International delivery has fast become a regular feature offered by many global brands. The price is mostly affected by what you're sending and the destination it's headed to. With some products, there may be extra steps that need to be taken and packaging requirements that need to be met – not to mention the paperwork involved in getting specific goods across some borders.
By partnering up with experienced international couriers, businesses of all sizes are now able to reach markets which may have seemed inaccessible in the past. Naturally, you may be concerned about price and how much of it should be passed onto the customer if it significantly affects your profit.
To help you, we're going to outline all the factors that influence international delivery so that you can make an informed decision about your cross-border trade venture.
Taxes and customs
Each country operates by its own laws and regulations when it comes to letting goods into its territory. Taxes and duties are likely to be due, and it is often the case that a local customs charge (relative to the threshold in that country) will fall to your buyer. It's essential to thoroughly investigate those figures so that you can calculate whether your particular product will be saleable in this region.
The type of packaging you choose
Some goods will need to adhere to strict packaging standards; this may add a significant mark up to the shipment, particularly if the packaging adds to the weight and size of the parcel.
In other instances, it may be more of a challenge to try and adequately protect your products without going overboard on packaging materials. Excess cardboard and padding will only add to the bulkiness of the item, and, as a result, its overall cost to ship.
When you outsource your fulfilment, however, your partner should be able to suggest the most suitable and cost-effective packaging solution for your product. It's undoubtedly an essential element to review when selecting a third-party order fulfilment partner.
DIM, or dimensional weight, is a pricing tool that couriers use to price packages – it means that the cubic size of the parcel is divided by a set DIM factor, this number then being compared to the package's actual weight. The larger of the two numbers is used to formulate the price. Your fulfilment partner should have the expertise to help you avoid creating empty space in your parcels which may result in unnecessarily inflated prices.
When it comes to international ecommerce, customers want reassurance. Reputable order fulfilment providers will offer comprehensive insurance in the event of theft or damage to goods. This is a serious consideration when sending goods internationally and one that most customers will have when making a final purchasing decision – particularly if they've never bought from you before.
Premium vs Budget delivery options
Customers who are accustomed to purchasing goods online domestically may expect features that allow them to track their orders or expedite their deliveries – the same as they would with a local company. Enabling these kinds of capabilities is likely to add to the cost and require you to build tools into your ecommerce platform to facilitate this.
Alternatively, customers may be happy to wait a little longer and pay a little less for the shipment; this means that you need to partner with a courier that offers this kind of flexibility.
For many cross-border sellers, it makes sense to use warehouses in the region they are shipping to. This means that you pay a one-off fee for stocking up your goods in bulk instead of having an individual charge for each package you send from your own domestic location.
If you do decide to use a warehouse, however, the management of your inventory and the use of the facility will have to be added to the bill.
Alternatively, you may use a third-party order fulfilment partner who will take over the entire process. Again, this is a fee you will have to include to your cost.
Ocean or air freight
Airfreight may be the logical choice when you are branching out into a new market and need to get things to their destination quickly. Over time, however, it may be cheaper to use ocean freight for regular shipments. Keep this in mind that your market entry prices may be hiked up due to the use of express freight.
When you work with a courier or order fulfilment partner who is knowledgeable and experienced in transporting and delivering your goods to the global destinations you are targeting, you can rest assured that you are getting an excellent deal on your shipments and giving yourself a headstart in the new market you are exploring.
If you've got any questions about how Asendia can help you with your international delivery needs, don't hesitate to give us a call. We'll create a no-obligation quote and discuss all the features and benefits of using our trusted service.