eCommerce International Shipping

For over 30 years, we have been working hard to find affordable, fast, and secure eCommerce international shipping solutions for customers across the UK.

10 Easy-to-Do Tips for Better International eCommerce Shipping

The global marketplace has never been more open, which means that many eCommerce companies have to ship internationally to remain competitive on the world stage. International shipping for eCommerce businesses has its fair share of challenges, so our tips to optimise the delivery options you offer will help to alleviate these pain points. They are all very quick and easy.

When shipping options from sites such as eBay, Amazon, Etsy and others are available in up to 220 countries and territories, international shipping solutions must deal with the following:

  • Transit times: Every eCommerce business has to offer shipping services with a fast delivery time – internationally or domestically. Simple logistics mean that many sellers struggle with the speed of their delivery, no matter what shipping rates they charge.
  • Customs clearance, duties and taxes: Customs documentation is a pain to get right, with destination countries having a wide range of different laws and regulations. Popular destinations, such as the United States, have tough laws and harsh penalties.
  • Price: Courier services that cross borders are always more expensive. Finding the right postage rates for your parcels, packages or even pallets is the biggest thing to sort out. Without this, international shipping services may become unviable for your business.

As leading providers of a range of international shipping solutions for eCommerce businesses, we are well-placed to offer some practical hints for a better customer experience when you ship internationally. If you would like to use our fast, low cost services, you will see our experienced and talented team are ready to build your bespoke service plan when you get in touch with us.

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10 Simple Ways to Improve Your International eCommerce Shipping

With so many problems to alleviate it is best to take a range of actions to tackle the big three issues of shipping time; duties and taxes and postage price. This way, you can offer the lowest costs to your customers, and potentially increase your turnover. The following are some tips that are easy to implement and useful for any type of eCommerce business when shipping overseas:

  1. Research all customs laws: There is no point offering delivery to a country that will return your products to you, or simply seize and destroy them. As an international merchant, it is your responsibility to look up all relevant laws, use correct commodity codes and pay relevant taxes and duties. Be thorough and never compromise!
  2. Use a good eCommerce platform: There is no reason why you should have to rely on monoliths such as Amazon or eBay. Using a good eCommerce platform can simplify things like invoices, labelling and even postage costs, which can all help to reduce the time and money spent on what are ultimately not the core values of your business.
  3. Avoid shipping heavy items a long way: You might want to ship antique cannon balls or kettlebells to Australia, but if you are a UK eCommerce business, this will eat into your margins. Try to set a weight limit on what you are willing to ship abroad. If you insist on shipping heavy items, try to partner with a local merchant in that country.
  4. Get eCommerce invoicing software: Commercial invoices are a pain at the best of times, so you can do yourself a favour by choosing a suitable invoicing tool. A few of the popular paid options for UK-based eCommerce businesses include QuickBooks and Freshbooks. A very good free option you can try out if you are unsure is Wave.
  5. Protect your merchandise: We will get to boxes and packaging shortly, but you can protect your goods in their parcels or packages with proper wrapping for protection on long haul trips, which are more likely to result in bumps and knocks than simple road transport. Always use warning labels such as ‘Fragile’ or ‘Please do not bend’.

6. Try a mail handling service: Outsourcing your mail handling can be a great boon for eCommerce businesses. You can get total peace of mind on national and international shipping for eCommerce with reputable providers; look out for signs of a high-quality service such as bespoke quotes for your service plan and high levels of client support.

7. Buy the right insurance: Unfortunately, international shipping always comes with a degree of risk and you can never be everywhere at once to put out fires. Insurance cover for your parcels will reduce your losses, should they occur, so you should never compromise on this. Quality third-party fulfilment services will price in insurance too.

8. Provide top customer service: Customers care less about something going wrong if they get a timely response and acceptable solution. Chat boxes are great for small and sole traders, as they can be routed directly to your phone. If international delivery is kept on track with good customer service you can reduce your costs from returns.

9. Consider a specialist merchant site service:  If you are dug in with a particular site then you can try to enhance your account. Many third-party solutions will dovetail with your current shop. For example, we offer eBay courier services for clients, which give you access to special tracking software that will simplify international shipping.

10. Invest in smarter packaging: We have all had the sickening feeling of getting a large shoebox-size package from an online retailer, only to find it contains a single book. If you ship one type of item exclusively, shop around for the best packaging. The use of fewer materials means lower costs and it will help enhance your green credentials too.

Be aware when looking for eCommerce platforms that include giants such as Shopify, as these can become as monolithic as sites like Amazon and eBay in their way. The real key to running an eCommerce business is not being beholden to anyone but your customers, so consider trying free or open-source platforms like Magento, or even hiring a developer to build one if you can.


Get a Direct Quote for International eCommerce Delivery Services

Anything you can do to reduce your overall costs, from a better deal on postage with a fulfilment service to a less wasteful type of packaging, can help you to optimise your international delivery potential – while enhancing your eCommerce business. These tips are easy for any business to try.

It is worth trying a few things and seeing what works. Our team can come up with a fast, low cost and reliable international eCommerce shipping solution for medium and small businesses. If you would like to get a free, fast and direct quote please get in touch with us to learn more.

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