Do you want to extend your business into new areas, attract new customers, and increase your profits? Exploring your international options and permitting international shipment may be the solution.
The difficulty is that this procedure comes with a slew of new standards and regulations to follow, not to mention the potential for global-scale challenges with your order management operations. So, what is the procedure for international shipping? How much does it set you back? What’s the best strategy for small enterprises to tackle international shipping?
In this post, we’ll go through our 10 best international shipping ideas, including how to keep prices low, create a seamless experience for overseas consumers, and keep order fulfillment under control.
1. Determine the Demand for Your Items on A Global Scale
Do your study before starting a site-wide campaign aimed at foreign clients to see whether there is a demand for your items in other countries.
If you’ve already had requests from clients all across the world to begin exporting to them, you’ll know exactly which nations to target. If overseas clients aren’t banging on your door, you’ll need a well-thought-out strategy for breaking into new markets throughout the world.
Start by looking at what’s presently available in the countries you wish to export to and seeing if any similar items are already available. Remember to keep track of your main competitors in each country. You could be able to provide something completely unique in one country but join a sea of rivals in another.
It’s a smart idea to test the waters by selling on a native marketplace once you’ve determined the demand for your items in specific nations. Furthermore, just like you’ve done with your domestic audience, this would be an excellent method to start building your foreign following.
Don’t rush; this will take time. Before you promote international shipping throughout your online business, be sure you have a solid plan in place. Keep in mind that overseas buyers will shop in a somewhat different way and will most likely purchase on sites other than Amazon or eBay.
2. Maintain A Low Cost of International Shipping
When providing international shipping to your consumers, it’s critical that you understand the expenses associated and how to keep them low.
Here are some suggestions for lowering your delivery costs:
To begin, don’t be scared to haggle with shipping companies. Their prices will be adjusted based on your annual shipping volume; thus, the more you ship, the cheaper your cost will be.
Conduct research and comparison shopping to choose the best courier for your needs. Of course, different couriers deliver to various regions, so you’ll need to select one that delivers to your overseas destinations at a reasonable price.
Keep in mind:
Unexpected expenses, such as Saturday delivery, fuel surcharges, and delivery signatures may be levied depending on which courier you select. Make sure you address these expenses with the courier firm ahead of time.
Remember that while some of these characteristics may be crucial to your customers, you don’t want to overpay for something they don’t need. Another approach to cutting international shipping prices is to get your shipment insurance from somewhere else.
Most couriers charge more for shipping insurance than third-party firms, so shopping around for the best rate is a good idea. The savings may not be significant, but they will build up over time, especially if you send high-ticket products. Furthermore, employing order management software to provide automated shipment updates, mass print shipping labels, invoices, packing lists, and packing slips will save you time and money.
But that’s not all.
You may also use this program to evaluate various shipping services from a variety of foreign couriers, ensuring that you select the lowest courier service for each purchase and save money. It’s also worth noting that most shipping carriers charge based on the size, weight, and location of your package. So, always utilize the lightest and smallest packing possible for your cargo, such as a bubble mailer instead of a huge box.
You might find a discount on shipping goods here as well. Some of the larger carriers will typically provide complimentary shipping materials depending on the shipment option you choose. Alternatively, you may save money by purchasing in bulk online.
3. Select the Most Appropriate International Shipping Plan
It’s critical to choose the correct international shipping plan for your company if you want to provide your consumers with what they want while being as cost-effective as possible. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions here. Your delivery plan will be determined by a number of elements, including your target audience, budget, margins, product, and so on.
When breaking into new countries, if you’re new to international shipping, you could find it easier to utilize an experienced fulfillment partner that can assist you through different rules. With that in mind, it’s critical to have a thorough grasp of the essential factors involved in the process before deciding on a shipping plan.
There are three major aspects to consider:
1. Your items’ dimensions and weight
2. Destinations for shipments
3. What is the best shipping service for your business, based on your unique shipping requirements?
Let’s take a closer look at these:
The majority of large shipping couriers compute their shipment charges using a technique known as dimensional (DIM) weight. This implies that both the package’s size and weight are taken into consideration. Following that, courier providers will charge delivery fees depending on the larger of the package’s weight or its DIM weight.
When looking for a shipping courier, you must consider the size and weight of your merchandise as well as the fact that charges for different countries might vary dramatically. Finally, maintain track of your delivery alternatives so you may please your consumers while staying within a budget.
