International Ecommerce Delivery: Costs, Carriers and Ensuring Customer Satisfaction

eCommerce allows business to expand beyond their physical stores and opening hours to sell anywhere, at any time. Bypass geographic limitations and reach customers no matter where they live. Shipping internationally enables access to larger markets and bigger profits, making it a high priority for many businesses. So, how can you get your product from A to B even when crossing borders?

How Much Does eCommerce International Shipping Cost?

There are many different considerations when it comes to shipping internationally and the cost can be affected by many different aspects.

Where you are shipping to and what you are shipping.

Generally, the further away you are shipping to, the higher the cost, but different countries also have different cross border laws that you need to consider. These also can depend on what products you are shipping, with varying rates of taxes and duties on those products affecting cost. It’s important to decide what countries you want to sell into and learn their requirements for different products. Find out:

• What kind of duties and taxes are involved?
• How does their customs work?
• What kind of paperwork will be required for the parcel to ship easily with no delays for the customer?

Size and weight of the parcel

Size and weight obviously will affect the cost of the parcel being shipped. You can help reduce costs for this by cutting down on product packaging that affects its dimensions and ensuring your packaging is streamlined.

The carrier you use

Different carriers obviously come with different costs and you will want to go with the most reliable service at the best price. However, with international delivery it can be a bit more complicated. Some carriers will have the highest shipping rate in one country, but the lowest shipping rate in another. Also one carrier might be cheaper for heavy items, but might not be the cheapest for smaller packages.

Multi-carrier Ecommerce Shipping

Due to the differing rates from different carriers, the cheapest way to do international eCommerce delivery is to use multiple carriers. You can take advantage of reduced prices for shipping smaller items or choose different carriers based on the best local service of that country.

It also means that you can offer more choice to your customers. International shipping is always going to take longer than domestic, and sometimes this can be off putting for customers. However, giving them the option of paying more for a faster service, or saving money if they’re willing to wait longer can help ensure a sale. This has been proven to increase satisfaction in customers buying from you, as well as reducing the chance of cart abandonment.

Ensuring A Good Customer Experience when Shipping Internationally

Keeping customers happy means making sure your international delivery is quick and efficient. Even when buying from a different country, customers want that instant gratification from buying, and any delays or issues that come up can affect their satisfaction with the service. That’s why it’s so important to get the paperwork right to avoid unnecessary delays. A commercial invoice and an export packing list are almost always necessary for your packages, although the requirements vary country to country. Duties and taxes also need to be paid on time to avoid hold ups at customs.

Transparency on costs and tracking

Although sometimes delays are unavoidable, what you can avoid is keeping your customers in the dark. That’s why parcel tracking and good customer service is so important. Sometimes customers will want to check the status of their package or ensure it’s on its way. Giving them transparency can be the difference between a positive and a negative experience and change the possibility of repeat sales.
Ensure your website also displays full information on shipping either on an international shipping page or on each product, detailing which countries you ship to, how long it is likely to take and if they can track orders.

Tracking and full transparency not only increases customer satisfaction but also saves you time handling refund requests for customers unsure where their package is or dealing with questions.

Calculating Duties and Taxes for International Ecommerce Delivery

Calculating the different costs of duties and taxes for different countries can seem like a real headache, as well as ensuring it’s added to the products during the checkout process. Our technology gives you a simple solution. Our GFS Checkout widget easily integrates onto your website and calculates the duties and taxes for you, gives you the choice of including it in the total price or showing it as separate additional cost, as well as giving the customer the option of paying it now, or when the parcel arrives. Find out more about integrating GFS Checkout.

An International Ecommerce Delivery Service

It is possible to manage all the requirements of international eCommerce shipping in-house. However, with a global delivery partner like GFS, you can take the hassle out of international delivery. With access to 50+ carriers across 220+ countries, we can ensure you get the best rates and the best local service. As well as a choice of services, you will also have an Account Manager for on-hand support, and pro-active parcel tracking and carrier management with our GFS customer care team. Find out more about our eCommerce International Shipping.