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5 Tips For Building A Successful International Shipping Strategy

by Olufisayo
International Shipping Strategy

If you’re an entrepreneur with a growing e-commerce business, chances are you’ve thought about shipping internationally. After all, there’s a whole world of potential customers out there! But developing a solid international shipping strategy is important before you tap into new markets. Here are five tips to help you get started:

Find Out Which Countries to Ship to

Before you start shipping abroad, it’s important to research and find out which countries you can ship to and what the restrictions are. Different countries have different rules and regulations regarding importing goods, so it’s important to be familiar with your target market(s) requirements. If you’re not sure where to start, you can narrow it down based on the following:

Starting Small and Close to Home: By keeping your final destination close to home, you can set realistic expectations around delivery times and rates. Starting small also allows you to gain first-hand experience with international shipping and get more comfortable before jumping into more complicated markets.

Research Popular Shipping Routes: This is done to determine which countries are most commonly serviced by your carrier and determine the estimated delivery times. This will help you avoid any surprises when it comes to transit times.

Track Current Demand: Check your shop’s traffic analytics and see which markets or countries are already visiting your online store. You can also gauge interest by direct consumer requests to sell to their market. Repeat visits or high traffic could show interest in your products or offerings.

Research Carrier Options and Rates: This will help you to determine the best carriers for your budget and needs. You’ll also want to look into any customs or duties fees associated with each country, as this can significantly affect overall expenses.

Develop Relationships with International Shipping Partners

Once you know which countries you want to ship to, it’s time to find reliable international shipping partners. These companies will help get your products from Point A to Point B-and they’ll be a crucial part of your success. Here’s how you can start:

Find Local Partners: Look for companies with local offices in the countries you want to ship to. These partners will know the market better and be able to provide more cost-effective solutions. For example, local courier delivery to the Philippines offers services such as motorcycle and same-day delivery, making getting your products to the customer easier.

Read Reviews: Ask around and read reviews of international shipping companies so you can find a reliable partner. This will help ensure your shipments get there safely and on time. A trusted partner is invaluable when it comes to international shipping.

Look for Specialized Shipping Options: Some carriers offer specialized international shipping options tailored specifically to certain markets. For example, some offer express shipping for urgent packages and low-cost options for large shipments.

Be sure to vet your options carefully and choose partners with experience shipping to your target countries that offer competitive rates.

Incorporate Foreign Language Capabilities into Your Website.

If you’re selling internationally, it’s important to ensure that your website is accessible to speakers of other languages. After all, you’ll want potential customers in other countries to easily navigate your site and understand your product offerings. One way to do this is by using automatic translation services like Google Translate or DeepL. These services aren’t always 100% accurate, so it’s still a good idea to have someone who speaks the language(s) fluently review your translated site.

Use Culturally-Sensitive Marketing Materials

When marketing your products abroad, use materials sensitive to the cultural norms of your target country or region. What might be considered an innocent mistake in one country could offend people in another. For example, avoid provocative marketing for your customers in the UAE, as it could be seen as offensive. To ensure that your materials are culturally appropriate, consider working with a native speaker of your target language. Be careful when using buzzwords or slang, as they can be easily misunderstood.

Be Prepared for Returns and Exchanges

Last, preparing is important because only some shipments will go off without a hitch. There will inevitably be some returns and exchanges. When planning your international shipping strategy, ensure you have a process for handling these inevitable hiccups. This includes clear instructions for customers on returning or exchanging items they’re not happy with. Customers must clearly understand the process before they purchase, and it should be easy for them to follow.

Following these tips will help you get started with international shipping. Of course, it’s important to take the time to research the specific rules and regulations for each country to ensure your shipments are compliant. With some knowledge and planning, you’ll be able to expand confidently into new markets on an international scale. Good luck!

Photo by Anja Bauermann on Unsplash

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