How To Ungate Your Amazon Account To Sell in Italy
Italy is Amazon’s fifth largest marketplace (after Germany, the UK, France, and Spain). Amazon Italy opened its Italian outlet, Amazon.it, in 2010, and instantly provided sellers with a robust platform to showcase their products and connect with millions of customers both domestically and across Europe, and the rest of the world.
According to Amazon’s 2021 economic impact report on Italy, the platform had more than 20,000 registered Italian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) selling in their stores. Amazon’s reputation and trusted e-retail business model have enabled sellers to gain instant credibility and tap into its rich global customer base. In the same report, over 10,000 Italian SMEs exported their goods globally, hitting an estimated €800 million in international sales.
Italy has an estimated population of over 60 million people, and its rich cultural heritage and vibrant economy make the country a lucrative marketplace. Additionally, the country has a high internet penetration rate, which points to a large customer base that is eager to embrace online shopping. Selling on Amazon in Italy has gained significant traction in recent years, with sellers leveraging the platform’s excellent marketing tools to expand their business.
The advantages of selling on Amazon.it are massive. Beyond reliability and world-class customer service, Amazon Italy Prime is another service that has lured customers to the platform. If you are looking to tap into Amazon’s Italy marketplace, here is everything you need to know.
Selling on Amazon Italy Seller Central
Are you looking to tap into Amazon’s vast pool of Italian customers? Well, you will be glad to know that Amazon has invested over €4 billion in various fulfillment options, including Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), which allows them to handle and fulfill merchandise on behalf of customers. This service serves to streamline the entire shipping process, often slashing delivery times for Amazon Prime Italy customers.
Amazon Italy Seller Central, which is the platform’s Italian outlet, enables new sellers to register an Amazon Seller Central account and complete all the eligibility requirements to list and sell products. Getting started on Amazon Italy is a straightforward process. First, sellers are required to familiarize themselves with Amazon’s guidelines and policies before they can create a seller account.
Amazon does this to ensure compliance, which is a necessity considering their customer-first approach.
After creating an account, Amazon avails tools and resources for sellers to create professional-grade listings, manage inventory, set competitive prices, meet performance standards, and ensure their accounts remain clear of any policy violations.
Fulfillment Service Italy
FBA or Fulfillment by Amazon in Italy is a huge benefit to sellers and their bottom lines.
According to the official Amazon Italy sellers’ site, reputable sellers have seen as much as 50% increases in their online sales because of using the FBA system. It is thought that customers trust the service way more and like the fact that delivery is much quicker.
What Are the Benefits of Selling on Amazon Italy?
One of the key advantages of listing your products on Amazon is Italy’s vast and varied customer base. Amazon has built over 20 logistics centers across Italy to handle and ship inventory on your behalf. That, coupled with the brand’s global recognition, as well as its Prime features, is perhaps why sellers are flocking to the platform.
Among others, here are 4 of the benefits that sellers can accrue by selling on Amazon Italy:
#1. Reach a Broader Customer Base
Amazon.it averages approximately 190 million page visits per month. In the first quarter of 2022, Amazon registered more than 34 million unique users in Italy alone. These metrics present a lucrative opportunity for aspiring Amazon sellers to ungate its profitable categories and reach millions of customers.
#2. Achieve Higher Revenue Potential
According to Statistica, Amazon was the undisputed e-commerce leader in Italy, accounting for over 75% of visit share, ahead of Aliexpress. Amazon is a highly popular e-retail platform in Italy, receiving a minimum of 50,000 orders per day. That, coupled with the incredible surge of e-commerce culture in Italy, presents an opportunity for increased revenues.
Furthermore, a 2021 survey indicated that, interestingly, 71% of Italian consumers have drastically shifted their shopping habits, with many ditching big brands for cheap, local products. That is good news for startups who can offer products in Amazon’s Small and Light product category.