This may include going beyond the well-known couriers to discover a provider that best matches your present requirements. Not only that, but in large cities, you’ll often discover that a local courier can deliver your goods faster and at a lower cost than larger corporations.
Let’s look at your international eCommerce shipping alternatives now that we’ve built the groundwork:
1. Offers free shipping.
2. Table rate and flat rate shipping
3. A courier’s current rates
4. Alternative and mixed strategies
1. Offers Free Shipping
Free delivery is an excellent method to exceed customer expectations and reduce cart abandonment.
Free delivery is, of course, not free for your company. You’ll need to pay the courier costs while still generating a profit. Keep in mind that if you don’t employ free shipping carefully, it might hurt your bottom line.
As a result, the most successful strategy for offering free shipping is to limit it to sales where you know you’ll make enough money to cover shipping expenses without affecting your earnings. So, if you want to give free shipping to your consumers, we recommend defining a subtotal threshold that makes sense for your business and maybe excluding some goods that will cost a lot more to ship.
2. Table Rate and Flat Rate Shipping
Offering a predetermined charge for delivery might be a good alternative to free shipping because your clients will know they won’t be surprised at the checkout. When you specify a single sum for all of your purchases, for £5 postage regardless of order value, you’re using flat rate shipping.
Shipping at a table rate provides a little more freedom. This refers to shipping costs that are determined by a set of criteria, such as location and distance from the fulfillment facility.
3. A Courier’s Current Rates.
Getting live quotes from a courier in real-time may be the most dependable approach to guarantee you’re charging your clients fair and reasonable shipping fees. While it’s more difficult to utilize this strategy as a promotional tactic, giving live prices assures that your consumers get the best shipping deal possible because they’re paying precisely what the courier will charge you.
You may also alter this pricing to suit your company’s needs, such as adding a premium to cover additional costs such as packaging or offering a lower rate to undercut your competition.
4. Alternative and Mixed Strategies
Combining the three shipping options above may also help you balance your bottom line and promotional possibilities. To get the most out of your overseas shipping choices, try thinking outside the box.
Furthermore, you might provide a variety of delivery alternatives to meet the demands of your consumer base. For individuals who want their things delivered sooner and are willing to pay for it, there are alternatives such as free standard shipping (5-10 working days) and table rate or live rate shipping.
4. Apply the Country’s Legislation and Rules
When shipping abroad, you must be familiar with the norms and regulations of the nations to which you wish to send. You can wind up breaching the law if you’re not careful. So, how can you know whether your items are appropriate for international shipping?
Consider this: Are your items acceptable for long-distance travel? Are you willing to go the additional mile to ensure that they are safeguarded in transport if they are fragile? Furthermore, delivering perishable products or bulky things internationally may be challenging.
Do you have the necessary order management systems in place and the expertise to carry them out correctly?
If you answered no, you should take a little more time to plan before growing your business internationally since committing too quickly might result in negative customer evaluations and a tarnished image.
That’s not all, though.
Once you’ve made the decision to move forward, make sure you consider the following shipping limits before planning your overseas shipping strategy. You’ll need the ability to set product limits based on the origin or destination of shipping since certain of your items may be prohibited from being imported or exported from specific countries by the law.
The following goods are all prohibited from being sent internationally:
• Air Bags
• Alcoholic Beverages
• Dry Ice
• Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
• Nail Polish
• Perfumes (containing alcohol)
Customs, of course, have the last word and the authority to halt the shipping of any box at any moment if they believe the contents are worth more than you claim. As a result, never mislead or under-declare the number of your shipments, or your packages may be confiscated or delayed.
5. During Overseas Shipping, Delicate Packages Should Be Protected
If you’re sending sensitive things throughout the world, it’s critical that you take precautions to ensure that they don’t get damaged or broken in transportation. The key is hidden within the package. Make sure you choose a box that is the right size for the purpose. It should be large enough to accommodate your belongings while yet leaving enough for protective supplies.
A good rule of thumb is:
Allow about 2” on all sides for extra packing. If you use more than this, your goods will move about too much in the box. Furthermore, it is preferable to use a brand-new box, as older boxes may be weaker and hence more prone to collapse. Choose a double-walled corrugated box if at all feasible, especially if your things are heavy, as they are the most durable.
There are a few dos and don’ts when it comes to packing.
