International expansion presents a lot of opportunity for eCommerce brands to grow revenue without having to grow SKU count.
But if you’re not careful it can be a costly exercise and result in missed opportunity.
So in this episode of the Brand Builder Show, we talk to Jana Krekic, founder of YLT Translations.
Jana and her team have helped over 3000 brands expand internationally and are certified industry experts.
In the episode we talked about which marketplaces are worth expanding to (and which aren’t!), best practices for expansion, and what the future might hold for the global opportunity.
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- 00:00 – Introduction to Guest: Jana Krekic
- 00:54 – Jana’s Background
- 02:17 – Building and Expanding a Team
- 06:05 – Venturing into the European Market
- 13:44 – The Pitfalls of Using Google-Translated Content for Listings
- 19:55 – Effective Management of PPC Campaigns in Europe
- 22:07 – Translating Images for International Markets
- 25:07 – Translating Listings for Marketplaces Beyond Europe
- 31:53 – Insights into the Future of E-commerce, Globally and Internationally
- 34:25 – Strategies for Rolling Out Products in European Markets
- 37:03 – Leveraging Tax and Shipping Services
- 38:11 – Jana’s Recommended eCommerce Services
- 39:44 – Exploring YLT Translations and How to Connect with Them
Hey folks. Welcome back to another episode of The Brand Builder Show. And if you want to expand your business to Europe and beyond, then today’s show is for you, because we have the experts when it comes to expanding internationally on the show. And that is Jana. Jana, welcome to the show today.
Jana Krekic 00:15
Hi, Ben, thank you so much for having me.
Ben Donovan 00:17
I was gonna try and pronounce your last name, but I don’t want to butcher it. So you tell us how do you how do you say your name?
Jana Krekic 00:23
So my last name is Krekic. But just I don’t use it. I just go by Jana, like, you know, like Beyonce or share.
Ben Donovan 00:31
Nice. See, I would never have said your last name with as much, you know, culture is that. So thank you for helping us out there. But great to have you on the show today, really excited to talk about the topic of expanding internationally to give our listeners a bit of an idea of who you are, and why you are so qualified to talk on this subject. Give us a bit of background about what you’ve been up to the last few years.
Jana Krekic 00:54
Sure. So five years ago, I founded my company called YLT translations. And what we do is we provide translations that are SEO optimized for Amazon. So we basically translate your listings into sales on other marketplaces, which means we don’t do just like one on one translations. But it means we do localization keyword research, we embed those highly relevant keywords so that your products are visible more than your competitors are, have them visibility. And basically, we cover all content. That is it can be anything else you give me like anything from instructions to manuals, follow up emails, and so on. And we are fully remote team, we have about 85 people now. And we love helping brands, expand international marketplaces, we’ve worked with, you know, small brands to like very, very big enterprises. Like for the name just a few like Crocs and National Geographics, Nestle, so we just work with a lot of them. So everything you know, I basically talk about and what I know is based off of like, what we’ve learned, learned, working with our clients, data numbers, all of that has been really great source for us to understand how everything works, and to implement that in other categories of products. And so far, I think we’ve worked approximately about 3000 brands now, I think,
Ben Donovan 02:17
Amazing. How have you found that growth to a team of 85 people? That’s a lot of people to manage? How have you found that? Is it been a stretch? Or is it been easy?
So it’s been very hard, not gonna lie. So it took me a while to actually start building my team at all. At first, there was only me and I think maybe two or three more translators, just like freelancers, basically. And then I kind of wanted to, like kept control of everything, I needed to double check everything, like I had to have my hands on absolutely every single thing going on. And then that basically took away two years of my life, just basically working 24/7. And then the first time I want to go on vacation, I was like, Okay, I need to I need to sort of sound like I can’t just like work forever like this with no days off. And then that was the first time I decided to delegate something. So it took me two years to do that. After I got back from my vacation, I thought that, you know, everything we’ve worked for for last two years was ruined. But everything was still there. And there were no bigger problems, no bigger issues, and things would just like continue as they were. So I was really surprised and really kind of relieved. And then at that point, it just started delegating more and more and more and more. And literally, the next two years, the company grew from, I would say, seven, eight employees to about 60. And then in the last year and a half, we got like 20 more. But the growth was like very, very significant after I figured out that I need to delegate in order to grow. And then I need to start working on the business and not in the business, as I’ve worked so far. And that has been my journey. And you know, it was hard. It still is it’s very hard to manage a fully remote team. But now I have a whole upper management in place with project managers, COOs, team leaders, all of that, that take care of things, which doesn’t mean that I can’t I can like just set it and forget it. Like the whole business model that I have. I have to check in on them every now and then so it makes sure that we maintain that really high level that we are known for.
