eBook: Overcoming cross-border ecommerce delivery challenges

Cut out the complexity of international ecommerce shipping

The world has become one big shopping mall, where customers can buy anything, from anywhere, at any time – and they expect this same level of convenience when it comes to delivery. With millions of prospective shoppers, shipping internationally is a no-brainer, however it can also be quite complicated and costly without the right strategy.

So, to help you understand and overcome some of the major crossborder delivery obstacles, we’ve put together this simple guide.

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2021-06-09T10:52:42+00:00May 25th, 2021|

How can eCommerce delivery technology help you achieve your business goals?

In this fast-moving world we are spoilt for choice and it’s no different when choosing eCommerce delivery technology. It’s an area that’s constantly evolving, which means more choice than ever, but it can make it harder to stay focused on your original objectives.

To help you decide, we’ve put together 5 big questions you need to ask yourself when sourcing eCommerce delivery solutions to see if it will help you achieve your long-term business goals.

eCommerce Delivery Technology

In this fast-moving world we are spoilt for choice. It’s no different when choosing eCommerce delivery solutions. It’s an area that’s constantly evolving, which means more choice than ever, but it makes it harder to stay focused on your original objectives.

To help you evaluate the different options on the market, we’ve put together 5 big questions you need to ask yourself when sourcing a eCommerce delivery technology, so you make a smart decision that’s not just focused on the features, but how it will help you achieve your business goals.

1. Does it optimise the entire customer journey?

You probably already know that consumer expectations are impossibly demanding! But delivery doesn’t just start at despatch and end at the doorstep. You need an eCommerce delivery solution that can simplify and unify the customer experience at every touchpoint – starting at the checkout, moving to parcel despatch, all the way through the delivery journey and finally returns. Traditionally this has required multiple eCommerce delivery solutions; perhaps different eCommerce and marketplace integrations, various carrier labelling platforms and printers and then maybe a separate returns portal. But this only creates complex and disjointed view of your delivery operation. An end-to-end enterprise carrier management platform can increase visibility, accuracy and consistency throughout the customer journey resulting in greater service levels and lower operational costs.

Download the Infographic
Download the Infographic

2. Will your eCommerce delivery technology free time and reduce repetitive manual tasks?

Automation is essential for increasing efficiency and decreasing complexity especially as more channels, countries and carriers are added to the shipping mix. The level of automation you need will depend on your parcel volumes, but there are some key workflows and processes that can be simplified for retailers big and small. For example, by automating address validation, you can ensure that data entered by a customer is correct, which prevents parcels from getting lost or delayed. Automated labelling will speed up despatch and free staff from manually processing shipments. You can even automatically calculate Duties & Taxes and electronic customs documentation to help international parcels whizz through customs. At the end of the day, your eCommerce shipping solutions should make your life easy, so you can put more time and effort into selling and growing your business!

3. Can your eCommerce delivery adapt to change?

If we’ve learnt anything it’s that you never know what’s round the corner, so your eCommerce delivery needs to be able to keep up with the rapid pace of eCommerce and potential market changes. And that means it needs to be scalable and flexible. Can new carriers be added quickly and easily? Can new channels and marketplaces be supported? Can you ship abroad with ease? Don’t just think about today’s challenges but tomorrow’s opportunities. By future-proofing your choice of delivery technology, you’ll be able to maximise your return of investment and your ability to adapt.

Download Ebook
Download Ebook

4. Are you able to unlock new customer and delivery insights?

To keep improving and evolving, you need to be able to monitor and analyse what’s happening at every stage of the delivery operation. From pinpointing the bottlenecks to understanding peaks in demand, where you could improve the customer experience and where you could reduce costs, analytics are essential to driving greater efficiency and accuracy. When selecting a new eCommerce delivery solution, make sure it can aggregate data from multiple carriers and sources to provide that all-important 360-degree view.

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Case Study

“We’ve seen cart abandonment rates dramatically reduce and customer satisfaction scores go up”

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5. Can your eCommerce delivery solutions be easily integrated?

eCommerce platforms. Warehouse management systems. Barcode scanners. For seamless omni-channel order fulfilment, delivery solutions need to integrate with all your other processes and tools. And these integrations need to be established and updated easily to avoid expensive development effort. But that’s just the start of the integration challenge. Your delivery platform also needs to be able to connect with carriers’ systems and online marketplaces to enable real-time order updates. By investing in a solution that enables data sharing across internal and external systems, you will be able to provide a richer customer experience.

