E-commerce: International Shipping
In only three years, global B2C online sales have doubled, reaching over $4 trillion in 2020. Going international is a great opportunity to access a larger market and increase profits but it is a complex process that need to be prepared. In this article we will give you the basis to start your research on international shipping!
The most important thing is to do a lot of research and to be prepared in order to know where you are going. First of all you need to do the same market research you did in your country or region for each of the country or region you are targeting. Make research on your product, see if it answer to a particular need also in the other places, make research on local competition for each destination, and get to know who you are going to target there. Your target and communication can be different according the different countries in which you want to be present. Very important, you have to check if your products are adequate to the norms and cultural differences of each destinations, even such details as colours, shapes or symbols.
Different countries have different laws that you should be aware of, in order to avoid any delay in customs, or to avoid paying hefty fines for violating restrictions. Another very crucial technical aspect of international shipping concerns the payment methods. We often assume that we all use the same payment methods but it is a big mistake. Some countries, such as France or the UK, prefer paying by credit cards, while other countries, such as the Netherlands of Belgium less than 15% of online shoppers use credit cards. Germans prefer to pay via bank transfers and Chinese prefer paying via Alipay or WeChat Pay. Being aware of this, allows you to make available all the needed payment methods, so you don’t lose potential customers.
Cost of delivering
Finally, you need to evaluate the different costs of delivering in the different region of the world. The best way to deal with any international orders, is to find global delivery partners to help you shipping and navigating the import laws of a particular country. What’s more you can also evaluate the possibility of finding a full service order fulfilment service, which takes care also of the warehousing of products. If the warehouse is situated in a location close to your target country, it can be a major advantage to be able to compete with local competitors.
In order to go international successfully, you have to assess in advance how much revenue you going to make for each destination and what will be the cost of doing business in each of these regions. Only then, you will be able to select the right area in which you want to do business in. The more you will be prepared and higher will be your chances to be successful!