Ben Donovan 04:34
So yeah, yeah, very cool. Well, that’s a whole other episode in itself. So I won’t dive too much into that because we do have a bit of a subject today but no, hats off to you. That sounds like a you know, an incredible feat. A great operation you got to go in there and and lots that ecommerce brand owners can take away from that too about getting out of the way, you know, removing yourself as the bottleneck and just trusting in other people to help you grow the business You know, so congratulations on that. But you’ve got that growth in the business, because you are very good at what you do. You know, we’ve used your services, and we’ve been very pleased with them. And there’s lots of experience in there. So I wanted to try and dig away at that experience today to help our listeners understand what the international expansion, you know, arena, I suppose, is looking like in 2023 and beyond. You know, you’ve obviously done a lot in Europe, I know you, you work beyond that as well, which would be great to hear about and discuss, but specifically just starting with Europe, because a lot of sellers will look to if they’re just selling in the US, they’ll look to expand in Europe and maybe UK to begin with, because that’s the easiest one with the language. But then very quickly, it opens up the possibility of Germany or France, Spain, Italy, and now many more nations beyond that. But it’s changed a lot, right, in recent years. And so I guess the first question for a lot of our listeners is, is it still worth expanding into Europe? What are your thoughts there?
Jana Krekic 06:04
Yeah, well, we’ve seen that this year, especially q2 and q3 have been really what I would say that we’ve seen increase in demand for brands to expand and go beyond their marketplaces, especially when it comes to Italy. Italy has been like, slightly under Raider, the last couple of years, but ever since COVID. Also, I’ve done a lot of reading and financial reports. And then, you know, they did say that, you know, the consumers in the country changed their shopping habits after COVID. And then it’s more and more going online. And online shopping has becoming a dominant form of shopping. And we’ve also seen that like invented like sales and, and increase like volume of listings that need to be translated to that language. So I would say that like now, I would, I would say like, yes, you should try Italy. And then last year, like your before, I will be like, Italy will maybe only if you know you have the right product for the marketplace. But now Italy has been becoming a very, very interesting marketplace. For those who want to do like the whole Pan European expansion. And we’ve seen more and more very big brands focusing on Amazon. A lot of them that were like from brick and mortar, and they’re just like starting to sell on Amazon as well. So that’s like also very interesting. And of course, like top categories are still as they were like top. For instance, like in Europe, like spoken speaking about Germany, supplements, toddler products, kids products, baby products, anything that’s like related with beauty products, like eye masks, eye patches, all of that is going really, really strong in 2023, as well. And also bad products as well. But when really it’s interesting, what’s really interesting for Europe, especially for Germany, because Germany still is a dominant marketplace. Those are wooden toys. So wooden toys do amazingly well. In Europe, they don’t do that amazingly well in the US, I suppose it has to do a lot of the country’s culture and mentality and all of that and like the way how we all in Europe grew up versus American schools still like the plastic toys and all of that and not that big on sustainability, which I can feel is more of like a Europeans forte. So yeah, definitely wooden toys are quite quite interesting. And I know we did like a quick case study would on the clients. And then it’s really also interesting, how would if you go to the search frequency term report in Amazon seller, your Amazon Seller account, if you type in, like pull patrol, for instance, like there will be insanely successful in the US but not so successful in the UK, or anywhere around Europe or any of the other like plastic toys, but wooden toys is something that reminds you of your childhood, and what your parents used to play with. That is something that it’s kind of like, really like a good category to be in.