Selecting a new solution can be an overwhelming and time-consuming at the best of times – it’s a big responsibility! But it gets even harder when the technology landscape is constantly evolving. By focusing on the business enablers rather than the system features, you’ll be able to stay focused on the needs of your users and your customers.

GFS Enterprise Carrier Management offers a complete technology toolkit that enhances every stage of the delivery journey, from delivery options at the checkout, to labelling, tracking and reporting – across all carriers, countries and sales channels – through one single integration. This gives you everything you need to streamline operational processes, boost productivity and scale as you grow. Click here to find out more.

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2021-05-19T09:43:56+00:00May 17th, 2021|

Selling to the EU just got easier and cheaper

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Just one last step and you can access:

• Your Post-Brexit Survival Guide

• EU Customs Cheat Sheet

• EU VAT and Import One Stop Shop FAQs

• Webinar: How to make cross-border shipping friction-free

– with LIVE DEMO of technology to simplify EU delivery & returns

2021-05-13T13:12:10+00:00May 12th, 2021|

Selling to the EU just got easier and cheaper…

Since leaving the EU, new customs rules have disrupted deliveries to Europe, with vast numbers of parcels being delayed, refused or returned to sender. And just as the dust is starting to settle, on 1st July the €22 VAT threshold (De Minimis) exemption on goods imported to the EU will be removed.

This means that ALL commercial goods imported to the EU will be subject to VAT – regardless of value.

Find out the EU Import Customs Requirements

So, what does this mean?

• VAT has to be charged based on the customer’s location
• VAT has to be declared for customs clearance
• VAT returns have to be submitted

You might be thinking that this just makes shipping to the EU even more complex than it already is.

BUT there are ways you can make it easier, here’s how…

Selling to the EU thumbnail

Since leaving the EU, new customs rules have disrupted deliveries to Europe, with vast numbers of parcels being delayed, refused or returned to sender. And just as the dust is starting to settle, on 1st July the €22 VAT threshold (De Minimis) exemption on goods imported to the EU will be removed.

This means that ALL commercial goods imported to the EU will be subject to VAT – regardless of value.

Find out the EU Import Customs Requirements

So, what does this mean?

If you ship to the EU, it means you will need to:

• Collect VAT at the checkout based on the consumer’s location
• Declare VAT for customs clearance
• Submit VAT returns

You might be thinking that this just makes shipping to the EU even more complex than it already is.

BUT there are ways you can make it easier, here’s how…

1. Import One Stop Shop (IOSS)

The EU is introducing an electronic portal where you can register to get a single VAT IOSS ID number that applies to distance sales in all 27 EU countries. This will enable you to collect, declare and account for VAT and pay your bill directly to the EU Tax Authorities via a periodic tax return – for goods up to the value of €150*.

This will simplify the collection, declaration, and payment of VAT for distance sales to EU customers and potentially avoid additional carrier fees for VAT clearance.

What are the key benefits of the new IOSS?

• Ease and simplicity: You’ll get a single EU IOSS VAT ID number that will cover VAT registration in all of the 27 EU member states
• A positive experience for customers: Customers will have complete VAT cost transparency at the moment of purchase
• Improved cash flow: VAT payments can be made monthly directly to EU tax authorities

What else do you need to know? Read our FAQs for more information

FAQs

2. Duty Deferment Account

A Duty Deferment Account allows you to postpone payment of customs duty, excise duty and VAT by up to 46 days so you can pay fees for all shipments once a month by Direct Debit rather than per consignment at the point of import.

This will help shipments clear customs quickly, so parcels can be delivered faster, and it will also save you time and money and help you better manage cash flow.

You can apply for a Duty Deferment Account here

3. One Stop Shop Delivery and Returns

As well as the Import One Stop Shop for VAT, GFS can provide everything you need for delivery and returns!

From finding the best and most cost-effective international shipping services, to technology that calculates Duties & Taxes, generates electronic Customs documents and manages paperless global returns – you can get everything you need in one place!

GFS International eCommerce Service

Access the widest network of global carriers through just one dynamic delivery service.

Using super-smart routing technology, we route each parcel to the best performing, cost-effective carrier service. So, all you need to do is choose from 1 of 3 service level options – Express, Plus and Economy – and we do the rest!

