Did you know that cross-border online consumer purchasing is increasing 28% a year and will reach $1 trillion by 2020, according to a 2015 report released from consulting firm Accenture and AliResearch, and reported in Internet Retailer? In fact, that number is nearly twice as fast as the 15% annual growth rate for consumer’s web purchasing as a whole, which will reach $3.4 trillion by 2020, from the same report.
The bottom line: If you own an eCommerce business, selling to international buyers shouldn’t be a matter of if, rather it should be a matter of when.
You may have already started selling internationally, by handling your own international fulfillment and shipping, using ShipStation’s international features and tips to help.
If you’re ready to jump-start your international sales efforts, you may want to consider the time- and money-saving benefits of using logistics and fulfillment services. ShipStation partners with multiple fulfillment services, like Shipwire and more, that you can research by clicking here.
Benefits of Outsourcing
So, what’s in it for your business? When you outsource your fulfillment to other countries, you make it a more seamless process to extend your product’s reach internationally. If your business both produces and houses your supply in North America, it is daunting to consider your company can successfully infiltrate the markets somewhere else. By putting your fulfillment in the hands of an international provider, you allow them to store and deliver it to your customers with greater ease, timeliness and efficiency than you could from back home. This not only provides a good reputation for your business, but in turn can promote your product to neighboring countries and broaden the range of your brand.
How Does Outsourced International Fulfillment Work?
Your shipments may be sent to one fulfillment center, or to specific international fulfillment centers located in country. The second option allows you to pay brokerage fees and go through the Customs process once, rather than per individual order. In addition, once cleared and stored in the warehouse, local delivery carriers can be used to reach customers within the region (which also translates to lower shipping costs for your customers).
Minimize Issues With International Shipping
Potential problems shipping domestically are tiny compared with the issues that can mess up an international shipment. International fulfillment means dealing with tracking, insurance, delivery, shipping costs, customs, duties and more. Outsourcing shipping and order fulfillment eliminates those hassles.
Meet International Delivery-Time Expectations
When shipping a package from the US, it may be difficult to meet the delivery-time expectations of international consumers cost-effectively. It’s very difficult to get a package delivered cost-effectively from the US to the UK in 2-3 days. A solution would be to use a fulfillment service that has a warehouse presence in another country. This will enable you to save money, meet the delivery time expectations and compete far more effectively.
Keep International Shipping Costs Down
International fulfillment companies are experts on ways to keep shipping costs down as much as possible. They do this by using government carriers that don’t charge customs brokerage fees like private carriers, using localized global warehouses to minimize delivery costs, and bulk shipping from your office to their warehouse(s).
This benefits your customers, too. When you pay less to ship and move the product closer to your consumers, you are able to charge much less of a shipping fee to them in return. This encourages them to buy from your company instead of purchasing a similar product with a much higher shipping fee.
Take Advantage of Amazon
Why not take advantage of selling to millions of customers around the world by selling internationally on Amazon? You can list your products in Amazon international marketplaces and fulfill your international orders by using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) in the country corresponding to the Amazon marketplace where you are listing your products. Using FBA will require importing your products to another country for storage in an Amazon fulfillment center to sell them to customers in that marketplace.
Why accept the burden, cost and relentless work of international shipping when you can eliminate them with outsourced fulfillment? Utilizing outsourced international fulfillment will more quickly help your international brand recognition and sales increase.