International shipping isn’t just an essential part of an eCommerce business operating in the digital and global consumer markets. It’s an essential part of its success too.
The number of international shipments surpassed 131 billion in 2020. According to the Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index, this number is expected to reach a whopping 266 billion in less than six years. Thankfully, according to the International Chamber of Shipping, more than 50,000 merchant vessels are operating 24*7 in the oceans to ship your products to your customer’s door. To successfully execute the logistics behind the madness of these numbers, you need an experienced courier partner that can streamline your logistical needs.
For SMEs looking to commence shipping internationally or have already started shipping internationally but are looking for ways to make the process more efficient, this is a guide to go by.
Factors to Consider before Shipping an International Courier
Selection of What you can Ship and Where to
Very common and expensive mistakes many new online retailers make are:
- Shipping products that aren’t permitted to be shipped internationally
- Selling a product to a nation where it is unauthorized to be sold
Understand that products that aren’t permitted will be confiscated or destroyed. You may lose the trust of your customer plus face monetary loss.
To avoid such a condition you’ll first need to learn the following 3 things before going global-
- Which goods are banned in which countries
- Which products require special licenses or certifications
- Which items need to be exported with special customs documentation
Prepare the Packages for the Pressures of International Shipping
Analyzing how protected your goods are throughout the journey is very important. The safe arrival of the products is a key to customer satisfaction and the ultimate decision to make a repeat purchase.
Some general rules to keep in mind for preparing the packages:
- Invest in double-walled or reinforced parcel boxes
- Ensure fragile goods are labeled
- Use packing peanuts or air cushions to fill the space in parcel boxes
- Consider using the box-in-box packing method
- Ensure that the box edges are taped using the H-taping method
Figure Out Your Dimensions
Several aspects can affect your package’s weight and dimensions.
- How heavy is your package?
- Is it durable in terms of how much pressure it can withstand?
- Does it need to be palletized?
Doing the math behind the most important numerical goals of your international shipping strategy is critical. Without it, you can’t make sound decisions that will improve your efficiency, increase customer satisfaction and ensure a successful business.
A balance must be struck between the value of your product and its cost of transportation. You can use these dimensions to help determine what courier services to use, which shipping companies to go with and which warehouses to staff.
Get Shipping Insurance
Despite your best efforts, there’s still a chance for packages to get lost, misplaced, or damaged during transit.
If this makes you worried, perhaps you should consider getting international shipping insurance. Regardless of how the damage or loss occurred, shipping insurance can help you from monetarily losses by reimbursing up to the entire package value, plus freight.
But before you decide to opt for shipping insurance, there are certain things that you need to keep an eye on. Businesses need to make sure that you are properly covered with the right type of insurance based on your preferences and budget.
Purchasing shipping insurance provides peace of mind and removes the burden of replacement costs.
Check all the Documentation Needed
International shipping documentation is an integral part of any international trade. Effective paperwork protects both your business and its customers. Before shipping your products out of the country, we recommend you gather all the required documentation before exporting to help ensure smooth and secure delivery.
Shipping your package to the buyer is covered by the terms of sale, so an invoice that mirrors the information on a shipping label keeps you in good legal standing. The largest courier service partners such as NimbusPost offer reliable shipping services to suit all budgets and business needs.
Communicate with your Customers
If you want your customers to be happy with your service or product, you must communicate honestly and clearly.
To deliver great customer service around the world, you need to communicate realistic estimates of shipping costs and timelines. Customers will be more understanding of these factors if they know them upfront. Plus, if you opt for NimbusPost, a trusted and fast shipping partner for international shipping from UK, your can expect your shipments to reach the customers in time.
International returns can be a nightmare for the customer and the business. Ensuring that the policy you have in place for international shoppers is clear, robust, and well-communicated is absolutely essential.
You should display shipping costs for the convenience of your customers. By displaying all the costs in the local currency of their country, you won’t risk losing customers by showing them a large exchange rate or currency conversion during checkout. You can display prices in many currencies for your products.
Make your eCommerce international shipments, returns, and order tracking a slam dunk by following our tips and choosing the best shipping companies.
Worried about shipping costs? Got questions about freight rates, international customs documentation, or any other shipping concerns? Contact NimbusPost to get help saving money on shipping and navigating refunds, cost breakdowns, and more.