The ecommerce game is changing, and gone are the days where online shoppers would happily pay steep shipping and handling fees and wait patiently for 7-10 business days for their purchases. Consumers today EXPECT fast and free shipping regardless of the challenges of international shipping like additional duties, tariffs, and fees. It can be difficult for ecommerce business owners to rise to the growing demands of their customers and maintain profitability.
Adopting an effective ecommerce shipping strategy is one of the most impactful steps you can take to meet the needs of your clientele and grow your business. There are steps you can take on the front end, and on the back end, to improve the international shipping services you offer and save on expenses. Get creative based on the individual needs of your business.
Your shipping costs will vary depending on the destination of the parcels. Do your research as different countries have different tax and tariff rates. Then, prioritize and target your marketing towards countries that can generate the highest return on your investment after accounting for shipping, tariffs, and duty and tax fees.
Many platforms allow you to set up custom shipping zones with different rates to help balance your costs. Making use of these platforms can be an effective money-saving strategy for international shipping services that lets you adjust your customer’s shipping cost based on their location. This allows you to offer free shipping to customers where it’s affordable for you to do so.
One study from the National Retail Foundation found that 75% of consumers believe that shipping should be free — so when hefty delivery fees are tacked on at checkout, many will abandon ship. That doesn’t mean you have to eat the costs, however. If you raise your prices just enough to cover your expense, you can offer free shipping and lower cart abandonment rates while still maintaining profit margins.
Another way to cut the costs of your international shipping services is to try longer delivery windows. Giving your carrier ample time to deliver your parcels can typically save you money, and customers will usually opt for a longer wait time to avoid expensive shipping. As long as you’re transparent about expected delivery times, your shoppers will be happy for the savings.
Teaming up with a parcel consolidator like Asendia USA can help you control your costs. Shipping parcels internationally can be cost prohibitive if your volumes to each destination country are not significant. Using a consolidator, packages are instead sorted by country and consolidated with other packages at the vendor’s facility where they are then shipped cross-border in volume. Upon arrival, packages go through customs in bulk and are dropped into the local post to be delivered to your customer. This process saves the etailer a great deal of money on international shipping as they can tap into the significant discounts the consolidator receives as a result of their volumes.
After exhausting all of your options to keep your costs down externally, don’t forget to consider internal changes you can make as well. Nothing wastes time and money like inefficient systems -- so quick and accurate order fulfillment is key! The more you can streamline your operations, the less you will have to spend on returning incorrect orders, sending out replacements, and all of the administrative support these processes require. Good organization and operating procedures are crucial to the growth of your business.
Smart strategies can help you overcome any obstacles. Seek out ways to save where you can, leverage your marketing to target the right customers, and find a way to offer them the lowest possible shipping rates to convert leads to sales. Want more information? Check out the international shipping services offered at Asendia USA!