Ireland is a key market for many UK e-commerce businesses. Physical proximity and similar consumer characteristics make it an easy next step for those looking to find a new audience. If you’re keen to find a foothold here then there are some simple steps to get started sending parcels to Ireland.
Sending parcels to Ireland is fairly simple but there are some key basics to bear in mind:
- Addressing parcels. Since 2015, Ireland has had a new seven digit postcode system. The postcode should appear in the second from last line of the address above the destination word “IRELAND.”
- Customs. There are no customs duties to pay for sending parcels to Ireland from another EU country and no specific paperwork is required. There are some exceptions to this, including the Channel Islands and Gibraltar.
- Prohibited and restricted items. The usual prohibitions and restrictions apply when sending a parcel to Ireland, including prohibitions on live animals and narcotics and restrictions on cash and passports.
- Should you charge for shipping? Free shipping can influence customer purchasing decisions but can also reduce your margins. Whether you can offer free or discounted shipping will depend on your costs and pricing.
- Shipping costs are often based on size so the smaller the package the better
- If you’re an eco-friendly brand then sustainable packaging is a good choice
- Remember you will need packaging that insulates and protects too, depending on your product
- Packaging can be a key part of branding and marketing
- It’s important to choose packaging that will ensure your goods arrive safely – sometimes cheap packaging is a false economy
Customers expect tracked services
There are multiple advantages to sending parcels to Ireland using tracked services. These include building customer trust and being able to reduce the number of customer enquiries about parcels in transit. It’s worth looking into tracked delivery, as well as offering tracked returns, as both can have an impact on customer purchase decisions.
Finding a reliable logistics service is key
Delivery is a key component for any e-commerce business. Poor choice of delivery options can impede sales, as can the way that returns are handled – for example 52% of people will abandon a purchase if they’re not satisfied with a retailer’s returns policy. So, it’s crucial to find a logistics service that is able to support the growth of your business in sending parcels to Ireland, as well as meeting customer expectations when it comes to features such as returns. Find a logistics service that offers the following:
- A variety of shipping choices, from budget to premium
- Priority services
- Delivery options, including mailbox and personal delivery
- Compensation for loss or damage
About An Post, the national postal operator of Ireland
An Post is the national postal and parcel provider of Ireland. An Post is state owned and provides a "universal postal service" to all parts of the country as a member of the Universal Postal Union.
An Post was voted the most trusted brand in Ireland; not just for delivering parcels to Ireland, but across all brands in Ireland! They provide a range of leading postal and parcel services, and they are evolving to meet the needs of e-commerce retailers.
An Post has a Premium Partnership in the UK with Asendia, to provide access to their parcel delivery services to Ireland from the UK. This includes mail services and premium tracked parcel services to Ireland.
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