#3. Export Globally
More than half of the registered sellers on Amazon Italy shipped products internationally, generating over 800 million in revenue in 2021 alone. According to Amazon’s 2020 SMB Impact Report, Italian merchants selling on Amazon Stores experienced a 50% increase, and the expansion of the e-commerce conglomerate in the country is tied to its innovative seller community.
#4. Enjoy Domestic Venture Protection
In March 2020, Amazon announced that will stop shipping non-essential goods and services to its Italian marketplace. This was a joint effort by Italian Industry players and Amazon management to protect Italian startups.
Alongside France, Italy is Amazon’s only European marketplace with storefronts solely dedicated to domestic manufacturers. Furthermore, Amazon sellers who source their inventory from local supplies are required to list and sell them under the ‘Made in Italy” storefronts. This sets Amazon Italy apart from other European markets when it comes to protecting domestic ventures.
How To Set Up Amazon Seller Central Italy Account
Amazon’s Italian marketplace is vast, offering an array of product categories that continue to drive shoppers to the platform. From the wealth of Italian apparel and jewelry to travel accessories and pantry items, the list of eligible products is endless. Merchants with Amazon Seller Central Italy accounts have access to the platform’s robust marketing and selling tools, as well as its vast logistics network service called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) which makes the order fulfillment process seamless.
So whether you are a start-up or an established Italian-based brand looking to cater to the demands of Italy’s local market, here is a brief overview of the seller guidelines, including how to create an account and sell on Amazon Italy marketplace:
- Navigate to the Italian version of the Amazon marketplace (Amazon.it) to create a seller account.
- Select a plan between Individual and Professional. The former (which is limited to 40 items) charges €0.99 per sale, while the latter charges a monthly fee of €39.
- With a subscription plan in place, register and verify your seller account using the requisite documentation. Amazon requires a telephone number, a business email address, a valid passport or national ID, contact details, a bank account, company registration details, an Italian VAT registration number, and a chargeable credit card where sales proceeds will be sent.
- For sellers looking to target global sales in other European marketplaces, beware of VAT regulations in the respective EU country. This is often dictated by factors like the type of business, its location, total annual sales, and the fulfillment method.
- Create a listing, add products, and make it public.
- Include all the requisite product identifiers such as the name, SKU, UPC, ISBN, or EAN, as well as price details, quantity, and fulfillment options. Note that every unit must have scannable labels and bar codes.
- Select a fulfillment method – either ship independently via the Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) option or utilize Italy’s Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
- Maintain proper standards on your seller account. Amazon expects Italian sellers to meet certain performance standards, emphasizing metrics such as order defect rate and timely shipments. So be sure to track sales, fulfill orders, and employ ethical standards when interacting with customers.
- Use Amazon’s robust selling and marketing tools such as Sponsored Products and Amazon Stores to enhance the visibility of your virtual store. You can also entice customers with special offers such as free and fast delivery to increase sales.
- As is the case with other non-English Amazon marketplaces, selling in Italy requires sellers and brands alike to translate their product details into the local language. Luckily, Amazon offers the tools to do just that.
How To Ship to Amazon’s FBA logistics Centers in Italy
Amazon’s Italy fulfillment centers manage logistics processes on behalf of Italian businesses by handling inventory storage, packaging, and distribution. For Italian-based sellers whose preferred fulfillment method is via Amazon’s FBA, here is how to go about it:
- Through the Amazon Seller Central Italy dashboard, select FBA as your shipping plan.
- Manage your inventory by selling the product you intend to ship.
- Select the designated Amazon Italy warehouse address.
- To arrange pick-up, book a loading ramp for your selected warehouse destination via the Carrier Central tab. Be sure to schedule pick-up at least 24 hours before the truck’s scheduled delivery time.
- Once your inventory has been delivered to the designated Amazon Italy warehouse, use the Amazon Logistics tracking tab to monitor the status. Through FBA, Amazon will pack and ship your products to customers from Italy.
