With the recent announcement that Amazon will be distributing in nearly 200 countries worldwide, it’s a good time to revisit making your app available internationally. In this post, I’ll be covering the steps to review before you should consider selling your apps internationally, including API availability, localization, pricing, and reviewing local feedback.
First Things First. Can you sell internationally?
Do you have the right to distribute your app internationally? It is your responsibility to verify that you have the necessary rights to distribute your apps and content everywhere you designate for your apps and content to be distributed.
Are all services/APIs available internationally?
The following services/APIs are available in all marketplaces:
- Amazon In-App Purchasing API
- Amazon A/B Testing Service
- Amazon Device Messaging API
- Amazon GameCircle API
The following APIs are available in only some marketplaces:
- Amazon Maps API is currently supported in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, and France
- Amazon Mobile Ads API only serves ads to users in the United States
For more information on APIs, see this link.
Should you localize?
Amazon does not require apps to be localized (though we think it is a good idea to do so). While you must have an English product description; you can also provide a localized product description. To localize your product description:
- Sign into the Distribution Portal and click My Apps
- In the dashboard or using search, find the app that you would like to edit and select the Description tab
- Click on the Add a Translation link at the top, and you will see the following screen where you can select the language you wish to add, and you can type in your translation
For more on localization, see this post.
Making your app available internationally
Just two steps for this.
- Select the Countries in which you want to sell your apps
- Set your list prices
1. Select the Countries in which you want to sell your apps:
Whenever you create a new app, it is set to be available in all countries by default. To change international availability, click on the Availability and Pricing tab in My Apps and select the countries where you’d like to sell your apps.
Developers are responsible for ensuring their apps comply with all applicable export and import restrictions and the laws of the countries in which the apps are sold.
2. Set your list prices:
By default, Amazon will calculate the list price used to calculate royalties for sales of your app in foreign currencies based on recent exchange rates when you use this tool, but you can change this if you wish. In the example above, you can see that $2.99 in USD became ₤1.96 Pounds in Great Britain. You may wish to change this (and other) list prices to end in .99, .49, or other common values.
List prices for apps and IAP items do not automatically change when currency rates do. If you need to update your list prices, simply make changes via the ‘Availability and Pricing’ tab, and re-submit your app or IAP items.
For more detailed information on the steps above, please see this post.
Royalties and Taxes
When your app is sold, you will earn a revenue share of the app’s list price net of applicable taxes. The revenue share does not change by country; however you will get a separate payment for each marketplace in which sales occur. For electronic payments, the currency of your payment is determined by the currency of your bank account location and for payment by check, you will receive funds in the currency of sale or in US dollars.
List prices include any VAT or similar taxes that Amazon includes in the purchase price shown to end users, but those taxes are excluded from the list price when calculating your royalties. For example, if the list price for your App for an Amazon marketplace is 1.15 Euro and we display prices to an end user of that Amazon marketplace inclusive of 15% VAT, the list price for royalty calculation purposes for a sale to that end user is 1.00 Euro.
Please note that this is different than how sales taxes are applied in the U.S.
For more details, click here.
All right! Now you’ve got apps available internationally, and you’re getting paid. How are your apps doing? You can see the reception they are getting by looking at the Reviews section in the Distribution Portal. Reviews of international apps are included as part of the Amazon marketplace that customer is shopping in. You can select the marketplace’s rating you wish to view by:
- From the Distribution Portal, click on your app
- Clicking on the Reviews link near the top of the page
- Click on the Left drop down button (Amazon.com in the picture below) to select the marketplace for which you would like to see reviews.
Hopefully, you’re feeling more worldly now, and you should have a good idea of how to make your app available internationally. Here is a list of resources you can read for more details: