Expanding to International Shipping? Keep These Things in Mind

Not long ago, international trade was limited to giant companies that could handle a network of stores, warehouses and employees from different parts of the world. Today, small and medium businesses have also joined the trade, thanks to e-commerce. It has opened numerous opportunities for businesses of all sizes to trade internationally. At the same time, it is now easy for companies to ship from anywhere in the world. However, even though international shipping is open to all businesses, it requires substantial planning and attention to detail. The convenience of international shipping has also increased competition, making it hard for some small businesses to survive. Nonetheless, following the right track helps businesses succeed on a global scale. Therefore, if you have decided to expand your business to international shipping, here is what you require to succeed.

Check Your Market Feasibility

The first thing you should do when expanding your ventures is to examine how you fit in the market. Examine market feasibility to find out if your products will sell. The study will also help you know the best group to target. A good way of checking market feasibility is talking to the locals in the countries you want to venture in. see what they think about a particular product. Another way is checking how similar products are doing in the market and their demand level. It is also great to use Google to know what shoppers in the countries you are targeting are looking for.

An excellent point to remember is that not all products are ideal for international shipping. If your products are bulky, heavy, or fragile, they may cost more to ship in terms of money and damage. Therefore, it might be best to focus on domestic trade instead.

Investigate Duties and Taxes

Know how duties and taxes work and how much you need to pay to have your goods shipped to other countries. There is paperwork you will need to fill out. Additionally, choosing a carrier is vital. It is crucial to pick a shipping company to deliver your items safely and on time. The best way to ensure you handle the paperwork and duties easily and accurately is by getting a customs broker you can trust. A customs broker will save you time, money, and energy. The expert will ensure you don’t commit customs fraud and don’t have extensive fees.

Check Competition

Another thing you should do during your research is to check the competition. How much effort will you put into entering the market in your target countries? Evaluate the competitors to know how you will outshine them. This is crucial since you will have more expenses than local companies providing similar products. You will need to factor in insurance, duties, shipping fees, currency exchange, etc. to check the quality of your product against that of your competitors. Knowing if you can offer better services than the competitors is also crucial.

Know Your Suppliers

Getting a local supplier for your products is easy. However, in international shipping, additional work is required. You need to evaluate the supply chain and reputation of the supplier. Before you pick a supplier, do thorough research. You can try the supplier first to see if they can provide the speed and quality you need. Suppliers can be the source of a major disaster. Therefore, research before hiring.

Continue Growing Your Domestic Business

As you expand to international shipping, don’t neglect your domestic business. You may be caught up with everything involved in making international shipping work but remember, your domestic business is equally important. So, don’t abandon your local customers. Continue giving them the same quality or even better. You will need a plan on how you will maintain your domestic business as you expand overseas.

Develop a Return Policy

Even if you are selling great products, you will not miss a customer who is not satisfied and may want to return the product. Therefore, you need to create a return policy that works for domestic and international customers. Ensure the policy is clearly stated on the website and if a refund must happen, make the process easy so a customer will order from you again.

Ensure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly

Now that people will need to reach you online, you will need to optimize your website. Ensure the website is mobile-friendly, easy to navigate, and loads fast. Without this, customers will run away no matter how good your products are. You will be servicing customers from different parts of the world. Therefore, your website must incorporate several languages, currencies and payment methods.

Key Takeaways

International shipping can only help you expand your revenue if you do it correctly. Ensure you have the proper backup and don’t neglect your local business. Remember, working with reliable suppliers and a good customs broker is crucial to avoid disasters.