E-commerce is big business, with more and more people shopping online, and across borders. If you’re considering launching or expanding an e-commerce business, the potential for profits is significant, particularly if you set your business up correctly. One of the aspects to consider is how you set up your shipping.
If you are new to this, shipping is one area that is likely to have you confused. Once you have gone through this article, however, you will have a much better idea of what to do and how to get started.
1. Stay Up To Date With Customs Regulations
Customs laws differ from country to country and may have a significant effect on the final cost of your products. While high customs costs may be pushed on to the customer, this may affect brand positioning—for example, if the product was intended to be a low-end, low-cost alternative to a luxury item, extensive customs charges may push up the price and make it unaffordable for the target market.
2. Do Not Misrepresent The Value Of Your Products
When it comes to shipping, one major potential source of trouble is customs regulations, and one good way of getting into trouble with customs is by deliberately undervaluing your products. If you get caught, which is likely, the penalties may be stiff, depending on the country.
3. Use A Parcel Coordinator
Parcel coordinators are businesses that, thanks to economies of scale, are able to gather small parcels from many different senders, consolidate these in one large parcel, and send them in one with much lower costs. If you will be shipping in large enough quantities to the same countries, you may not need the services of a parcel coordinator.
4. Use Insurance
If you are shipping high-value products or products that have a high chance of sustaining damage, it would be a good idea to consider getting international shipping insurance. These costs will be factored into the final price of the product, so even if you never need the insurance, the expenditure on insurance will not be felt at all.
5. Consider Using Advanced Shipping Software
Modern shipping software helps to simplify many of the most typical challenges that are common with international shipping. The major issue is cost estimation for shipping as studies have found that a high percentage of buyers will not make a purchase without knowing the full costs of the final product.
The delivery value chain will largely depend on the prices charged by the different shipping and logistics companies, and parcel consolidators. Using shipping software with side-by-side rate shopping, your clients will be able to better estimate the full cost of shipping, helping them make up their minds about making a purchase.
A lot can go wrong when you need to ship products to your overseas customers. With proper planning, however, and careful attention to the tips we have provided, you will be well on your way to seamless and profitable cross-border e-commerce.
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