Cross-Border Shipping: Create a Successful International E-commerce Strategy
E-commerce is a reoccurring topic in our blog, and this time we want to tell about a way of bringing your e-commerce business to the next level. When you have a successful business in your home country and are looking for ways to expand, cross-border shipping is the thing you should consider. Although it can be scary, as it has its own pitfalls, cross-border delivery can be beneficial for the growth of your business.
What is cross-border shipping?
There are two main options when you plan to sell goods outside of the home country:
- Set up a distribution network in the country you plan to expand to. It includes renting warehouses and managing fleets to deliver your goods.
- Implement cross-border shipping, which is the process of transporting goods from the home country to the country of destination – in the case of e-commerce, it is where the buyer is located.
Advantages of cross-border shipping
You may wonder if cross-border shipping is worth the shot. Can it really help the growth of your business? Here are some of the advantages of cross-border delivery for you to consider.
- Bringing you to the new markets.
- Expanding audience reach.
- No need for physical presence.
When you decide to ship abroad, new markets and opportunities open up. Cross-border shipping increases your brand awareness and has the potential to boost your sales, as it gets rid of the barrier between your company and the customers in another country. Another advantage is that different markets have different product demands, which allows you to broaden your product list.
You may have products that customers don’t have in their own countries, or have lower prices for them. If your company has the option of cross-border delivery, interested customers will find you, but not having this option closes the opportunities. And considering that nowadays you can ship literally everywhere, it expands your audience reach pretty much to the whole world.
With cross-border shipping, you can manage your whole business inside your own country, which makes things easier. This approach is also more cost-efficient, as you don’t have additional expenses for the warehouse in another country. And if you partner with a cross-border delivery service provider, the costs will be even lower.
As for marketing, you can use online advertising to promote your shop in the countries you are interested in.
The first steps to develop a successful cross-border e-commerce strategy
Before doing such a major step of going abroad, you need to develop a strategy, so the process would go smoothly and bring you profit.
- Choose your market and products
- Analyze your competitors
- Test the market
- Localize the content of your e-commerce shop
- Choose the right carriers
- Learn about customs and duties
- Have a clear return policy
- Provide with different payment options
It’s up to you how to choose the market. Whether you want to start somewhere close to your country or research the demand for your products and start where it’s the highest. To understand the demand, you can take look at your store’s analytics: maybe you have traffic from a specific country.
To choose the product, consider not only the demand but also country or territory regulations. Some countries require special licenses to sell specific products, or they might be even illegal. Shipping companies also have restrictions due to the potential danger of some items, or their higher needs during shipping.
Whether they are local or international, identifying your competitors is an important step, as plenty of factors of your strategy depend on them. Pricing of your product should be more profitable for customers than competitors’, or at least similar. Look through the descriptions of their goods, as they may contain some local keywords.
It’s better to test the new market before going there at full capacity. You can start with bringing only a few products to the market. This way if something goes wrong or the market proves itself unprofitable, you can withdraw your cross-border shipping strategy without huge losses. It also gives you more insights into the market.
The content should be relevant to your customers, including product descriptions, measurements, and prices. If the country you chose for cross-border shipping has a different language from your country, you should translate the content accordingly, otherwise the potential customers simply won’t find it, as they will use different keyword searches.
Do the research and compare prices, terms of delivery, availability of insurance and tracking. It would be best if you chose not one option, but a few of them. This way the customers could decide for themselves, whether they want fast and expensive shipping or they are willing to wait to pay less.
Consider that you might need to pay an extra cost, depending on the product qualities, value, and the regulations of the destination country, as well as yours. You can price your products taking into account these extra costs.
Not every customer will be satisfied with your goods, no matter how thoroughly you choose them. You must have a simple and clear return policy, which should be displayed on your website permanently in quick access.
Customers in different countries might prefer different payment methods. The preferences also vary from person to person. Customer comfort and satisfaction should be your top priority.
Cross-border shipping will also benefit from software solutions, which can bring visibility and optimize the processes. Coreteka has extensive experience with logistics and e-commerce, creating useful solutions for our clients.
Contact us to start your e-commerce cross-border shipping journey with Coreteka!