How To Optimise Your E-commerce Business Internationally

05 July, 2018

International e-commerce is a growing market. Research from Pitney Bowes Inc. found that around 40% of consumers have purchased goods online from another country. By 2020, the value of cross border e-commerce is forecast to reach US$1 trillion. However, while the market is thriving – and growing – it also presents a number of unique challenges for any e-commerce business looking to expand internationally. These pain points can cause real issues, and can sometimes even catch online retailers by surprise.

How can I overcome my international delivery challenges?

Higher Shipping Costs

Inevitably, it will cost more to send items over a greater global distance than to ship locally. This often means passing some, or all, of the cost over to customers, which many businesses find difficult to do. Higher shipping costs are a reality for every enterprise shipping overseas and being able to manage this successfully is a crucial part of optimising an e-commerce venture for global success.

Rules and regulations

Crossing international borders means taking into account the rules and regulations of the jurisdiction that you’re shipping into. Deliveries within the EU are fairly simple for European retailers but once a business begins shipping to other destinations there is a lot more to consider. Many countries have some unusual restrictions on what can be sent into the country, for example, and customs documentation can be complex.

Fees and taxes

Another consequence to sending goods across international borders is that they may then attract fees and taxes. These are most often payable by the customer before they can collect the sent item. Many countries have thresholds below which there will be no fees or taxes to pay but these can be low and tend to differ from location to location.

How to optimise your e-commerce business internationally

This free e-book will explain how to make your international e-commerce business work more efficiently and what you need to know about cross-border e-commerce to drive sales.


Solutions To Help You Optimise Your E-commerce Business Internationally

Manage customer expectations when it comes to international delivery

If you’re offering next day delivery to your customers, wherever in the world they are, then expectations will be very high and it will be difficult for you to deliver. It’s absolutely crucial to manage customer expectations so that delivery times are understood before customers get to the checkout stage.

Be Prepared For Product Returns

Return rates vary per country and per industry but, according to Invesp, roughly 30% of all products ordered online are returned. This means you'll need to be prepared to handle products being returned by your international customers - and your international mailing partner will need to work closely with you.

Be Upfront With Costs & Information

International shipping is going to cost you more as a business, with higher fees, taxes and administrative costs to consider. These costs will need to be passed on to the customer, but it's important to be upfront with all that information. Customers don't like hidden costs, and providing shipping information and tracking will ensure that their expectations are managed.

Finding an International Mailing Partner

  • One of the biggest concerns for e-commerce businesses is to find a unique partner for all countries that can provide ease of use and peace of mind, delivering simple solutions to the complex problem of sending internationally.
  • Physical distance between countries means that shipping times can be frustrating for both customers and brands. If someone purchases on a website located abroad because the product is cheaper or is not available locally, the shopper does not necessary need to have his goods delivered urgently in express. The most important thing is to have the choice. It’s also decisive to be able to decide which goods you need express delivery and which you can wait for to benefit from the better price.
  • Customers want more options when it comes to shipping - having multiple options for delivery has been shown to reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts. So picking an international mailing partner who offers a range of options helps to keep your business competitive.

How to Select the Right International Delivery Provider

This free e-book explains what you should look for when selecting an international delivery provider.


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