In the e-commerce industry, a cross border occurs when the merchant and the customer are present in two different countries.
Although cross-border international shipping is simple, the logistics of selling internationally can be overwhelming when you get involved in international waters.
Thus, if you are ready to sell your products worldwide, consider many restrictions and regulations from various customs and the work involved with shipping and storing the products.
Extensive online visibility has made it possible to connect with different customers, regardless of where they are present on Earth. With the physical stores, you have to depend highly on the signage and limited local customers. But now, e-commerce businesses and online retailers can approach customers worldwide by creating a robust cross-border shipping strategy.
Thus, if your website is already receiving international web traffic, it is time to create a solid strategy for cross-border shipping and deliver the products to potential clients.
So, by selling internationally, you can improve your conversion rates, customer satisfaction, and more. You can accomplish all these by navigating the international market and learning the best practices for cross-border e-commerce and international shipping.
Why do you need cross-border E-commerce?
Online businesses are rapidly expanding their global reach in today's world. Ensuring that the rewritten text is free from any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors is essential. If you are not selling your products to potential customers beyond the borders, you are missing huge money for your business.
Selling internationally has several benefits: it helps in business growth, improves the profit margin, creates immense demand from foreign customers, and lessens regional competition. Besides these, cross-border shipping also offers the following advantages to online businesses.
Extended market reach
It is one of the most obvious pros of cross-border international shipping. It helps the online brands to access and expand into the untapped markets. Regardless of how much your business sells domestically, expanding the brand beyond the borders will double your base of potential customers.
High brand visibility
Brand visibility and awareness are vital for any business's long-term success. Any regional e-commerce brand can become international by successfully imprinting and acquiring cross-border shipping. Extending your business internationally can create brand awareness and highlight your products’ real capabilities.
Competition among businesses compels them to find benefits whenever and wherever they can. Thus, expanding into foreign markets is the best opportunity for new and growing businesses to defeat their local rivalries. Because if you do not, one day, your competitor will surely.
Thus, become the first company in your niche to move into the international borders and gain the first-mover benefit. It will help you to create a high brand presence with numerous international customers.
Boost the sales
Cross-border product selling will open up new opportunities and markets for your business. It will result in increased sales, higher profits, and improved revenue. Every new international country you expand into will include a new client base. It will provide new directions for higher product demand and business growth.
How do you start cross-border international shipping?
If you want to extend your reach to international customers and increase online sales with the help of cross borders, first, you have to recognize your niche market. In this aspect, you have to consider two questions:
- Which customers want your product the most?
- What will you be doing to reach them?
Requests for international shipping and inquiries from online clients might have already started to give you important clues that it is now time to start cross-border services.
You can be sure about it by checking out your website analytics to analyze which countries you get the most visits. If you have high traffic from those countries where you are not selling your products, you miss out on a vast sales and revenue opportunity.
When it comes to cross-border international and e-commerce shipping, decide if you want to ship globally or in some countries. Suppose you are interested in engaging in some specific country with international shipping.
In that case, you should research the taxes, payment options, customs duties, laws, local currency, and a third-party logistic partner operating in those areas. If you want to ship globally, the research work will be overwhelming. But the most important part is to search for a shipping partner who can handle large logistics.
Complexities of Cross-Border E-Commerce and International Shipping
Online shopping is easy for customers, but fulfilling those orders and delivering them internationally involves many complexities. Merchants offering cross-border internal shipping have to handle everything from calculating the tariffs to the customs forms.
Thus, most online business owners need to learn to take care of everything while branching out their brands. The challenges that cross-border e-commerce and international shipping include:
Cross-border shipping comes with an enhanced cost and needs extra planning, but it can cause high growth with the appropriate shipping partners and strategies. Expensive shipping charges, additional fees, and taxes might lead to card abandonment.
Regulations and restrictions
Technology might have blurred the geographical marketplace, but the borders are still present physically. Thus, creating a one-size-fits-all strategy for cross-border shipping is exceptionally challenging. You should know all the required documentation, custom duties, and labeling necessities.
For example, Canada prohibits shipping any explosive, flammable, dangerous, or radioactive products weighing more than 66 pounds. The country also includes strict guidelines on packaging and labeling. Thus, if your shipment does not match their guidelines, your product will be sent to the non-mailable segment.
Similarly, beauty products like perfume, nail polish, or anything containing aerosol will be restricted in the USA.
