It’s no surprise that e-commerce businesses are gaining in popularity at a rapid pace these days. People shop online because it’s more simple and convenient for them to obtain what they need via the Internet. What’s more, with such a high demand, many e-commerce stores began to operate internationally and deliver their products and services to consumers worldwide.
That being said, handling international trade is quite difficult for every e-commerce business owner, especially since consumers expect their purchases to be delivered intact and in a timely manner. Businesses need to take care of shipping and customs, as well as have a well-designed logistics plan in place in order to ensure swift delivery of product overseas and their customers’ satisfaction. In addition, businesses must meet customers’ expectations if they want to earn their trust and remain competitive on the market. Here are a few ways to make your shipping operations more efficient.
Develop a shipping strategy
Exporting goods to various countries around the globe is quite challenging. You must prepare in advance and familiarize yourself with the entire process before you can start shipping goods. That includes assessing the demand for international trade, you own capabilities to store, pack and transport goods to certain locations, and most importantly, laws and regulations relating to the export of goods.
Moreover, to make shipping more efficient, you must have an export strategy in place, which also involves assessing the costs of export, as well as an increase in demand for seasonal swings. You must also research the market you wish to export to. This is particularly important because the amount of money consumers are willing to pay for your products and services will vary depending on the market and country. In addition, your competitors will have different prices for products and services based on the market, which you must consider before setting your own prices.
Set up a logistics plan
The key to efficient shipping is having a well-developed logistics plan prepared. Simply put, the whole shipping process from your warehouse to your customers must be seamless. That means that you’ll need adequate storage space, carrier transportation from warehouse to the point of departure, all the way to your customers, customs clearings, and so on. Setting up logistics can be expensive and time-consuming, but you can always get assistance from professionals.
For instance, reliable Sidney freight services can aid you in setting up logistics for transportation via sea or air. You must also consider taxes, insurances, customs clearance and brokerage fees as well. That way, you can have both the paperwork and logistics set up upfront, so you can be confident that your shipping process is efficient and smooth.
Luckily, technology can in many ways help streamline the shipping process. Moreover, a lot of processes related to the shipping itself can be automated, which can help you save time, money and improve the efficiency of the entire process. For instance, you can automate order processing so that the right carrier, packaging, labeling and documentation is prepared in advance as soon as the checkout process in a shopping cart is completed. Moreover, you can predetermine the packaging, weight and dimensions for specific products alongside the insurance for each package. What’s more, you can automate the notifications for consumers, so that they can track the status of their order at any time, without calling support. Automating processes can help you avoid doing repetitive tasks manually and save time so that you can focus on other shipping aspects. In addition, automation can help you process more orders and make shipping process a lot more efficient.
Choose your carriers
Once you established a plan for international shipping, you’ll have to ensure you can deliver products to your customers. Carrier services that operate globally can help you do just that. It’s important to remember that each carrier vendor, such as UPS, FedEx, DHL and others, have their unique fees, services and rates. Moreover, some customers will want you to deliver product via a specific carrier.
That’s why it’s important to research your options in order to ensure affordable and timely service. This is especially important if you’re running a small e-commerce business and you don’t have your own carriers for international delivery of goods. Furthermore, you must also consider carriers that can aid you in special deliveries, such as 3-day by air or same-day deliveries.
Also, make sure you determine when they pick up packages, what kind of paperwork is required and so on. Once you’ve determined what’s best for your business, as well as for your customers, you can plan out collaboration with carriers that will improve your shipping process and make it more efficient.
International shipping can be a difficult challenge for every e-commerce business. Not only should you ensure that products are properly stored, transported and delivered, but you must also obtain licenses, insurance and clearances to transport your goods. What’s more, customers expect their goods to be delivered on time so that they would be willing to do business with you again. That’s why it’s essential to have a great plan and be well organized before you start shipping overseas.