Make use of:
• Bubbles wrap individual objects for protection, then wrap them together to keep them from colliding in the box.
• To fill empty places, such as products with openings, use kraft paper.
• Protect large flat things with corners using Styrofoam wedges.
• Corrugated liners to assist strengthen the box’s construction.
• Newspaper because the print may run and transfer onto your items if the box is moist.
• These airbags have the potential to pop and take up a lot of room in the package.
• In general, polystyrene ‘peanuts’ provide little protection.
Furthermore, avoid overfilling your box with protective materials since this may have the opposite effect (either bursting or crushing the items or making it difficult for the recipient to unpack safely). It’s also crucial to carefully seal your box to keep it safe and secure, as well as the contents within. Use a strong, robust tape with a width of at least 2 inches, such as pressure-sensitive plastic tape, nylon-reinforced filament tape, or vinyl tape.
Now for the address labels:
Remove any outdated labels that might cause confusion for the couriers and print the address label in the recipient’s country’s format. Using an order and inventory management system can speed up this process and verify that the labels you use are correct. Furthermore, shipping labels should not be put across a seam in the box in case the shipment must be opened during transportation for whatever reason.
If your items are broken and need to be returned at any time during transit, make sure to include a return address and contact information both outside and inside the box. Finally, mark your box as ‘FRAGILE’ since this may prompt the courier to treat your shipment with particular caution.
6. If Required, Provide A Commercial Invoice
A business invoice is a document that includes all pertinent information about the products you’re transporting as well as a customs declaration. It is not normally necessary when exporting to EU nations, but there are certain exceptions, such as special territories such as San Marino and Gibraltar, so double-check. In contrast, all non-EU nations will need the completion of a business invoice.
But why is it there?
You must offer a commercial invoice for the international distribution of products for several reasons:
• Incorrect information can cause delays; thus, having precise information on the invoice can assist prevent delays.
• It guarantees that the appropriate taxes and tariffs are paid on your purchases.
• It’s a necessity under the law.
So, how do you properly fill out a commercial invoice?
You may find downloaded templates online or create your own, but you must include the required information in any case:
• Your postal address
• Address of the recipient
• Code of tariffs
• The products description
• The purpose of export
• Goods’ worth (in the relevant currency)
• Timelines for delivery
• EORI and VAT numbers (can be found at your local HMRC office and are used to identify you to customs as an international trader)
• Your Signature
As an international vendor, meeting these commercial invoice criteria is critical if you want to avoid costly delays in shipping and run a successful online business from another country.
7. Make your international shipping operations more efficient.
Taking your company abroad necessitates more procedures to learn.
There are several new costs to be aware of, as well as information to submit, such as valid and correct client contact and address information. Furthermore, greater data entry increases the possibility of human mistakes, which can cause a slew of problems farther down the supply chain. This is where software for shipment management comes in.
By allowing you to automatically import orders from your multiple marketplaces, such software may avoid input mistakes by automating shipping operations. You can also manage your complete order fulfillment process from start to end from one spot by linking your international shipping carriers with all of your selling channels.
Furthermore, shipping management software enables merchants to obtain the best prices by evaluating bids from a variety of foreign couriers for each sale, allowing you to acquire lower postage while also printing labels precisely and automatically.
Additionally, through a single, centralized dashboard, you can rapidly discover orders and track overseas shipments, helping to optimize your fulfillment processes. With simple access to all of this information, any customs difficulties may be resolved quickly, resulting in a more predictable international shipping experience for both you and your customers. But that’s not all.
By lowering the risk of late deliveries, shipping management software may help you avoid getting banned from markets like Amazon and eBay.
You may also assure quick order fulfillment with automated shipment updates and mass printing of appropriate shipping labels and papers. If that wasn’t enough, you could also save time by using your shipment management system to create custom shipping rules.
These include the ability to allocate orders to places such as fulfillment centers or drop shippers, as well as the automatic allocation of courier services depending on specified variables such as weight, dimensions, order value, channel, destination, and more. Overall, order management software is a solid way to streamline your shipping procedures, which is especially crucial if you want to extend your business internationally and require the infrastructure in place to do so.
8. When Entering a New Market, Use Translation Services
Shipping to new nations throughout the world entails not only learning new rules and regulations but also learning about new cultures. Understanding the cultural nuances of each region into which you grow is critical for a seamless and trouble-free worldwide distribution of your goods. Language hurdles and a lack of cultural expertise, on the other hand, might present roadblocks.
