The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the retail sector. With physical stores closed due to lockdowns, customers have moved their shopping online.
Even as some countries begin to reopen, the trend for e-commerce is set to continue. 49 percent of shoppers admit they will shop more online in the future following the pandemic.
With this online shift, sellers need to think about e-commerce shipping options. That’s especially true when you want to sell internationally.
Read on to learn how to factor for international trade.
Think About Customs Taxes
International shipping takes you into the world of cross-border commerce. Different territories charge import duties on goods coming into the country.
As an example, the EU plans to charge VAT on all imports into the bloc from July 21. Parcels worth less than 22 euros used to be exempt. After July 21, a customer in the EU will need to pay an extra 20 percent for their goods.
There’s nothing you can do about this as an international seller. Yet you can make it a smoother process by making sure your customers know about taxes in advance.
Offer Different Tracking and Insurance Options
Customers want to know their items are covered if anything happens during their shipping journey. They also like to check where their items are when they’re en route.
This cuts down the number of inquiries you might receive about where goods are. Insurance also means you’re not out of pocket if the carrier loses or damages the package. That’s why we recommend that you think about offering tracking and insurance options.
Not all international shipping services offer a tracking facility. So it’s a good idea to offer a range to customers, so they can choose the service that suits their needs.
Factor Speed Into Your E-Commerce Shipping Choice
Buyers choosing international e-commerce know products will take longer than domestic parcels. Yet most customers will still fall into one of two camps.
The first want their item soon and will pay for faster delivery. The second is happier to wait longer and pay less for shipping.
Consider offering a range of options to suit different customers’ preferences. This also means you can follow e-commerce trends. You can offer ‘must-have’ items that customers can have in the shortest amount of time.
Choose the Right Partner
If this sounds overwhelming, then we suggest working with a global freight forwarder. They will work with you to have the right forms for insurance, customs, and tracking.
These companies work with shipping on a daily basis so they’re experts in logistics and regulations. Freight forwarders will become trusted partners in your international business operations.
International Trade Doesn’t Need to Be Hard
Factoring for international trade means getting your e-commerce shipping right. One solution is to offer as many shipping options as possible. That way, customers can self-select and choose what suits their needs.
Another solution is to work with a trusted partner who can streamline the process at your end. This simplifies the processes you’ll need to follow, freeing you up to focus on your customers.
Keen to expand your business empire further? Check out our business articles for more tips and advice.