International e-commerce shipping strategy best practice

01 September, 2021

E-Commerce

Working out your shipping strategy to the new markets you’ve identified is of prime importance if you’re going to make a genuine impact.

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Of course, there are multiple things you’ll need to consider but where to start? Here’s a few tips to help.

What are your objectives?
You’ve chosen to target some new territories across the globe but what are you hoping to get out of this. Is it simple expansion, are you looking to increase your profit quickly or more gradually? Are you just putting out feelers to see how things play out? Whatever your reason, make sure your shipping strategy supports your objectives.

Is shipping an incentive to buy?
Ecommerce platform Flow found recently that high shipping costs were the reason for 47% of customers abandoning their cart, with 32% saying lack of free shipping was a reason. With this in mind, are you going to cover the costs of shipping wholly or partially to attract customers? You need to make sure that shipping, wherever it may be to, isn’t cost prohibitive.

Will you provide fast delivery where possible?
Another key incentive for international shipping is speed of delivery. Of course, you can only go as fast as modern transportation allows but the faster your delivery the greater the cost. Giving your customers plenty of options will help them decide what they’re willing to pay versus how fast they want their purchase. Work with your international parcel shipping company to see how you might be able to reduce costs without slowing deliveries down.

Green credentials
Not only do you need to be sure that your customers get their purchases safe and sound, but you also need to consider the environmental impact of your shipping too. With customers becoming more and more environmentally conscious, you need to think about how your shipping strategy underpins your own green credentials. Avoiding single use plastics and increasing recyclable materials in your packaging and offsetting your shipping carbon footprint, could all be good marketing tools and incentives for someone to shop with you.

Offer plenty of options
First class, second class, next day, shipping is historically about how long someone is prepared to wait for their package. But modern shoppers demand more, so think about how you could give them even more choice and save themselves (and you) some money in the long run.

You could offer flat rate shipping, regardless of cost, or free shipping when an order hits a certain total. Maybe you’ll offer shipping based on distance, this is called Table Rate Shipping, and gives people closer to where our stock is stored cheaper options. This could be particularly useful if you use a fulfilment centre based overseas.

You may also consider offering live rates shipping based on a courier’s fluctuating daily price, or you may offer a mixture of all of the above. You might even drop your shipping costs completely for a short period as a marketing tool. Either way, make sure the cost is clear, easy to manage with your eCommerce platform and is financially viable.

Like with anything, getting these ideas down on paper and agreed before you start will mean you can hit the ground running when you launch into your new market. Don’t forget to also call on companies like Asendia, who have years of experience in international shipping, for advice and support too..


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We handle the fulfilment and shipping of international orders for some of the biggest etail brands in the world and hundreds of smaller online stores too. 

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