In 2016, e-commerce in the UK was worth roughly £133 billion. This vast market continues to expand, offering opportunities for retailers, from cottage industries to large national businesses, to reach new customers.
Breaking global markets is part of the plan at some point for many retailers – which is where international efulfilment can make a big difference.
Key factors in international efulfilment
If going global is your next step, working with a fulfilment provider could offer the opportunity to do this far more effortlessly. A third party provider can support your business in many different ways.
Costs – the costs related to overseas and cross border shipping can be vastly in excess of domestic costs. Managing these effectively will be fundamental to whether or not your business is able to continue its international expansion. Working with an international efulfilment partner provides a much more predictable way to manage the costs involved in exploring international networks. An international efulfilment provider should be able to offer a reduction in shipping costs, as well as those involved in stock management.
Space and staff – if your business is expanding globally then this places new demands on your own infrastructure in terms of space for stock and staff to manage processes. It is also likely to considerably increase the costs associated with them. Working with an external fulfilment provider reduces this pressure, as stock is managed offsite via the provider’s warehouses and by the provider’s staff.
Cross border considerations – within the EU, the customs regime is fairly simple. However, once outside of EU borders red tape and duties can be overwhelming in terms of the time and resources required to handle them without error. An experienced international efulfilment provider makes short work of getting your parcels into the hands of customers without customs delays or excessive duties.
Handling international returns – whether or not they are buying from a domestic or international retailer, most customers expect an efficient returns process. This presents significant challenges for UK business, as well as costs. The Distance Selling Regulations, for example, require that delivery is refunded to a consumer returning an item, not just the amount of the purchase. So, both in terms of logistics and expense, there is a lot to process and absorb for an enterprise handling this alone.
Tracking deliveries – tracking helps to ensure customer trust and when purchases are being made from overseas this becomes even more important to consumers. The need for this transparency must be factored in when international expansion is on the table – can you give your customers evidence of a full chain of possession from shipping to receipt? Working with an international efulfilment provider makes this very easy to do.
Warehousing and Fulfilment
Whether you are a leading brand or young e-commerce business, our order fulfilment centre in Bedford can provide you with high quality and low cost order fulfilment solutions.