Thus, it is vital to understand all the cross-border complexities for particular products you are selling to save a lot of time and hassle afterward. Hiring the most appropriate cross-border international shipping partner can become easier.
Many countries have strict regulations regarding the proper documentation of the products. The documentation required is dependent on the source and destination countries.
Having your product shipment caught or confiscated by customs is time-consuming and expensive. It can also lead to horrible customer service, hampering your brand’s reputation. International shipping of any products between two countries usually requires the documents below.
- A lading bill listing the products that are shipped containing information about the size and weight of the product with the proper contact number
- Shipment invoice
- Signed delivery proof confirming that the shipment has been received as expected
- Commercial invoice with in-detailed shipment information
- NAFTA origin certificate for regulation compliance
Partnering with reputed cross-border shipping carriers
If you plan to extend the e-commerce strategies across borders, you will need a reputed cross-border shipping partner who will take care of all your headaches in the foreign country. If not partnered with a good cross-border carrier, your products and brand might be in jeopardy in an unknown country.
Best strategies for Cross Border e-Commerce and International shipping
There are varieties of strategically viable options to streamline the cross-border shipping process. Let us closely examine some of them one by one below.
Brushing up the customs regulations and laws
Expanding your business globally requires attention to custom fees, regulations, restrictions for prohibited items, e-commerce laws, customized fees, and many others.
Knowing all these in advance will protect your reputation and accomplish great customer service. The laws also prevent fraud, customer data leakage, and identity threats.
It safeguards online customers from misleading data collection and advertising practices, particularly applicable to children.
So, learn more about the rules and regulations of the country your product is shipping to before collecting data from the customer. Understanding these laws and restrictions will help you to branch out your business to the targeted country.
Importing custom duties and taxes
International cross-border shipping means paying taxes or tariffs on product shipments. The custom taxes or duties include:
DDP – Delivery Duty Paid shipping is the fees and taxes associated with the paid shipment at the checkout. With DDP fully paid, the customers can receive their orders within no time.
DDU – Delivery Duty Unpaid shipping means the recipient will be responsible for the fees and taxes when the product shipment enters the destination country.
Exchange rates can make it tough to set up a strategy for competitive pricing. You should set up a pricing strategy to help potential customers understand the product price in their currency.
It will make the clients aware of the actual product price and will not be surprised when they receive it. It will lead to outstanding customer experience, further resulting in more product recommendations by them.
A customer might not like the product, or the product might reach them in damaged condition during cross-border shipping. Thus, you should partner with an efficient shipping agency that will easily handle all the impact and hurdles of product return.
Also, ensure to package the product safely so the customers will receive them undamaged. It will also save the additional cost of returns.
Optimizing the shipping charges
Eliminate all the pain points of international product purchases for the customers by offering them different shipping alternatives.
Some customers might wait for their product and pay less shipping costs, while others might be in a hurry and never mind paying some additional bucks for the on-time delivery across the borders.
Team up with an efficient cross-border shipping partner
An efficient and leading cross-border shipping partner will remove all the tensions related to international brand expansion. They will act as a record importer for the customer product, expedite it through customs clearance, and manage all related services.
They will also handle the entire paperwork and taxes. Thus, you do not have to appoint additional tax specialists and accountants for the job. Finally, your cross-border customers will be happy and completely satisfied like the domestic ones.
Have a trustworthy tracking system.
Set up an automated tracking system for cross-border shipping. It will allow you and the customer to know the exact location of the product and help you know any operational delay. So, partner with a reliable cross-border shipping company that immediately provides an automatic tracking system.
Partnering with a reliable 3PL service
A business dealing with cross-border e-commerce and international shipping knows how challenging and complex the procedure can be. But you can ease all your tension and stress by partnering with a reliable 3PL (Third Party Logistics) service.
By partnering with a trustworthy and reputed 3PL company, you do not have to handle all the international logistics and fulfillment alone. The company specializes in these services, thus saving you time. Finally, you can concentrate on other pressing business matters, like building customer relationships.
Managing business growth can be challenging, but grabbing new expansion opportunities is vital for continued success. As technology delivers the entire world to our fingertips, the capability of serving a larger market will be more critical than defining the e-commerce strategy.
But you can fulfill the demand for cross-border international shipping by overcoming all the challenges and implementing the best strategies to deliver the product globally. Thus, find the best cross-border partner and start shipping your products to international customers.