Ben Donovan 09:05
Yeah, yeah, some good thoughts and key to do your market research before you expand. It’s, you know, the temptation just to roll out the same product lines to different marketplaces, but might not always be a great fit. So that’s a good, good reminder for everyone. Are you finding that most of your clients are just then targeting those individual European countries? Or is Pan EU use still a big part of what they’re doing?
Jana Krekic 09:29
Yeah, I would say that majority does Pan EU over, let’s say, UK or just a single marketplace. But how it usually goes is that people will try out like one marketplace. And then if things work out, then they add like all the rest seven countries. But we’ve seen a lot of people that they just do all seven, including like Sweden and Poland. We’ve seen also increase in Sweden and Poland as well. But unfortunately, we still haven’t seen a lot of sales happening on those marketplaces. So I think people are hungry for like, let’s get new results. It’s getting harder and competitors do new marketplaces. But honestly, Amazon has also liked to step up and like, keep the promise on, like, we want you here. And then we can offer you success, which I still see that they are falling short for. I think they’re probably going to focus more on it like next year, because what happened with like Amazon, in the Netherlands is that they started pushing people and selling on a new marketplace, which was, I mean, for a long time, they were only like, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and UK. And then the newest marketplace was the Netherlands two years ago. And then but Amazon did not do anything in the first year of like the start of the marketplace. Like they didn’t roll out PPC features for the marketplace at all. And we had so many clients were just like, so hungry, to get on their marketplace. And then nothing like not a single sale. But then like last year, like things started, like, you know, like sales started coming in. And Amazon was like, okay, cool focus on Amazon Netherlands now. And they surpassed bowl, which was a local marketplace that was a dominant marketplace in that country. So I’m sure that as soon as Amazon sets their mind to Sweden and Poland, which are much bigger marketplace, then Dutch marketplace was in. I mean, Poland has 12,000 online stores and Allegra, which is a top worldwide marketplace. I’m sure I would definitely focus on these two marketplaces, Poland especially. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Poland becomes like one of the top four. Amazon marketplaces in Europe.
Ben Donovan 11:40
Yeah, yeah, no, that’s great insight and health. Because if you can get that early traction is not quite the same as when reviews used to be independent each marketplace. If you can get that organic positioning early on in a marketplace, that can obviously be a real positive. So you don’t think that the all of the issues with Brexit I know it’s a while ago, but it hasn’t put people off expanding to Europe, it hasn’t caught obviously, it is mainly between the UK and Europe, not so much all of the other nations. But there’s that kind of all those issues are gone now. And it’s more free to expand into Europe.
Jana Krekic 12:14
I think like at first after Brexit, people were in big panic for sure. And a lot of them decided not to go to UK when they would like it was brand of course it will go Europe and UK. And then they will only expand to European Union countries and not the UK. Also, because of problems like the Import, Export, like shipping all of that. But that has been resolved now. And people have found a lot of solutions. Like for instance, a couple of months ago, what they did is like they would ship their products like from the UK, the Netherlands, and then this is how they would enter Germany in about two, three weeks. There’s like a thing, how you can do it. Versus if you wanted to ship them from UK to Germany, it would take you like two months. So I think people and like I mean brands and sellers, they did find some shortcuts. So now I wouldn’t say that people were like, Yeah, we were thinking I’m not doing product launch in in the UK, because I think now that there are a lot of new solutions found. And I’m sure there are a lot of other service providers that are offering these solutions now. But for the first couple of months, it was really tough for a lot of sellers, especially UK brands that were just like in panic mode about like, what to do next. And especially because if they had like trapped products in the warehouse abroad, I couldn’t get more stock. But I think now it’s I think it’s sort of like solved, say, yeah,
Ben Donovan 13:44
Yeah. And Amazon seem to be trying to find solutions as well. Like they really yeah, fan and all that kind of thing. So they’re keen to keep the flow going. You mentioned about the European marketplaces and the growth there. And sellers translating their listings in order to be able to grow that obviously, that is your sweet spot. You mentioned about the SEO side of things. And it’d be one of the keys to success to the sellers that would say, Well, I’m just going to google translate my English listing. What are the flaws with that? Why should a seller not do that when they expand to Europe?
