You have great products, your website is well designed, you are achieving good rankings on search engines, and you can take international orders. That's great. But equally important is fulfilment and distribution. In fact it can make or break your business.
Research from IMRG shows that the most important issue for an ecommerce customer is that the delivery time is achieved, rather than fast delivery.
So how important is it that you offer international parcel services that provide express delivery? Would your customers prefer a cheaper international parcel service that takes a little longer, but is delivered in the time advertised? Or perhaps you could offer an express courier option and a cheaper international parcel service too, or even just a packet postal service. Let your customer decide.
International parcel services will typically come with insurance and tracking. But you should consider how important this is. This will typically be determined by the cost for these options, the value of the goods, and the country you require international parcel services for.
It can be too easily assumed that a fully tracked international parcel service is the only option; that it is what all of your customers want. Perhaps offering a partially tracked international parcel service would suffice, if the customer can save money. And do you really need to pay a premium for a high insurance option if the item is worth just a few pounds and very few parcels go missing?
If you are concerned about a deluge of customer phone calls if you don't offer tracking, how about partial tracking? A Country-tracked parcel solution will tell you and your shopper when their parcel has left the originating country and arrived in their country, this could suffice and cost little more than a standard postal service.
Of course if you are mailing valuable items or you want to insure against phoney claims for goods not being delivered then choosing international parcel services that come with tracking and insurance makes a lot of sense.
It can be hard to second guess what your customers want when it comes to delivery. What will they pay for international parcel services? How long will they wait for an order? Where will they want their order delivered? What will your returns rate be?...
The solution is to offer a choice of international parcel services in your shopping cart. Provide visibility of the options that are available, the delivery times, and the costs. And remember that a customers need for international parcel services can change day to day; one day they may need your product quickly - perhaps it's a late birthday present - and the next time they may be happy to pay less and wait a few days.
A bad delivery experience can put off a customer from ever buying from you again, and they may tell their friends or post about it on social media too! So only use international parcel services that are tried and tested.
Get details of who makes the delivery and what is behind the marketing. And what about customer service and technology; who do you speak to when you want details about a delivery, and how good is their online tracking system and labeling system?
Asendia enables you to offer a range of international mail and parcel delivery options to your customers. From standard packet-mail products and Country-tracked services, to Fully-tracked parcels and parcel services for Premium-Goods:
Asendia is a partnership between two leading global postal operators, La Poste and Swiss Post, with operations in 15 countries worldwide including four sites in the UK.
About the author
Catherine Jackson is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has been a publishing professional for over 30 years, working in newspapers, magazines, and marketing in the education, retail and travel sectors. She has also worked as a freelance copywriter, editor and proofreader before joining Asendia UK as Content Marketing Executive & Copywriter. Google+