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Beyond Borders: How International eCommerce Shipping Boosts Your Business

Beyond Borders: How International eCommerce Shipping Boosts Your Business

Just in case you didn’t get the memo, selling goods to other countries — variously known as cross-border eCommerce, global eCommerce, or international eCommerce — is a thing. In fact, it’s a big thing. And that means taking advantage of this booming opportunity means finding ways to make international eCommerce shipping happen as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

How big, you ask? eMarketer, a respected purveyor of market data, estimates international eCommerce sales will surpass $6 trillion in 2024, representing a fifth of all retail. Excluding China, the international market share is 12.4%. Even with growth slipping below previous double-digit levels during the pandemic, global eCommerce sales are projected to reach a staggering $7.96 trillion by 2027. Critically, Statista lists the average order value for global eCommerce at $121 – $9 more than for a domestic sale.

So to say that international eCommerce is a bona fide path to business expansion is an understatement. There are ready markets and millions of eager buyers around the globe. However, the shipping piece requires a good deal of planning, and, ideally, a strong partner well-versed in the intricacies of cross-border logistics.

Engaging in international eCommerce shipping is all about building a global brand. How quickly and accurately you get orders out to global customers will dictate success or failure. Marketing campaigns, brand awareness, and conversions are great, but creating a consistently great delivery experience is how you focus on the long game.

Understanding the Basics of International eCommerce Shipping

Where in the world do you want to go? For many U.S.-based businesses, that means Canada and Mexico, by virtue of proximity and logistics costs. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) has made this easier by encouraging and incentivizing cross-border trade.

Beyond that, many companies look to the rest of the English-speaking world: the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, much of the Caribbean, and a number of countries in Asia and Africa. If you’re able to engage a good translation service, Latin American countries like Brazil, Columbia, Argentina, Chile, and Peru have populations eager to snap up American goods. 

Next, get a handle on the various regulations, customs clearance and international trade laws for each market. You also need to be aware of local import/export restrictions, tax obligations, and product safety and environmental regulations. Failure to do so results in fines and even trade restrictions.

Each package needs correct documentation and labeling to meet all these requirements. This includes the Harmonized System (HS) code to determine the tariff rate, country of origin, value declaration, and an accurate product description to ensure compliance and prevent delays. Nearly all international e-commerce shippers experience paperwork errors, an area where an experienced logistics partner can add tremendous value. 

It’s important to offer shoppers the option of either Duty Delivery Paid (DDP) or Duty Delivery Unpaid (DDU) at checkout. Under DDU, the buyer is responsible for covering import duties and fees upon receipt; DDP means those costs are paid at checkout. Offering both enhances CX by providing shoppers with transparency and control.

Streamlining Logistics

Here are some tips for streamlining the logistics of international eCommerce shipping:

  • Optimize packaging for cost and safety: multi-use packaging solutions ensure product protection and minimize weight to reduce shipping costs.
  • Tracking and managing shipments: use advanced tracking systems for real-time updates and enhanced efficiency.
  • Returns: Implement a clear, accessible returns policy, and establish in-country return centers to streamline the process and reduce costs.
  • Managing customer expectations: be proactive in messaging to set realistic expectations on shipping times and costs, reducing confusion and improving customer satisfaction.

Choosing the Right International eCommerce Shipping Partners

Whew! A lot to digest, right?

Because of the complexity involved, and the difficulty of maintaining consistent excellence in international eCommerce shipping, many companies look to an experienced partner familiar with all the ins and outs. A trusted logistics provider also has the relationships in place to ensure reliable, expeditious deliveries no matter where in the world your customers are.

Have potential partners clearly lay out their service levels, the full costs involved, and their reach. They should also be able to provide references to comparable businesses, to verify performance vs. promises, and the overall experience.

Some key things to look for in a partner:

  • How quickly can you integrate your eCommerce shopping cart with their international shipping platform?
  • How easy is it to print out and use shipping labels for international orders?
  • How are the logistics of order pickup handled?
  • How are packages handled and sorted to prep them for export processing?
  • Do they offer shipping insurance on international eCommerce parcels?  

International eCommerce Shipping: Ceiling Unlimited

There’s never been a better time to jump into international eCommerce shipping, expand your business horizons, and drive new revenue. With shipping volumes down worldwide, carrier pricing is more affordable than it’s been in years, making for a winning combination.

ShipBots, a leading provider of eCommerce fulfillment and logistics services based in the Los Angeles area, offers a streamlined process for international shipping. Expanding your business overseas has never been quicker or easier. ShipBots gives you an intuitive, app-based connection to your checkout cart, integration to your transportation management system (TMS), international label printing, order pickup and consolidation, and professional export processing.

To find out more about the many benefits of a ShipBots partnership for international eCommerce shipping, get a free quote today!

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