Jana Krekic 14:23
Yeah, well, there are a lot of really good examples and usually not translate. I mean, it’s okay to use Google Translate to understand how your vacuum cleaner works. Because I know it’s cheap, it’s free. And Amazon also offers as a solution. Their machine translation is basically Google Translate. But a lot of times it will cause you much more harm than good. And then I would just also like to point out that, you know, whatever is free and like otter by, like, offered by Amazon and stuff is certainly going to be great. So, I would definitely keep I would just, you know, tell people to We stay away from Google Translate, because there was like, also like one listing that we did, we do a lot of audits. So a lot of people actually use Google Translate. And then they see that they had drop in sales. Even though PPC campaigns, all of that is great images, just you know, everything is well put together, apart from content. And you’ll be surprised to see how many competitors actually have no idea what they’re doing on a content level, it is very easy to beat them on the content level, because they don’t care about the content in another language they don’t understand. So like, I’ve done a lot of analysis, and I have a lot of LinkedIn videos on this topic, where I think I even analyze what brush in on your memory could please, which is a top selling product. And the competition is very fierce. But on a content level, you could be number five, when it comes to content level out of top 50 competitors. So I mean, if this is like the toughest niche, like it’s not just product, this imagine like all other products and niches, like how well you can do on a content level. So basically, like the Google Translate wall, a lot of times create a confusing, confusing content, it will not resonate with the audience, they will be confused. Like, as I said, like we have like one of the clients and they did a bikini was in Italian, the Google Translate translated as bikini for donne grasse. So this was a plus size bikini model for women that are plus size. But Google Translate translated to donne grasse, which means fat women. So that was very offensive and reviews were just terrible. They had to put on the listing and then relaunch again. And they were just like, we also like this diary and like a bullet dial that wood bullets like with those like dots at the beginning of the page. But in Spanish, like the Spanish content, it says that diary contain actual bullets, like gun bullets, like when you open it, there was like gun bullets inside. So and these are just like so many examples like that, that my team goes, like, I can’t believe that they were actually selling this product and like getting money for it. So I was just like, I mean, they’re just like so many problems like that. And especially like if you just decide to translate keywords, a lot of times people will be just like, here’s a list of our US keywords, please translate them. And then we will like well, I mean, why would we translate those because they might not necessarily result in being keywords on another marketplace. Because people do not search for same things. And even if you compare US English and UK English, we also had a client selling baby diaper bag. And then first of all she was she just copy paste that it’s to UK marketplace. And then she was ranked for a completely wrong term because diapers in the US, they were virtual kids diapers, but in the UK use this to buy adult diapers. So the word that she should have used and her products should be nappies, because those are like kids products. And also like just bunch of keywords that she had in our listing contained words such as baby changing station, baby shower gifts, and lots of Spanish keywords. So and then after we’ve done the UK keyword list, there were no baby changing stations because they are not in the UK, or just few so people don’t search for those terms. In their baby shower gifts was like not in top 100 Keywords search on the UK marketplace. In Spanish, of course, it’s nowhere to be found because there’s not that big of Hispanic population in the UK. So even when compared to like English, which a lot of people will be like, well, it’s the same language. Well, it’s not because you need to localize it, even English will have different search terms. And just you know, just think of like how different will be if you just translate it word by word from UK or like US English. I always like to give an example of the US English because their style is very different. It’s very salesy and fluffy. And so you can just translate that as it is to Germans, because Germans will be like, we don’t like this, it doesn’t. It’s not the vibe, it doesn’t go well with the mentality and like it doesn’t point out on the features so they would not choose your product. And if you’re in a tough, tough niche, people would go to different product that will resonate better with them. Because what I think it’s important, especially when you sell abroad, is that the the consumers want to buy something from a brand that feels like a local brand, not like an overseas brand. So if your brand does not have this feel and doesn’t have the storytelling, but it’s localized for this new country, then it’s not going to do very well even though it’s a product. It’s a competitive product.
