for sellers?

Cramer: A lot of data and analytics are saying people are having incredible Prime Days and doing well above expected. Now is the time to really put the foot to the gas pedal and lean in. Fuel that flame. If the fire goes out and you have no fuel, all that work goes to nothing and your business drops down to nothing. Fuel that flame and build toward Q3 and Q4.

Prosper: How real is the post prime lull?

Cramer: Yes, a lot of sellers are going into this lull.

Prosper: What is the likelihood of a second Prime Day?

Cramer: Prime Day was created to give a bump in summer sales for a lot of e-commerce sellers. Going forward, even in the past year or so, we’ve seen not just one Prime Day but we’ve seen two Prime Days. A Prime Day early access deal is more than likely going to be done again this year at the beginning or middle part of October to boost those numbers in the front part of Q4.

All of that will carry you into the cyber five [the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday] which carries you into the peak holiday season of shopping online. Do NOT take your foot off the gas. Make sure you’re still secure with your inventory levels and you’re tweaking your campaign. The next time another big bump like Prime Day happens, you can grow even further with those efforts. 

Prosper: How healthy is the supply chain these days?

Cramer: We’re getting data and analytics from third party carriers in the ocean freight industry. In terms of the global sales side, and with Amazon in particular, we’re getting a lot of numbers saying people are looking at ways of building on top of their brands but having their margins squeezed in other areas of their business. Shipping in terms of ocean freight has gone down in cost, so a lot of people are secure in that area. But in terms of speed and growth, now they’re turning up the flame in those other markets. They’re looking for ways to dominate new markets. Whether it be first in their industry or first in their categories. Whether it be the UAE, Singapore, Australia, Japan, or even growing in the likes of Italy, Spain, Sweden, and other markets. Over time those will certainly add to your bottom line if you’re the only one selling there. In the supply chain specifically, all of our partners are saying that people are still sending packages and still shopping online.

Prosper: Are these good conditions for growth?

Cramer: Everything is pointing to growth for e-commerce sellers, but it depends on how you’re reaching that consumer—that’s the differentiator. Whether it be through Amazon FBA or their own third party website to fill through third party vendors. All these different people are cutting into the same pie so the growth is still happening across e-commerce in terms of fulfillment, supply chain, and growth. People are just finding different ways to add onto their margin—stopping from cutting to zero or less than what’s beneficial for their business. People are just looking at numbers in different lights.

Prosper: What options are being considered?

Cramer: Online sellers are saying, ‘Maybe I can source from a different country. maybe I can manufacture here closer, or have two supply chain sources; or maybe there’s an opportunity to enter a new market that will offset the cost of losing in a different market. All these different numbers are adding up to a lot of growth continuing in 2023.

We’re not getting stuck at ports anymore. Products are getting here even quicker now with express shipments from UPS, Fedex, DHL, and all those different lanes. The question is; What market are you going to attack next? That’s the question that we’re answering for a lot of our customers.

Prosper: What types of customers are you working with?  

Cramer: We’re working with the whole spectrum of Amazon e-commerce brands. We’ve been approached more by larger agencies and aggregators who are really understanding that in order to grow, you need to grow in different international markets. You need to find effective partners and help them through the waters that are not as familiar to them.

Prosper: What types of ‘waters’ need navigation help?

Cramer: Examples are issues related to taxes, importation, customs clearance, and being able to effectively understand what markets they’re going to be able to sell their best products in—and how to get it there. All these different things are being asked by the largest of sellers in the top Amazon 100 in terms of sellers around the world. This also applies to small as sellers who are very secure in their business and who are looking for growth opportunities. We also work with agencies that are a year or two into their business and looking for that next step to becoming an international brand—all the way to someone who is managing 75 to 100 brands at a time.

Prosper: How much progress can be made between now and the next Prime Day or holiday season?

Cramer: Growth doesn’t wait around for people who are complacent. Growth happens for people following the data and making good business choices. These days sellers can take advantage of the most data and insights that they can possibly have—probably the most ever in the history of being an Amazon seller. Across channels of being a software company or a service provider or anything of that sort, there’s more data than ever that Amazon is giving you. There’s more data that service providers are offering.

All these different avenues are allowing you to make smarter business choices as long as you continue to do the smart things of making sure your business is secure from the get go, your product is profitable, and you know the costs up front. You might be finding a whole new customer archetype in a different country where the taxes are a lot better than the United States. Or there just might be more opportunity in these markets because your product or category hasn’t hit maturity yet. There’s all this opportunity that quite frankly doesn’t wait around. People don’t need to wait around to seize those opportunities. The people who are first to market, you see the fruits of those labors quite often. When they’re ready and secure in their business, they take a measured approach backed by data and partners who are there to support them. That is why the time is now. There is no perfect time to enter a business market. There’s only today. If you wait another day, a competitor may seize that opportunity instead of you.

Prosper: How was your experience at Prosper 2023 in Las Vegas?

Cramer: Prosper was really exciting and beneficial for us as a company. It’s always good to understand and see your customers—not just on the phone or zoom—but see them come up to you and talk through their problems and goals. I ask attendees; What are you looking to get out of spending the time, money, and effort of going to a trade show? A lot of what we heard was education; learning from sellers about what they’re seeing and understanding where the growth levers are in the Amazon space.

We were fortunate enough to speak on an international panel that I hosted with agencies, brands, and Amazon employees from the global sales team at Amazon. We were able to speak to a large room of people who were asking questions and getting insight from the people who had done it before. That’s what it’s all about. Learning from past events and people’s experience, pulling from that and applying it towards your own brand. Prosper has always been one of the first to market. It’s always been about how do you grow an ecommerce brand as a third party seller. We’ll continue to support Prosper every way we can as long as the show is around.