As a business owner, there are a number of things you can do to extend the reach of your business. One great way to accomplish this is to offer your products to the overseas market by offering to ship your products abroad. The immediate advantage of this policy is that you will be opening up the possibility of taking advantage of a customer base that is considerably bigger than the one that you have at home. It also gives you the chance to spread the word about your business and products beyond your existing territory.
Now, taking on the whole world may seem at first a little daunting and challenging, but if you do your research and go about the whole venture in the right way, it could do wonders for you and your business.
6 Things To Think About Before You Ship Your Products Abroad
There are certain steps that you can take in order to make shipping abroad easier for you. While signing up for drop shipping is one viable option, you need to personally make sure that you have solid shipping and receiving systems in place. These are a few of the most important things you need to think about.
1. The Marketing
People do things differently in different countries. Or, to put it another way, what works in your own country will not necessarily work everywhere – or indeed anywhere – else. So, if you’re planning on promoting your goods and/or services to them, you need to make sure you’re doing it in a way they will understand and react positively to. Do your research: see what successful companies in similar markets and territories are doing and try to replicate it. You also need to make sure that what you’re thinking of charging is likely to be on a par with other businesses trading there.
2. The Cost
It’s self evident that sending a parcel to, say, New Zealand or New York is going to cost a lot more than sending it to the New Forest. Make sure you build that cost into your budget when working out how much you’re going to be charging; it’s no good offering the finest products backed up by the cleverest marketing if you make a loss each time you make a sale. And, by the same token, if the cost of shipping your goods immediately makes your prices uncompetitive, you’ll need to stop and think again.
3. The Planning
Getting items delivered to another address in the UK within 48 hours is now standard for many online retailers. Getting them delivered to another continent is inevitably going to take a little longer and requires a lot more planning. Don’t go making promises about how quickly customers will receive their goods without making sure you can make good on them. And there’s also things like customs and export licences to think about; do your homework early to make sure you’re fully compliant.
4. The Delivery
Again, research is crucial. Don’t just choose the couriers who offer you the cheapest price. Find out who is reliable; thanks to the ever-increasing number of online review sites available these days, it’s now fairly easy to quickly establish the reputation of a company. Find out what other business owners’ experiences are:
- Did their courier deliver when they said they would?
- Was the parcel delivered in the same condition that you dispatched it?
- Did the company offer a tracking service?
- If something did go wrong, were they available and easily contacted to put it right?
Problems caused by your courier may not be your fault, but they will reflect on your business. After all, if you’ve waited for a package for two weeks and it arrives damaged, would you be happy? No! Would you order from that site again? Probably not.
5. The Packaging
Whichever means you choose to send your items overseas, the potential for damages is far greater the further they have to go. If you’re sending something that’s fragile or easily damaged, it will have a far better chance of arriving at its destination safely if you choose strong packaging that will protect it en route. And, as postal charges are these days often based as much on size as they are on weight, you also want to ensure you’re using boxes or cartons appropriate to your product. Excess packaging can reflect badly on you, as it may be seen by your customer as bad for the environment and unnecessarily costly. Click here to see a great selection of boxes and cartons perfectly designed for safe and cost effective overseas shipping.
6. The Future
Expanding your interests into overseas markets doesn’t just open up the possibility of huge numbers of new customers; it also gives you the opportunity to develop new contacts and business partners. The longer you trade in another country, the better you’ll come to understand how they operate and the more people you’ll work with there. That kind of experience and inside knowledge could give you a significant advantage over others trying to compete with you. And, of course, everyone loves a winner and success does have a habit of breeding more success; your gains may well attract local entrepreneurs keen to do business with you. Keep an eye out for new opportunities!
A Final Thought About Overseas Shipping
You are the only one who can decide whether shipping your goods and products abroad will be worthwhile for your eCommerce business. There’s a lot to think about and a lot to put in place before getting started, but the dividends could be huge – not just financial, but also the satisfaction of taking on and overcoming a major challenge. If you’ve done your research properly and you still think that the rewards will justify the effort, then go for it!
Do you run an eCommerce business? If so, do you offer to ship your products abroad? If not, why not? We would love to hear from you, so please get in touch below in the comment section.
Image by ‘Daihyun Ji’ [Source]