Ben Donovan 19:55
Yeah, I always try and bring the comparison for our community that when you see a listing on the US marketplace that’s clearly written by a Chinese seller and the broken English, it makes no sense. That’s kind of like what you sound like when you try and do that in Germany or Italy or Spain, you know, and people can see through that straightaway. And so, obviously, localized keyword research and SEO practices are essential, as you’ve rightly said, Well, what about then PPC, if someone wants to run PPC campaigns in Europe? Can they just do the same with their English keywords? Do they see much success with that? Or is it a case of needing to do that localized research again?
Jana Krekic 20:36
Yeah, I would say that you need to do a keyword research for the UK marketplace as well. I think it’s a bit easier for PPC, because you can also use like broad keywords that might be very similar to, let’s say, the ones in the US or, you know, but the exact ones, I would test this out and see like, if there are differences that you see that could apply letters with the diapers versus nappies. So PPC was completely wrong, because they only use diapers, and they haven’t seen nappies at all. And also, what I kind of really want to give this tip is that, you know, I know a lot of brands will speak other languages, but then if you’re in your results, see something that sounds like, I don’t know, like this weird word, and you think like, maybe this is misspelling, maybe this is just like sudden, like mumbo jumbo I don’t understand. And it has really big search volume, it’s probably going to be something in another language. And I would definitely include that in backends, and maybe even test it out in your PPC campaigns, depending on how big of searchable and skewed this keyword has. We’ve done this a lot. And almost none of the competitors were ranked for the keyword, like some of the Turkish keywords in Germany are Polish keywords in Germany as well. Because of the population, they might have, sometimes very big search volume, and then you will be the only one who’s ranked for the keyword. So just always put it in backend. Don’t use it in front end listing, because it’s going to sound very weird, but in back ends, definitely go for it.
Ben Donovan 22:07
Yeah. What about images? Are you doing much translation of images? infographic,
Jana Krekic 22:12
We do not. Now, we do always main image translations. Earlier, not a lot of people would do it. But I mean, this is it’s always been a rule that you can and should translate because sellers, sorry, consumers will understand the product better. But now can everyone started doing it, I think it started ever since Amazon said that packaging has to be translated to the languages of the country or setting the product still. So just gonna think like them and just gonna follow with that, even though it’s not mandatory. But when when consumers like go to the page, and when they check out the product, the most important thing for this prior art made images and keywords. So this is going to be the first thing they see are these main images. And then if you’re selling, let’s say beauty products or supplements, and then I’m scrolling through like first two, three images. And if I don’t understand how I use them or like what they do, because they’re in English, and maybe these are some very sensitive product, it’s like that goes into your body or like your use it with your baby, you kind of want to know what you’re buying. And then if this is written in English, you can’t rely on that, like every single person is proficient enough to be 100% sure what they’re buying, you know, a lot of people would not even go to, to read the full listing. But images, absolutely. And we’ve also have like this really good case study how after that the main images were changed, like from English to German, they had like an increase of 40%, conversion, and 60% in profit. And they just added that one variable. So that was really good. And that showed a lot about like how people were deciding more just because they had translated main images. Those were like some baby baby jackets. So that was really interesting. And that will definitely help drive more sales or just kind of like, make people stick to you or like listening, maybe just going to read the whole content, when you’re from the brand story and so on. So I think that is very, very valuable because what a lot of people forget is that maybe 40% of Europe speaks English on a high level and then the rest of it it’s like would not buy something they’re not comfortable with or understand. So basically, instead of targeting every single consumer in the country, we’re targeting every third which has a lot of lost potential because your brand.
Ben Donovan 24:39
For sure, it’s crazy. I was watching the football last night Madrid Darby athletic against Real Madrid and I was saying to my wife, it’s crazy how this game is in Spain. The bulk of the audience is in Spain, but all of the advertising is in English because English people are so stubborn and so rubbish at learning languages. We expect the whole world to speak our language but a lot of them don’t. And so that arrogance can actually cost you sales sometimes. So, yeah, great tips.
Jana Krekic 25:05
Ben Donovan 25:07
Do beyond Europe, are you seeing any other marketplaces? I mean, do you work? Do you do translations for, you know, maybe the Middle East or any other sort of marketplaces like that?
