Taking your brand global is a huge step — your market opportunity just grew sizably! However, it can sometimes be a logistical nightmare for the customer experience, especially for new brands just beginning to build their global network.
When brands can pull off the logistics well, their revenue can see exponential growth. When brands do it poorly, well, good luck, Chuck. When packages have to cross oceans, traverse canals, and face heaps of red tape, entirely new obstacles develop that simply don’t exist when sticking to a single region.
And if something happens somewhere between your customer and their package on the other side of the earth, your brand is going to be stuck with the blame. That’s why a successful global expansion for scaling brands is contingent on having the best tools in place to establish trust, keep communication open, and swiftly resolve issues when they happen.
With a solid foundation, your global experience will be practically indistinguishable from the experience customers have locally. Here’s a quick snapshot of how to open up your business to the world while making the customer experience as good as it is locally.
Hurdles with Global Ecommerce and Shipping Experiences
The first thing brands will think of when it comes to global ecommerce is the logistics of getting your products from where you operate across borders, through customs, and into the hands of your international customers.
Items can get backed up in customs, get stuck in transit, get rerouted on an unexpected route, or even encounter unforeseen natural disasters. Items can get lost along the way just as they can for domestic shipping, with the effect being magnified as each package goes through more touchpoints, and it may be worrisome to brand owners. To no one’s surprise, lots can happen when you add thousands of miles on the journey.
This doesn’t even begin to touch on the fact that ecommerce brands still want to stay competitive and offer affordable and fast shipping options to their international customers; you can’t have a $20 product, then charge more than that to ship it around the world. Well, technically you could, but you might not see a ton of shoppers converting.
Benefits and Opportunities of Global Ecommerce
This is not to scare you away from global ecommerce — in fact, it’s the opposite. There are so many pros to globalizing your brand. The first (and most obvious) benefit is that you can expand your reach to new countries and new customers. Cross-border ecommerce is projected to reach $627 billion by 2022 — getting in on the global ecommerce market now can carve out a piece of that pie for your brand.
Choosing the right market and channel for your brand is crucial at this stage. Some consumers have low access to goods in their home countries. Meanwhile, some digital channels are dominant elsewhere — in China, Baidu dominates rather than Google. You need to research where you’re launching so you can start in the right area.
Additionally, brands have the opportunity to offer increased transparency with costs and tracking that other brands don’t with international shipping. You can even take it a step further and offer protection on their items. These are benefits that stores should flaunt on the global digital shelf.
5 Ways Route Makes Going Global Easy Peasy
When tackling a complicated logistical issue such as global ecommerce and global shipping, it’s often best to partner with a brand that already knows what they’re doing. Route helps brands get off the ground with international shipping by offering your overseas customers with the best post-purchase customer experience on the market.
While we help our partners through a multitude of shipping challenges, both domestically and abroad, five big ones are:
- Live updates.
With Route, brands can send push notifications with live updates on where their packages are along the supply chain. This is the fastest way to communicate with your customers in a place they’ll (most likely) already be checking out: their phone. Continuous updates not only puts your customers at ease, but it also builds trust all while reducing the number of inquiries your team has to field asking “Where is my order?” It’s a loyalty-building measure that also saves your squad time and money.
- No need for tracking numbers.
International tracking numbers are notoriously finicky. With Route, customers can track their packages from the app without needing to dig through their emails for tracking numbers and head to third-party sites which may or may not be in their native language. Going to a third-party carrier’s site and trying to navigate and decipher information in another language can be stressful and time-consuming. Plus, odds are good the customer will come knocking on your chat line and asking about order status anyways. With Route, that stress is a thing of the past and the overall customer experience is better because of it.
- Easiest experience, most proactive communication.
Customers experience a seamless journey from checkout through receiving their package at their door. Additionally, they’ll have increased exposure to your brand when you own the post-purchase customer experience instead of leaving this phase of the journey up to a third-party shipper. With Route, you can effectively eliminate time-consuming middlemen and customer interactions that are out of your control or simply don’t reflect your brand.
- Seamlessly report issues if needed.
In an ideal world, every customer will actually receive your products in one piece, every time. Unfortunately, sometimes things do get lost or damaged during shipping—especially when traveling thousands of miles and getting bounced from truck to plane to boat and beyond. With Route, customers can resolve all their issues with the click of a button. Whether their packages get lost, stolen, or delayed on their journey, customers can easily resolve issues on their own. This self-serve model eliminates your tedious workload, but it also provides the fastest resolution to their issues. Instead of trying to wrangle an unhelpful chatbot or sit on hold with bogged down support lines, customers get near-instant assistance and solutions for a best-in-class experience.
- Works across carriers and for any store.
Route has partnerships with all major shipping companies, and any store can add our extension to the checkout experience. There’s no complicated coding or extra hands needed to implement a customer experience for global customers.
Going Global is Easier with Route
While international shipping can be a beast, Route makes it much simpler for brands to take their products global. Don’t get scared off of the international ecommerce market — partner with a platform that makes the process simpler for your and your customers. While sending purchases off to cross the globe can be tricky, it’s also a priceless opportunity to expand your ecommerce brand, scale your revenue, and show customers everywhere that your brand is one they can count on.