E-Commerce & Shipping

How To Get Your E-Commerce Right For International Shipping

Do Thorough Research.

At first glance, some countries just seem like ripe markets, with their affluent citizens and favorable exchange rates. But before any investment is made, it's important that you carry out deeper research.

One of the first questions you must ask is if you are selling products that have a market there in the first place.

  • Do you have any local competition?
  • What price point are they selling at?
  • What's the potential sales revenue?
  • What's the cost of doing business in this region?

A part of this is understanding the norms of the country and how it can affect sales.

  • Are there any cultural or religious taboos?
  • Do colors, shapes, symbols have any special meanings?

Understand Legal Ramifications

Is your product legal to sell and use in the country you are considering?

Just because certain products are sold in the West doesn't mean they'll be accepted in other parts of the world:

Take Dubai for instance. Despite the wealth of the region, strict religious laws forbid the import of certain products.

Since every country has a list of regulations that governs international trade, keeping tabs on all their laws can become a job in itself. Prior knowledge of these laws can help you avoid any delay in customs, or paying hefty fines for violating restrictions.

When they receive goods, international buyers often have to pay additional tariffs, taxes or duties to their customs.

To help them get an idea of the fees they'll incur, add a customs duty calculator to your site (a great example of one is here), so they can calculate how much their Customs will charge.

Don't Miss out on Delivery

With a viable market found, and all systems raring to go, there is only one more thing; can you deliver products to the region?

Shipping internationally will cost you more, but many sellers underestimate just how much more.

Size, weight, distance to the buyer, all these affect the cost of shipping a product. Different companies have different rates, rules, just as the countries differ in their laws too.

The best way to handle any international orders, is to find global delivery partners, carriers who can ship to the destination country. Therefore, find a shipping partner to assist you in navigating the import laws of that country.

To further simplify your operations, hand your delivery over to a full service order fulfillment service.

For fast delivery of your products, a fulfillment service provider can help streamline international orders. They'll take care of everything including warehousing of products, picking, packing and shipping of the purchased items on your behalf.

By choosing a fulfillment partner with a warehouse location close to your target country, you can even ship your orders faster in that country. This, in turn, means you can compete more favorably with local retailers.

International eCommerce is a goldmine waiting to be tapped. Don't let small obstacles like a language barrier or shipping costs stop you from taking advantage.

Sellers must carry out their research as outlined above, take the steps needed to protect their business, and focus on satisfying their international customers too.

Sure, international shipping is much trickier than selling within your borders, but it also exposes your business to a larger market and higher profits.