This may be taken care of by using a native translation provider. At the same time, you concentrate on growing your firm internationally. These native services include shipping translations of paperwork, records, phone calls, returns, and refund documents for international transport and freight firms, as well as a number of ports, docks, and trains.
You may be certain that there will be no linguistic misunderstandings during transit, which could cause shipment delays if you choose a native translation service. Furthermore, you’re getting more than just a direct translation; you’re getting a multi-layered service in which numerous highly experienced and trained linguists in your chosen language double-check your papers for grammatical and cultural problems.
In this manner, your desired tone, implication, and emotion may be transmitted in a way that is consistent with your brand. To ensure excellent quality and total correctness, a shipping translation service would often go through four steps of checks and changes from various linguists.
9. Select the Most Appropriate International Shipping Service
There are a few crucial elements to consider while selecting the best international shipping service for your company.
• Costs of shipping
• Services for tracking
• Timelines for delivery
• Pricing assurances
Before you open your doors to the world, take the time to choose a solution that satisfies both your demands as a merchant and your consumers’ expectations.
Consider this: What is essential to them?
It pays to do it right since good delivery alternatives might mean the difference between getting the sale and your clients going elsewhere. You could prefer the support and dependability of a large shipping business like Hermes, Royal Mail, or DPD, which have years of expertise in shipping all over the world.
Larger couriers have higher prices, but you may always try to haggle with them.
Large international couriers, on the other hand, have the advantage of providing a high degree of shipping services, such as door-to-door tracking and price guarantees. For example, you are from China, and you’re evaluating “ How to ship from China to the USA” is something that should also be considered.
Smaller international shipping businesses, on the other hand, may be better equipped to suit your unique demands and at a more affordable price. You may evaluate pricing from a variety of delivery carriers to get the greatest value for your particular purchases using current order fulfillment software.
Using an international freight forwarding firm is another slightly more expensive option. This is when you submit your items to an international freight forwarder’s postal hub, and they handle the rest, including customs preparation and processing, as well as other shipping papers.
Another benefit of employing a freight forwarder is that you’ll only have to deal with one person, and many of them are specialists in import and export, which might come in handy when navigating a new nation. Not only that, but most have excellent local contacts and the capacity to negotiate on your behalf on shipping, haulage, and warehousing prices.
A freight forwarder, on the other hand, may boost your total expenditures while also reducing your control over the details of your cargo. Also, not all forwarders handle every overseas market, so double-check their credentials before using this service.
While this solution may alleviate a number of hassles and make breaking into the worldwide market simpler, it is best suited to sellers with a significant shipping budget since all of the additional services supplied to sellers must be taken into account.
10. Understand the Right Language for Shipment
Our final piece of advice is to be well-versed in shipping jargon. Whatever foreign shipping service you pick, knowing some fundamental terms can help you have more comprehensible talks with couriers and everyone else connected with your package.
Furthermore, having this knowledge allows you to have greater control over the whole transportation process, avoiding unpleasant surprises for both you and your new worldwide consumers.
• Harmonized tariff code – This is a code assigned to each of your items that serve as a description of the item and is necessary when filling out your commercial invoice.
• Commercial invoice – A customs document that includes all pertinent information about your items and is used to calculate duties and taxes for your shipment.
• A certificate of origin is an official document that verifies your shipment’s country of origin.
• Export declaration – A form that gives information on the quantity, nature, and value of your commodities and serves as an export control document when submitted at customs.
• Duties and taxes – Fees levied by the jurisdiction that receives your cargo.
In addition, tariffs and taxes are determined depending on the product’s worth, trade agreements, place of manufacturing, usage, and harmonized system code. It is up to you, the merchant, whether you choose to bear these costs (shipping duty paid) or pass them on to your consumers (delivery duty unpaid).
If you want your consumers to pay for any duties and taxes, make sure they are completely aware that they will be charged once their product arrives.
The potential for company development might be limitless with so many new nations to market to. You might fall flat on your face if you jump too soon and without a well-planned foreign shipping strategy and order management mechanism in place.
We hope that these pointers have given you a better knowledge of what it takes to extend your online business internationally and the actions you should take to ensure that you and your clients have a positive international shipping experience.
If you want to make these tips, better make it into an actual work now, choose the right freight forwarder, and contact Fbabee now!