International Shipping tips
Best International Shipping Services for Small Business
A lot of small and medium businesses need to ship internationally. If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, run an e-commerce shop, or a drop shipper, international shipping allows you to expand your business beyond just your back door. By offering competitive international shipping, you will be able to serve customers throughout the world.
Obviously, when you offer shipping services, you’ll need to work with a courier company to ensure that your package gets you to its destination on time. It can be daunting to put such an essential business service in someone else’s hands; after all, they are responsible for actually getting the product to your customer. There are many international shipping companies that offer services to small or medium-size businesses at reasonable prices so how do you choose? It is vital to choose a reliable company with good reviews, similar values, and you can trust. To help you get started with your international shipping, we need to give you some of the most important things to think about.
As one might expect, the size of the package or container is one of the most important aspects of how much it will cost to get your package to its destination. When you offer shipping options for your products, you need to know the precise measurement of the weight of all your products to ensure you give an accurate cost assessment.
Depending on when your customers want to receive your products will determine how expensive the shipping will cost. You’ll also have to decide whether you want to pass on shipping costs to your customers. A lot of companies offer free shipping over a certain dollar amount. As a business owner, you need to decide what is best for your business.
Most products are shipped via ground, air, or sea. Most customers don’t care on now they get the package to its destination, however, the shipment method will have a direct impact on the time of delivery.
Distance Being Shipped
Another factor that will have an obvious impact on price is the distance you are shipping the product. Most shipment services will offer an estimate of how much it will cost to ship to a specific destination depending on where you are shipping from.
Nobody likes to think about insurance but it’s important to plan in case a shipment gets lost or broken during transportation – accidents do happen. The type of insurance you purchase depends on the value of the items, destination, and the shipping method of transportation. The most frequently purchased type of shipping insurance is carrier liability insurance, which usually covers the goods being shipped and the cost of shipping up to $100 in the event the shipment is damaged or lost. For international shipments, you may also want to purchase additional insurance, especially if the item is of higher value. Shop around for different prices and if you ship frequently, use it as leverage to get discounted rates.
As a small business, every cent counts which is why shipping volume is important. If you are shipping products daily, you can get a better rate than if you only ship once a month. As an e-commerce store, shipping rates can make or break your company. It’s important to shop around for the best rates. Often times the bigger international shipping companies won’t negotiate with you; however independent couriers will give you a much better deal.
Points System or Loyalty Program
Only international companies used to use loyalty programs; however, even smaller businesses have used some kind of points system or loyalty program to engage their customers. This can include offering free, discounted, and faster shipping to any member. This type of program can create lifelong customers who buy more frequently from you.
The type of product you are shipping will also determine the price you pay. For example, most shipping companies will charge you an additional fee to ship hazardous materials. Products that need to be kept refrigerated or can expire, such as food items, need to be insulated while shipped, which also costs more.
No matter how often or where you ship, it’s important that you make your shipping policies clear to your customers by listing them on your company website and in email communication. Your policies should include the cost to the customer (taxes, duties, customs etc), estimated shipping time, and return policies. With a good shipping strategy in place, your business will be able to service your customers more effectively while bringing your products to new corners of the world. If you have any questions about international shipping, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.