Jana Krekic 25:18
Yeah, we do we do. We do a lot of translations for Japan. And then lately in the last three months, we’ve been getting a significant number of listings that should be translated to Arabic. So I don’t know why. Right, like three months ago, exactly why now, but we’ve haven’t had that much work for UAE, for instance, last year, year before. But last three months, we’ve I think we’ve done about 50, 60 listings, which is a lot because people don’t usually do that. Also, like for the UAE, what’s interesting is that, depending on like, who you’re targeting, there are a lot of expats in UAE. And they rent out like apartment, they need furnishings, and decor and all of that. And then if you really get home decor category, you don’t basically need to translations, you can just like you use USA English, just do a new keyword research just to optimize it a little bit better. And that’s a really good category to sell in, for instance, like in UAE. Also, compared to the US one that has I don’t know probably like 50 60,000 products at least, UAE doesn’t even have last time I checked like not even like 5000 products. So that’s a really good category to go in. And you wouldn’t need translations. But depending on if we want to target it all, like if you want to target the locals, then you need Arabic. If not, you can leave it in English. Yeah.
Ben Donovan 26:44
And Japan is still going strong, because there’s been lots of talk about how that’s a good marketplace as well.
Jana Krekic 26:50
So Japan In Japan is fantastic. First of all, you don’t have them any competitors. Everybody is afraid because the language barrier. There like a lot of like big problems, keyword research is really hard. But also, it is really hard to understand the marketplace itself. So I would say that Japan is great if you have the right product for the marketplace. If you don’t know, if you don’t know what to do to do do the due diligence, diligence, or if you don’t know like how to like even do any sort of like homework for the marketplace, then don’t go there and spend your resources, money time and all of that, because it’s a marketplace that likes weird products, something that usually does not sell sell that well in Europe, in the States. And you can really have to find something that is going to work. Like all of the products that we’ve done, were a little bit different than what you would buy in Germany or the US and if you’ve been to Japan or Asia, you know, like what, you know, local people over there love quite, you know, that’s like quite different and unique. So if you sell a product like that, for instance, like one of the first products that we’ve done, and I’ll always remember that were protectors for your elbows and in your knees. And also you’re down there, they’re like what you would like to protect like when they’re playing like a like a video game with like swords. I don’t know what the name of it was, like very Japanese, but they have like these, like, three types of like these shields. And they only came in like fluorescent colors. And the seller was like I used to sell like, you know, shields for like, rollerblades and stuff like that. But then they kind of like rinse was really interesting how they adjusted to the Japanese marketplace, produce all these crazy colors and then we’re doing so well. So you know, like sometimes like you might even want to you know, like localize your product if you think it’s going to be a very big success, which also this was so yeah, there were just like bunch of like products that would never work in the US and Europe not be like that successful. Yeah, but as I said, due diligence is really important. It’s not that hard to do it on your own. Also what I think is really important what people really never almost never do is that people need to ask the audience will they buy this product we created this report it’s like a manual report that like shows the opportunity of the potential opportunity that the product might have in a certain marketplace. So what we do is like we go to the audience we’re like would you would you or somebody you know, buy this product and I got this idea because we had one seller and he was selling T shirts like Mr. And Mrs. T shirts with like this funny smiley face on him in Germany and he was doing very poorly like it was terrible, like almost no sales but his pictures were amazing, everything was great. And then he was like, What if all my content and content was amazing, but then my German team was like, but Jana, like we would never buy these products like why? Because they’re just not German. Look it up like I don’t know, it’s like not a good product for this marketplace. And that made me think like, wow, this is like such a valuable information. Obviously, sometimes the audience will be the one that will be the judge of like, Would you buy this or not, instead of all these keywords, images, and all that. So I think is like one of the very important factors of like, what you should take into consideration, like, you can go to Facebook groups, like with experts, and be like, hey, so would you buy this product? You can just like ask questions. I mean, there’s so many ways how you can do this on your own for free. And it’s just like, ask for just like a little bit of time, but it will save you a lot of time and money. Definitely.
Ben Donovan 30:54
Yeah, for sure. Because obviously it costs a lot of money to expand into new marketplace. Yeah, inventory, new marketing.
