E-commerce industry is seen to have bigger market internationally, and, considering this many business owners are taking an advantage of it by expanding their services in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, as they are considered to be the leading hubs of online shopping. India, and China are also included in the list, however, they are emerging slowly due to high potential.
For those who are selling domestically, including Indian sellers- then you are missing on greater opportunities by not selling in the international market. Big players have already plunged into this rapidly growing market base, however, many business owners are still thinking twice- just because they fear about not knowing the set of rules and regulations of shipping internationally.
Everything you need to know about shipping internationally
Shipping internationally involves many impediments that are different from what you may be accustomed to. Cultural difference, legal framework, and logistics are the core areas that stops many sellers from exploring the international market. Fear no more, as this blog will cover all those important things that will offer better insights of all those things that you will consider while shipping internationally.
What does international shipping mean for sellers?
If you think simply translating your website and accepting different currencies are the only elements to be considered for going international, then you are wrong. Localization in every way is what you need to consider that includes promotion campaigns too. Shipping internationally will explore you to a different cultural background, tone, rules, and terminology that you need to adopt, all in effort, to ensure you are supportive with the country’s culture.
What sellers need to keep in mind while shipping internationally?
1- Know about international shipping options
Shipping international can surely earn bigger profit margin, but, if you ignore the importance of the shipping cost can reduce revenue for your business. Two factors that you always need to consider when selecting a shipping solution for your eCommerce business.
1- Calculates shipping cost
2- Tracks parcel
So, what can your reliable shipping option considering the above?
UPS- UPS offers an ideal marketplace shipping solution for e-tailers that allow them to fulfill orders worldwide, calculate shipping costs, create and print labels, and more. This provider makes it easy for Amazon and eBay Professional sellers to access all their services via ups.com. UPS Worldwide Express Plus, UPS Express, UPS Worldwide Saver are some the options.
Click to know more.
They also offer multiple ways to track parcel. To know more about their tracking options, click here.
FedEx- FedEx separately offers a flexible retail solution and lately has revised its rates allowing e-tailers to offer the best service in less. Like UPS. this provider also allows sellers to calculate shipping cost via fedex.com.
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Track shipments and receive delivery confirmation for all your orders that are shipped. To know more about their tracking options, click here.
2- Know about duties and taxes
It usually the buyer of the product has to bear the duties and taxes, however, being in a business where customer service is highly important- giving them with such surprises will reduce sales for your business. Factoring these additional expense in your product price is the only way out for e-tailers. Duty Calculator is helping sellers to make calculation easy and accurate. Get to know more about international duties and taxes from leading shipping companies mentioned below:
Another important element of “Customs Form,” is the use of “Harmonized System Codes.” Such code is required in most of the leading shipping service, including FedEx, UPS, USPS in their customs forms procedure. These codes vary product-to-product and to get accurate codes for your products, you can visit Duty Calculator Online Reference Tool. This is one step ahead on automating international shipments.
3- Know about international shipping payment option
This is another factor that will help you earn repeat customers. Helping your customers to make easy payments in their own currency with transparent shipping costs in their own native language will give you a competitive advantage and earn more and more profits from the international market. Leading providers are offering multiple payment options, however, ensure the one you select has the below primary payment methods
1- Credit card
2- International money orders
3- Online payment services
4- International wire transfer
4- Know about the returns procedure
International returns can prove to be very expensive and time-taking. And, you’ll experience situations when the your international customers requests for returns, in most cases, due to damage in shipping or may find the tax and duties real high. So, be prepared for such ugly situation, design a strict return policy, and be loud about it on your international website to avoid misunderstanding.
Question you need while designing an international return policy for your ecommerce website!
1- Are you ready to accept such returns?
2- If yes, who will pay for the return shipping expense?
Key challenges that Indian sellers need to focus, while shipping internationally
1- Delivery status and confirmation
Packing and fulfilling customer’s orders using the best shipping service, is the foremost thing Indian sellers need to focus on. However, if there is no system to allows clear insights about the fulfillment status and delivery confirmation, will make you restless and even worst lose customers for your business.
What can you do?
Ensure the shipping service you adopt offers detailed insights about the shipping status, so, in case of delay your customers can be immediately informed and you can take necessary steps to avoid huge delay. Another factor, you need to make sure that the service provides you with proper delivery confirmation, including the signature of the purchaser. You also get a chance to boost customer service by contacting the customers for their feedback after every delivry confirmation you receive.
2- Shipping cost
Shipping internationally involves custom charges and keeping your customer’s in dark can lead to either cancellation of your international order. And, such costs directly hits the bottom line of the business.
What can you do?
The best way is to clearly mention the product, shipping, and custom costs on the website that customer need before making their purchase decisions.
3- Fulfillment time
The fulfillment duration for shipping internationally varies, however, “up-to-ten days” being the most common. There aren’t many services that offer quick delivery turnaround to woo your international customers.
What can you do?
Make it point to research for the best ones that allows flexible delivery options that are already offering their services in the international market. Such companies know the importance of fulfilling customer’s order and maintain their standard for increased visibility.
FedEx, UPS, USPS are the leading international shipping service that already helping Indian sellers with a wider opportunity in international market by allowing them multiple shipping options and flexibility.
Which are the booming international markets for Indian eCommerce sellers?
You expansion in the international market will mainly depend on your product line and base of your business. Therefore, a proper research is very important. But generally, United States, and United Kingdom has always been a good starting market. Whatever market you select, ensure you adopt the best fulfillment to avoid shipping and tax issues.
How can you ensure is that the right international market for your eCommerce business?
An ideal and safest way, is to examine your product performance on leading marketplaces Amazon or eBay in different regions. For instance, if your products are seen to be already selling in the international market that means it can be a good option for you. However, for your products that don’t seem to be popularity in the international market, doesn’t mean it won’t sell. There are chances where one of your competitors may be contacting the local brands and directly listing those products in the foreign market. Testing your products in leading regions and tracking performance will result for increased sales order and profits for your eCommerce business.
Godspeed for your international eCommerce journey 🙂