Introduction to Amazon Prime in Italy
Italy’s version of Amazon Prime, referred to as Amazon Prime Now, was launched on November 5, 2015, bringing the one-hour delivery service to Italian consumers. As a result, Prime members can schedule same-day deliveries and have products delivered to them, typically within an hour. Italy is now Amazon’s second European marketplace (after the United Kingdom) to bring this premium service to customers.
Amazon Prime in Italy was initially offered in Milan and its surroundings. Over the years, however, the program has spread across the country, and it currently enjoys steady subscriptions in Italy. This is indicative of Italy’s shopping-hungry population.
How Much is an Amazon Prime Italy Subscription?
Italy’s Prime Now service is a premium feature that is reserved for customers with Prime membership. Members can place orders through a dedicated Prime app and have them delivered within an hour for €6.9, or otherwise free beyond an hour.
Overall, Amazon Prime Italy is a renewable monthly program that requires a minimum fee of €19 or €150 per year. This subscription allows members to make orders in over 15,000 eligible products, including food, apparel, electronics, etc.
Amazon Italy Prime Features
Amazon Italy Prime is a premium subscription that offers members additional features. Amazon Prime membership in Italy includes key features such as:
Amazon Prime Students:
This program offers students stock Prime features excluding the two-day shipping, but at a heavily discounted price. This membership costs $69 per year.
Amazon Medicaid Membership:
This program offers Prime members who are entitled to medical benefits all the Prime benefits, except for the two-day shipping.
Prime members have access to Prime Video, a streaming service that offers a wide range of movies, TV shows, and documentaries.
Prime Day Deals:
Prime members get exclusive access to Prime Day, a highly anticipated annual shopping event that offers significant discounts and deals on most products across various categories.
Prime members enjoy fast and free shipping on millions of eligible items. They typically receive their orders within one business day, and at no additional cost.
What Are Amazon Restricted Or Gated Categories?
Amazon gated or restricted categories are those with strict selling rules that no seller is allowed to sell freely. These categories, brands, and ASINs have specific approval guidelines, and any seller who meets the standards can enjoy a vast market with less competition.
That means Amazon only has the power to draw the rules and open gates for more sellers to access the categories. The good news, however, is that Amazon does not always restrict the entire category, like in the previous gating practices.
Instead, it gates subcategories, leaving some products open, even though they might be under gated categories. This explains why there is a short list of gated categories and a long list of restricted products or subcategories.
Generally, any seller who wants to sell within a gated category must apply for Amazon to let them in.
Also, enlisting the services of third-party ungating companies is another way on how to get ungated in Italy for Amazon.it.
Why Does Amazon Gate Its Categories?
Most multi-million investments are built on trust, customer satisfaction, and a healthy working environment, and Amazon is no exception. Being a huge marketplace with millions of users globally, Amazon strives to maintain a good relationship with both buyers and sellers by ensuring only high-quality products are in circulation.
It achieves this by gating some categories, brands, and ASINs. Therefore, among others, here are the main reasons why Amazon gates its categories:
To Be Able To Monitor Product Standards
One of the first missions of the company is to ensure buyers are offered both high-quality and safe products. It does this by allowing only sellers whose products have undergone stringent quality assessment steps to access highly-demanded categories.
Since the platform is home to millions of brands and buyers, there are high chances of buyers getting counterfeit products.
Hence, it is Amazon’s responsibility to block such products by setting up strict selling rules. That is why ungating service for Italy requires sellers to show authorization and necessary documentation from agencies that oversee all safety standards concerning ingredients or raw materials, packaging, product labeling, and expiry dates.
For the Protection of Every Brand’s Reputation
Amazon also works jointly with big brands to ensure that only authorized resellers can list products from certain brands.
Therefore, to protect the brand’s reputation, Amazon asks sellers to provide legit documentation from these brands to show they are allowed to list their products.
Resellers who do not provide proof of authorization are locked out of certain categories. Many large and well-known brands require pre-approval with them directly, before even applying to Amazon.
This is true for both seasoned sellers, and individuals new to the platform.
