Business More and more Czech firms selling wares through e-commerce giants

23-09-2016 14:35 | Jan Velinger

Czech companies are beginning to sell products through major internet retailers like Amazon or China’s Alibaba. According to Czech Radio, domestic companies selling through international e-commerce retailers now number in the dozens.

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Photo: Czech TelevisionPhoto: Czech Television More than ever, Czech firms are taking advantage of the opportunity to sell online through major internet retailers. Czech Radio reported this week that for many the Czech and Slovak markets are no longer enough, so companies are searching for new possibilities. For some, the obvious choice to try and taps and existing consumer base provided by long established and respected online retailers. Pavel Kotrba, the head of a Czech firm selling brand-name handbags, decided several months ago to take the leap through Amazon.com. The process he said, however, was not easy.

“We’ve been on Amazon for just three months and that is still the trial-period, where we can’t yet fully sell our products. Amazon pays close attention to how we communicate with customers. As it is, we have several dozen orders each month. When we get an order we pack the item with information from Amazon and then send it directly to the customer.”

Selling through Amazon means paying a 15 percent fee; for Pavel Kotrba that means the equivalent of roughly 500 crowns off for a handbag costing around 3,000; but getting on Amazon at all, is a chore in itself, requiring the professional services of an additional agency the businessman commissioned called Expando, which represents around 20 Czech firms. The agency’s head, Adam Kurzok.

“Generally-speaking, Amazon is quite strict with sellers: all information must be in order, they have to respond to queries form consumers within one day, and they have to expedite products within one day. And communication in English or German is also of course required.”

Still it is easy to see the attraction: getting front-row access to tens of millions of potential customers. Michal Mička, of Incomming Ventures told Czech Radio, that for many companies, the move to selling through established e-commerce firms is a logical step:

“The trend is that the world is becoming more globalized and companies are looking for ways to expand their horizons. Amazon is a strong brand name in places like Great Britain or Germany, so companies doing business through them benefit from established trust.”

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