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GFS Technology

A complete toolkit of technology solutions that simplifies the complexity of new EU customs processes to take away the pain of cross-border delivery.

Download Ebook
Download Ebook

GFS Checkout

  • Offers customers a wide range of flexible delivery options at the checkout
  • Automatically calculate Duties & Taxes and supports DDU (Deliver Duty Unpaid) and DDP (Deliver Duty Paid) delivery options

GFS Selector

  • Multi-carrier parcel labelling with automatically generated tracking
  • With Paperless Trade for electronic customs documentation

GFS Global Returns

  • Paperless returns portal with 200+ returns services, 320,000 drop points and 35 languages
  • Electronic customs declarations for inbound duty relief

Want to see our Technology in action? Watch our live demo!

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Watch the Webinar

We’re on a mission to make EU selling easier than ever.

For help and advice on shipping to the EU and beyond – Contact us to find out more!

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2021-05-19T09:40:59+00:00May 11th, 2021|

Avoiding the pitfalls of international eCommerce shipping

Selling internationally can help you reach more customers and achieve worldwide business growth. International sales were reportedly up +23.8% Year-on-Year (YoY) in last year. But, it’s easy to feel intimidated by the operational complexities of international eCommerce shipping. So how can you avoiding the pitfalls of cross-border delivery and returns to maximise your global growth opportunity?

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Selling internationally can help you reach more customers and achieve worldwide business growth. International sales were reportedly up +23.8% Year-on-Year (YoY) in last year. But, it’s easy to feel intimidated by the operational complexities of international eCommerce shipping. So how can you avoiding the pitfalls of cross-border delivery and returns to maximise your global growth opportunity?

Easing the pain of Duties and Taxes…

Every country has it’s own duty and tax requirements, making compliance one of the biggest challenges of global eCommerce shipping.

If you don’t pay the correct amount or don’t submit the correct documentation, your parcel will either be held at customs or it will be up to your customer to pay a bill they weren’t unexpecting – all of which can make the delivery experience far from satisfactory.

Calculating those costs for different countries can be a minefield. There are international eCommerce solutions that can help automate the calculation of Taxes and Duties, as well as help you present costs to customers at the checkout.

For customers, transparency is key, especially when it comes to costs! So it’s important to let customers know upfront if there are any additional costs to be paid. You need to ensure your website displays the full information on international eCommerce shipping, including Duties & Taxes, as well as expected transit times and tracking information.

GFS Checkout has an inbuilt Duties & Taxes Calculator that presents customers with personalised delivery options along with all expected Duties & Taxes, while GFS Selector can help automatically generate electronic customs documentation to ensure smooth, friction-free cross-border delivery every time. Want to see a demo? Watch the webinar: “How to make cross-border delivery friction-free”

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Will Delivery Make or Break Your Customer Experience

A recent survey from IMRG found that 60% of consumers will buy again from a retailer if they were satisfied with the delivery, proving that a well-executed delivery and returns experience can boost sales and win customer loyalty – this goes goes for customers at home and away.

Delivery varies from country to country, which means customers around the world have different expectations of what makes a good delivery experience. It’s important to understand what customers expect in different regions, how each carrier works in each country, and what international eCommerce services they provide so you can pick the best and most cost-effective services for your customers.

45% of customers will abandon a purchase if delivery is not convenient. Offering a choice of delivery options can help them choose the time, day, method and price point that is convenient for them. This means it’s important that your carrier mix for each country is optimised for reliability of service, cost effectiveness and breadth of service options for the customer.

Delays are sometimes unavoidable, but you can avoid keeping customers in the dark. That’s why parcel tracking and good customer communication is crucial, especially when selling internationally where transit times can be longer. Providing regular delivery updates helps customers are able to find out the status of their package so they can track its journey improves their experience and makes them more likely to buy again.

How can you make sure delivery is optimised every time? Find out about GFS International eCommerce Services.

eBook

Overcoming cross-border delivery challenges

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international ecommerce shipping
international ecommerce shipping
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Cracking Global Returns

Returns are important for your international customers, as buying from a seller overseas can already feel like a risk. Having a robust and simple returns process is essential. However, international returns management can be tricky. Consumer behaviours and expectations vary from one country to the next. In Germany, returns are quite normal with 70% of fashion purchases are returned, but drop off locations are the most popular choice in France , while the Spanish and Chinese are the most likely to abandon a purchase if the returns policy doesn’t meet expectation. Make sure you understand each country you are selling to and the kind of returns policy they will expect to ensure you can compete.