To Enhance Customer Satisfaction
Besides ensuring buyers can get high-quality products, Amazon also restricts some categories to prevent sellers from exploiting buyers. That means only sellers with a positive track record can access the categories and reach buyers.
This enhances customer satisfaction and a positive rating. The company may also limit or dictate maximum pricing to ensure buyers are not being fleeced.
Adherence to the FDA and AIFA Regulations
Many items require the approval of the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and the Italian Medicine Agency (AIFA) to sell in the Amazon marketplace. AIFA is a public entity created under the Ministry of Health that enforces the principles of transparency, autonomy, and efficiency and is also supervised by the Ministry of Economy.
No retail platform, website, or other selling venue is permitted to offer any product that is not previously rubber-stamped by AIFA. The obvious reason for this is safety because specific laws exist to ensure that end users are not harmed.
Categories And Products That Require Amazon Approval in Italy
As stated earlier, Amazon has a long list of gated products and a short list of restricted categories. That is because one category can have more subcategories, which can add up to tens of products.
Therefore, when applying for approval, sellers need to consider three ungating levels; category, brand, and product ungating. They should also differentiate between category and product unlocking.
General Guidelines to Get Ungated on Amazon Italy
Whether you are a new reseller or an established FBA seller, utilizing the vast market space offered by Amazon should never be a challenge again.
Two of the most common questions new sellers seek answers to are; can you do Amazon FBA from Italy? And is FBA profitable in Italy?
The answer to both is yes. You can create an account, get ungated, scale your business, and enjoy the benefits that come with Fulfillment by Amazon such as storage spaces, returns, and world-class customer service. Amazon’s mission is to see its users grow, and thus, increase sales and profitability. And this does not matter if you are listing your products in a locked or unrestricted category.
As a result, if you want to expand your selling portfolio by accessing restricted categories, here are the general guidelines to get ungated on Amazon:
Sign Up for A Professional Amazon Seller Account
Professional Amazon Seller Account is the backbone of any seller as it records all the activities conducted by the seller on the platform. It is through this account that Amazon can tell your business position and determine whether you meet all the quality standards or not.
Analyze And Verify Your Account Health
Creating a professional Seller Account is not enough. You still need to maintain its health to maximize your chances of getting approved. Maintaining a healthy account includes meeting your customers’ expectations and adhering to Amazon’s business code. That means you should have a timely shipping record, good customer relations, competitive pricing, and avoid violating Amazon’s policies. To check your account health, go to the Account Health section on the Seller Central Account and click on the Performance menu.
Check Specific Category Ungating Guidelines
Each category has specific ungating instructions, and you need to check them before requesting approval. Some categories are complicated, while others have simple instructions that even new sellers can unlock easily. For example, some categories like CA Grocery & Gourmet ungating service may require sellers to have at least three years of selling experience and running websites.
Choose A Reputable Supplier
Getting a reliable supplier is also a vital step, especially as your demand curve grows. Amazon will also ask you to provide legitimate invoices from trusted suppliers whose products fall under gated categories. After choosing a supplier, you need to place at least three orders, with each order having at least ten pieces of the restricted product. Retailers are not considered suppliers. You cannot go down to your local store and purchase a bunch of items for resale. The products need to come from verified wholesalers and distributors.
Prepare All Documents
Before submitting your approval request, you need to prepare your documents, which include recent purchase invoices from reputable wholesalers. These scanned copies of individual invoices should have all the ASINs written next to the product name. Price and other confidential information should be locked for wholesaler privacy.
With all the documents and other requirements ready, you can proceed to request approval from Amazon.
Final Thoughts on Selling on Amazon in Italy
Amazon is a world-renowned e-commerce brand with e-retail outlets in more than 15 countries. While selling on Amazon Italy presents numerous opportunities for increased revenue potential, aspiring sellers should understand the unique composition and characteristics of the Italian market.
Italian customers value personalized customer service, product quality, and authenticity. Sellers who can deliver on all those fronts are guaranteed promising avenues to tap into Italy’s vibrant marketplace through Amazon’s robust infrastructural establishment in the country.