When it comes to e-commerce, shipping is the most challenging job. You may have started out doing everything on your own – production, consolidating orders, packaging, and shipping. But as your business grows, there comes the point when the DIY option is no longer feasible. You might still prepare the orders yourself and pack them by taking help from your friends, but shipping is one thing you have to rely on the strangers.
To maximize your company’s sales and its e-commerce potential, you must go international. It is an excellent opportunity for your business to grow, even if you only ship a few products. So, if you are already planning on it, you can take advantage of tons of world-class shipping services like BeFBA. But first, you will need to prepare a strategy that works both for your business and you.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when shipping internationally for the first time:
Build a Shipping Strategy
When you don’t know where to begin, try building a strategy for your business concerning a few significant decisions. It includes identifying what products you need to ship and where to send them. It is the first and foremost thing that you need to do to help kickstart international shipping.
Here are a few indicators that can help you narrow down the identification step to some extent:
- Track the current demand for your product in the market through online traffic analytics, repeat visits, and direct order requests. You will need a specialized social media and marketing team to assist you in this step.
- As communication is the key, consider shipping to countries that speak the language you are familiar with. It is so because doing business with people who know what you’re speaking and intending can help form better long-term relations.
You may use e-commerce platforms to reduce returns and associated costs by availing of international address verification services.
Get Familiar With International Rules & Regulations
Please get familiar with its rules and regulations once you decide which country to send your product to. Before you ship, get to know what items are prohibited by the government and any other rules that might impact your shipment. If you ship a restricted item, you might face acceptable & legal penalties.
Calculate Taxes & Prepare Paperwork
To ensure smooth international delivery, calculate customs, duties, and any additional taxes beforehand. Some documents you may require are a commercial invoice, export packing list, customs paperwork, etc. Check with your domestic postal source to find out which documents are needed for shipping overseas.
When expanding to the international market, understanding the exchange rates for foreign currencies is essential. Once you have calculated everything and prepared the paperwork, you will have a clear picture of how these fees affect your product cost.
Know the Costs Involved
Shipping cost is another factor that impacts your decision of whether to ship internationally or not. Many foreign governments add additional duties to foreign shipments to protect domestic businesses from competition. If you want to save big on shipping, using multiple carriers is one option. FBABEE provides several options which are not just cheaper but also faster and safer.
- Postal carriers are often cost-effective but slower and do not provide add-on services.
- Express carriers are faster and provide additional service options but can be expensive.
You can best serve your customers by offering them a mixture of multiple delivery options to balance the tradeoff timeline and price. Providing multiple options such as standard shipping, table-rate shipping, local pickup, flat rate box shipping, and priority shipping help build a better consumer base and is an effective marketing strategy.
Play Safe by Getting Insured
If you are worried about sending a package overseas, play safe by getting it insured against any loss or damage. Many global express carriers provide affordable insurance options to mitigate the risk. Think of insurance as more of an investment rather than an expense when shipping heavy items. You may save more by paying for the insurance than replacing the shipments that come damaged, lost, stolen, or rejected.
Be as Transparent as Possible
Being transparent and communicative as much as possible with your customers is the most crucial part of an international shipping strategy. If you encounter unexpectedly high costs during the checkout, your customers might feel demotivated to complete the order. Cart abandonment due to high shipping is real, and every company must take it seriously.
You can communicate the shipping or any extra cost associated with your policy pages. It is an effective way of building the trust of your potential customers. However, it does not have to be just about costs; you should also let your customers know where you deliver to avoid wasting their time. Consumers today are informed and don’t like wasting their time on the website.
Follow Packaging Rules
Before you pack your supplies, make sure to use proper cushioning such as a bubble wrap. Aim at striking a balance between sturdy packaging so that your product does not get spoiled and keeping the cost as low as possible is crucial. You must ensure that your packaging is reliable and complies with international regulations.
You should keep the following points in mind to avoid any issues:
- Read specific country’s rules and regulations.
- Put the correct shipping label before sending.
- Hazardous substances in packages must be minimized.
- The packed item must be subject to safety and hygiene.
To sum up, having a clear idea in mind right from the beginning during international shipping is crucial. From what and how you will ship, to where and at what cost – give these factors some thought and thorough research to grow your business globally. Keeping the above points in mind not only makes sure the process goes flawlessly, but also helps build a potential customer base for your business.
If your clients trust you and your products, they will come back again. It will help increase your sales and thus, worldwide popularity. However, as it is popularly said that change is the only constant, remember to try out new techniques and approaches to refine your strategies as your business grows.