The combined population of Europe’s 44 countries is over 741 million. That’s a huge market for eCommerce businesses, and a lot of money gets left on the table if you’re not sending packages in that direction. You are literally missing out on an entire continent’s worth of sales! As an internet retailer, your market is the globe — which makes international shipping a must if you want your business to thrive.
So, what’s the best way to go about getting your products from point A to point B? And what are the most important factors to consider? Let’s discuss the ins and outs of international shipping and what you need to know.
Logistics is an important aspect of eCommerce business to address as early as possible. Don't complicate things — there are lots of companies out there that can help make sending packages to Europe as simple as can be. If you’re dropshipping, you’ll need to consider your suppliers' locations before you start browsing services from international shipping companies. Whether you’re packaging and shipping your products in house or your parcels get sent from your suppliers, you should shop around and see which companies offer services that best suit your needs and your budget.
Understanding International Shipping Rates
There are many varying factors that affect international shipping rates — like the origin and destination of the shipment, the delivery method for the parcels, as well as the type of product and relevant duties, tariffs, and taxes imposed. Depending on the “where” in this equation, charges can add up. Consider adjusting the price of your products to help absorb the cost.
Keeping Costs Down
Seek out volume discounts with your shipping company if you can. If you’re not eligible for discounts for your international shipping, you can also partner with a parcel consolidator — like Asendia USA — that can leverage its shipping volumes to save you money. Providers like Asendia USA consolidate packages from multiple shippers into one load that is then sent to the destinations' local Post Office at a volume discount. Etailers that partner with these consolidators gain access to discounts they might otherwise not have the volumes to achieve on their own.
Another simple way to slash costs is to cut down on your product packaging — less packaging means less weight, so you don’t have to pay as much to send your packages to Europe. And remember that many online shoppers will choose longer delivery windows for cheaper rates, so it may be beneficial to forego express shipping — or at least offer a cheaper option to give shoppers more choice.
How Long Does It Take?
Each country has its own set of regulations for receiving international shipments. Depending on all the factors we’ve mentioned above — origin, destination, type of product, etc. — your shipping time will vary.
To prevent any delays, it’s essential that you include the correct paperwork for customs and pay any taxes and duties. Requirements differ by location but the local postal service can often be helpful in finding the right information. A commercial invoice and an export packing list are almost always required regardless of the final destination.
Working with an international shipping provider, like Asendia USA, that offers Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) solutions allows etailers to show their shoppers the fully-landed cost upfront. This way, shoppers have full transparency to what they are being charged and no added delays or surprises at delivery.
Offering your customers a reliable way to track their packages is essential to keeping them coming back. If you want loyal, repeat business, your shoppers have to trust that they will have a good shipping experience — so be sure to choose a shipping partner that can help your customers keep an eye on their orders. Companies like Asendia USA offer fully-integrated tracking with their shipping services, so you can send packages to Europe with peace of mind.
There’s a lot to consider when deciding whether to open up your business to new markets and start sending packages to Europe. It may seem overwhelming, but it’s worth your time! Remember that convenient shipping options are often the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart. Make well-informed decisions and find shipping partners that best suit the needs of your ecommerce business and you’ll be on the fast track to success!
Shipping to Europe and looking for better rates and service options? Contact Asendia USA today to speak with one of our e-Commerce shipping experts!