Jana Krekic 31:01
VAT is a really expensive weed for them for a long time. I mean, there’s just like so many things. I mean, as you know, but I mean, they’re just like so many things. But the worst thing is just like losing time on something you don’t know if it’s gonna work or not, just because you heard that a Japan is a great marketplace, I’m gonna do this. And I was very surprised how many brands both big and small, would actually do this, like, follow this pattern. And I’m like, this is not a rule of thumb. This is just like, do being lazy and not having enough resources to actually do the due diligence the right way. So I think that is super important to do that even if it takes a bit more time.
Ben Donovan 31:38
Yeah, for sure. It’s opportunity cost as well, isn’t it? Because if you use that money in a new marketplace, but don’t launch another product in the US, for instance? Yeah, exactly. What’s the best, you know, best for your business?
Jana Krekic 31:50
Absolutely. Yeah. Cool.
Ben Donovan 31:53
We’ve covered a lot of ground in terms of marketplaces and expanding. Right now, what what do you just sort of round up and finish off? What do you see for the future? You know, the next 12, 24 months? Whether that be internationally or just just Amazon in general, you’re on the ground? Working with a lot of sellers, what are you seeing, what are you feeling? What are some of the things that sellers should be preparing for to succeed in the next season of E-commerce?
Jana Krekic 32:18
Yeah, I definitely think that there will be more marketplaces in Europe. And I think that Amazon will start pushing Poland and Sweden because they are already pushing so many people into going internationally. And I’m happy that we’ve seen an increase in demand for content translations, all that, unfortunately, only when people figure out that content actually matters, and they should do something about it. But I think expanding internationally will also they be very interesting next year, as well, especially because the US marketplace has become very competitive. And I would not say exaggerated, but I’ll say that now, like more than ever, very, very hard to sell there. In order to be a competitors or, or money elsewhere, you want to go to let’s say Europe, especially because what’s against TOS in the US is not necessarily against the US and Europe, like we can still get away with a lot of things like capsules, capslock and bullets, like that’s still works in, in Europe, like you would, you know, you would get your listing will be taken down if you try that, like in the US. Also, there’s a bunch of other things that are still easier, like in Europe. And I think like once you like get your vehicles registered and all the warehouses sorted out, like you can sell sell in seven different marketplaces. And what we’ve seen is that the revenue you can make in Europe can be equal or even bigger than what you make in the States. So I definitely feel very positive and that the international expansion is going to be even more important next year. And also because like, I don’t know, like, conferences like accelerate and like prosper show and all that. Now we have like so many tracks that talk about international selling. And I remember like last love the first time I spoke at prosper, almost four years ago, there was not a single international track, and I was the only speaker speaking on this topic. And now we have like a full track with like, six and seven topics on this topic on this matter. So I think that it’s even going to become like bigger and bigger, like in time.
Ben Donovan 34:25
Two final things on that. Because there’s lots of opportunity, like you say, but what is the best way to roll out? Let’s take a typical brand that has five to 10 SKUs, maybe doing you know, 50 to $100,000 a month in the US? Do they just take all of their SKUs and roll them all out across all of Europe. Or I know it’s not going to be a sort of a cookie cutter approach for every brand. Every branch can be different. But generally speaking, what’s the best way to get one SKU rolled out across Europe doing really well all SKUs in one location? What was your thoughts?
