5 Tips For Succeeding With International Shipping

We live in an increasingly globalized economy where potential consumers are literally everywhere. International eCommerce sales have been skyrocketing over the last few years, and it’s all down to companies taking advantage of the global marketplace. Even if a company isn’t large enough to fulfill international orders itself they can turn to Amazon, eBay and Alibaba for marketplace fulfillment that reaches across the globe for a fraction of the cost of doing it yourself. If you run an eCommerce business, there’s really never been a better time to start international shipping. 

That being said, it’s not without its challenges. Due to the market explosion, customers are getting accustomed to having their high demands met in terms of delivery costs and times, and if they aren’t satisfied with your service they can easily find a competitor that can do better. It’s no insignificant task implementing international shipping successfully, but here are a few things to bear in mind that will keep you on track to success.

Know Your Market

Marketing and selling products to an international audience works on the same principles and selling to a domestic audience: knowledge is power. Knowing where your potential markets are, what appeals to them in terms of products and marketing, and what the main channels of communication they use are all essential pieces of information if you want to really make the most of international shipping.

Ferent Malik, a business blogger at Writinity and Researchpapersuk, advises that “when selling in different countries there are a lot of rules — both legal and social — to think about. Some countries will tax goods differently, so you may need to take that into account when selling certain products in certain areas. Similarly, when you’re marketing your product, some images and content will play better in different places, and it pays off to be specific when approaching diverse audiences.”

Consider Parcel Consolidators

If you’ve found a market overseas and need to ship serious numbers of product to them, you need to think about shipping costs. First-Class Mail is designed for sending a few units and for personal correspondence, and you’ll quickly find that costs rack up if you’re regularly sending packages overseas.

“That’s where parcel consolidators come in,” says Faisal Islam, a shipping writer at DraftBeyond and LastMinuteWriting. “These are centers that collect large amounts of packages destined for the same country and ships them by bulk, thus lowering the cost of shipping for you and reducing delays for the customer.”

Be Clear With Your Customers

The name of the game in international shipping is transparency. This means not trying to hide shipping costs and delivery times at the end of your transaction. The vast majority of customers will not bother to look through your catalog if they don’t know how much shipping will cost, so you’re just losing sales by obscuring the information. Better to be upfront about it and let your marketing convince consumers that the shipping cost is worth it.

One technical aspect of being clear with your customer is delivering items Deliver Duty Paid (DDP) as opposed to Deliver Duty Unpaid (DDU). If you opt for the latter your customers may be met with a surprise bill to release their product from their country’s customs, which is not going to win you any favors with your international audience.

Don’t Try To Cheat The System(s)

No matter how clever you think you’re being, never try to cheat customs by misrepresenting or under-declaring your products. They will inevitably find out at some point, and customs officials will have no problem delaying or confiscating your shipments.

Ask For Help

International shipping is simply not as easy as domestic shipping, and there’s no shame in asking for help. This might be in the form of distribution companies, shipping advisors or — if you’re more technically minded — shipping automation technology. If you try to do it completely by yourself you will likely end up caught out by customs and shipping legislations in other countries. There are a wide number of services and products that will take a lot of the headache out of shipping challenges.

Robert is a marketing strategist and a writer at LuckyAssignments and GumEssays. He endeavors to help companies grow and develop their brands effectively in today’s fast-changing and demanding consumer market. His biggest strength is in social media marketing, which he believes is the most powerful method for advertising. He writes mostly on business but is also interested in health, lifestyle and online gaming.