When it comes to returns, Duties and Taxes can be even more of a headache. As duties have already been paid on delivery, they don’t need to be paid on the way back. However, it’s important to have the right documentation to prove that its already been paid or you’ll be at risk of additional charges or fines. To ensure that this is taken care of, use technology to generate the necessary customs relief documentation and the right kind of returns label. This guarantees a seamless returns experience for the customer and will give you reassurance that they are compliant.

GFS Global Returns Pro can automate this for you – you can see it in action here in this short demo!

Case Study

An advanced International eCommerce Shipping solution for Premier League Football Club

Read Case Study

Case Study 

Premier League Football Club 

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Taking pressure off internal operations

How can you offer customers the best possible global eCommerce shipping experience without crippling your operations?

There is no one single carrier that can do it all. Some carriers are limited by the countries they delivery to, and some may be more costly in certain countries than others. For this reason, working with multiple carriers is essential for running a cross-border business and offering customers the experience they expect. However, working with multiple carriers does come with its own challenges, from managing different contracts, to comparing costs to ensure you are getting the best value. Working with multiple carriers also means having multiple IT integrations specific for each carrier, but this can lead to hidden costs and complexities.

Although working with different carriers is the best way to deliver a great customer experience, how can you do this without the operational headache? Working with a multi-carrier global partner like GFS gives you access to a wide range of international freight solutions at competitive rates, without having to manage the relationships and contracts. All with just one technology integration that allows you to offer different delivery and returns options, transparency and compliance with duties and taxes, track and trace, and a customer service team. With logistics partners in every corner of the globe, we have the expertise and knowledge to help you get the most our of international eCommerce shipping and have the confidence that your delivery and returns will not let you down.

Giving customers a seamless delivery and returns experience is vital for successful international selling Once you have the right mix of technology and expertise, you can crack the global eCommerce shipping challenge with a full loop service that is simple and easy, even across borders.

* Tamebay/GFS International Survey and IMRG/GFS Home Consumer Delivery Survey 2019/20

GFS International eCommerce Services Explained

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GFS logistics animation
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2021-05-20T09:47:03+00:00February 25th, 2020|

Webinar with Avalara: Cracking into the USA eCommerce market

Webinar with Avalara: Cracking into the USA eCommerce market

58% of online retailers see Delivery & Taxes as the #1 barrier to US growth

In a recent survey across 1,000+ UK online sellers*, 64% see the USA as the biggest opportunity for eCommerce sales. As we head for Brexit, now more than ever UK sellers are looking beyond the EU to markets like the US for cross-border growth, but are being hampered by the complexities of delivery and taxes.

Watch our webinar “Cracking into the USA eCommerce market” with global tax experts Avalara to get the practical facts and valuable insights so you can succeed in these areas and remove the barriers to growth.

What will I learn?

  • How to avoid delays with US Customs
  • Getting the final mile delivery right for the US consumer
  • Managing returns and how to make it easy
  • Staying compliant in the US with overseas sales transactions

To find out more about Avalara, click here.

If you are having trouble viewing the video, please allow all browser cookies or watch on YouTube

Source: Tamebay international survey 1000+ decision-makers, eCommerce businesses, £1M – £50M annual turnover, UK only – August 2018. To view the video https://gfsdeliver.com/survey-results-international-expansion-in-the-face-of-brexit/

2021-05-11T12:13:59+00:00August 13th, 2019|

How can we help you grow sales in the USA?

How can we help you grow sales in the USA?

We hope you enjoyed our eBook “How to crack into the USA eCommerce market and build your strategy for success.”

Why not talk to one of our expert partners for more in-depth guidance and advice on a focus area of your choice.

Simply fill in the form below and we would be happy to arrange an introduction:

2020-06-17T16:26:33+00:00June 26th, 2019|

How can we help?

Contact us to find out how GFS multi-carrier services and technology can help you open up the opportunity of marketplace selling and you’ll also receive our latest tipsheet:

8 tips for growing eCommerce sales through online marketplaces
2020-06-17T16:26:33+00:00June 26th, 2019|
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