Jana Krekic 34:58
So first of all, I just think that I international expansion is not for everyone and not every branch do it. I am totally like against just like pushing everyone to do it. No, not everyone should do it. Also, I think you should have like a, like a very steady revenue before you decide to do. So. Like, if you make $20,000 a month, like don’t even bother, because like, you should just like focus on your marketplace here or just going to have like a different strategy. But what I would always suggest is like taking your best sellers, maybe like a couple of parents and their variations, and then taking those to Europe or wherever you want to go. But like doing the strongest best sellers on the most dominant marketplaces, like, if I was a US brand, I would maybe I have like total 50 Aces, I would maybe take my top eight ones. And then I will go to Europe, definitely try UK, Germany, Spain and France, maybe now add Italy. And then if that works great. And then I see profit, and I got my ROIs then I would think of expanding to Netherlands, Sweden and Poland. But I would advise against going to Sweden and Poland in your first wave, for sure. Like, I will test the grounds with my best selling product, because they’re usually going to also be best selling in Europe, like if you’re a UK brand, or you use brand vice versa. But I will definitely like limit myself to four or five marketplaces, and then spread out to a bit more I will not do like one marketplace on one product. Because maybe like this marketplace that you picked, like hemp pick just because you just think it’s gonna be good. Yeah, might not bring you so much profit as maybe France and Spain combined. So you wouldn’t know. And you’ll be like, well, there’s nothing for me here. So I would test out with the best selling products on three, four marketplaces, and then take it from there. Because that will give you a better picture, like, is this going to be something that you want to? You know, do you want to add more products to or not just gonna, you know, take it elsewhere?
Ben Donovan 37:03
For sure. Yeah. And final small question is, do you see many of your clients using? You mentioned not using Amazon’s translation, but do they often lean on the Amazon services for like tax, shipping, etc? How much do you see of that?
Jana Krekic 37:19
So I would say it’s like 50:50. I know that a lot of them use other services that like quite known in the space, like a third party service providers that were very happy with, like bunch of our clients that I know that they’re happy with them. But I know like that 50% of others would still use Amazon services. But a lot of these Amazon services, or people should know is actually they work with these third party service providers that actually take this take care of this for them. Some of them would even like do the white label service. So yeah, but I think it’s normal, because you kind of want to trust Amazon, and you want to be like, No, I want to like do something with Amazon. Because if they are saying that the shipment is here, they’re going to use Amazon not some random third party service. But I would say for now, it’s like 50:50, from like all the people that we’ve worked with,
Ben Donovan 38:11
Okay, you can name names, by the way, who do you recommend?
Jana Krekic 38:15
So for accounting, I would recommend Avask accounting, they’re also like the prime prime partner with Amazon, they do a bunch of like, really, really great work. And like shipping, I would always go with Frisbee. Their shipping, and all of that has their shipping agency called that as well. We still haven’t worked with them. But I mean, based on what like how well they deal with accounting like that. They also like, I think they’re great. And then also like, with the funding and all that, like, I know, people, they always work with the, for instance, also like this is also something that I know people were very happy with. So we do have a couple of partners that we always work with, because we just offer translations. So I can’t offer them like a full service management of their accounts. But we’ve had a couple of partners that we’ve been working with for the last four years. And we really can recommend them and know that they’re going to do their job.
Ben Donovan 39:12
Yeah, no, it’s good. It’s always good to get a trusted recommendation.
Jana Krekic 39:16
Absolutely. Like isn’t because I know that the clients are happy, really. So I would rather recommend a good service. And I mean, not getting anything out of it, because people remember who recommended this for them. So I’d rather walk that path. So yeah.
Ben Donovan 39:32
And if anybody does need listing translation services, the place to go is obviously to you know where else to go and where can people find out details about your services and everything you offer?
Jana Krekic 39:44
Yeah, so definitely our website while the dash translations.com or you can reach out on LinkedIn, I’m very active on LinkedIn and I invite everyone you know, love the topic of international expansion to to follow me because I love to share videos, updates, analysis, just basically anything I can, you know, get my little hands on. And so it’s really good stuff and it’s good information. And then if you have any question audit, basically any sort of advice I can I can I can give I’m always happy to hop on a call, so just let me know.
Ben Donovan 40:18
Perfect, yeah, we’ll include the links to those in the description in the show notes so everyone can find you, Jana, I appreciate you taking the time out. You are a wealth of knowledge on the subject, and we really appreciate your input today.
Jana Krekic 40:31
Thank you so much for having me.
Ben Donovan 40:33
No problem. Well, thanks, everyone for listening as well. I’m sure you got tons out of that. Please do go and use Jana services. I can personally vouch for them. We’ve used them and they are great. And I would highly, highly recommend them. If you have enjoyed today’s episode, please do give it a like, subscribe and all that good stuff. And I will see you in the next episode. Same time next week. Take care guys. Bye bye bye