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The Basics of International Shipping and Tracking

Pramod Bhat
  •  
  •  
December 8, 2020

This year revolutionized everything especially for eCommerce and small businesses. Almost everyone chooses to have their groceries shipped and even their other necessities. Aside from that, even employees buy their materials online so they have reduced contact with other people. Generally, this keeps both customers and businesses safe. However, what do you need to know about international shipping and tracking? What do they need to know about how to fill out international shipping addresses accurately?

With almost everyone working remotely, most transactions are done online. You need to stand out from your competitors and stay updated with the current and latest trends especially when it comes to your customers. According to the 2018 Pitney Bowes Global eCommerce, it’s noted that 56% of customers felt disappointed because there were challenges in shipping. The top responses from the 56% of customers mentioned that there were delays in shipment, expensive fees, lost and unfulfilled orders, wrong items shipped, vague policies, and poorly-packed items. Hence, businesses need to prepare a plan on standard international shipping of their products.

As you read this article, we will be sharing things you need to know about international shipping and tracking, tips on economy international shipping, and the do’s and don’ts of shipping for small businesses.

What do you need to know about international shipping and tracking?

Before jumping into planning and sorting out the products in your warehouse, make sure that you know everything about shipping either locally or internationally. Read on and learn some facts and helpful tips that will help you create and implement a functional shipping strategy.

Iron out your order fulfillment and return policies

Creating your own shipping strategy means your customers may buy and check out your product or remove it from their carts altogether. One peculiar thing about shipping strategies is  they also serve as marketing tools.

The strategy begins with your website as it is the first place where customers go. Make sure that the order fulfillment policies are located front and center of the website where it is easily seen. Thinking of offering free shipping to your customers sounds good. So, if ever you’ll move forward with it, make sure it’s the first thing they lay their eyes on when they click your website.

One of the reasons why businesses move to a digital platform is because of the convenience it brings. Customers don’t need to drive or to commute to the physical location and spend time finding a parking slot for themselves. In an eCommerce business, with just a few clicks, you see the different collections and products they offer.

Another thing about the digital platform is international shipping and tracking becomes easy. People choose different methods of shipping whether they be economy, standard, or priority. Putting different choices for shipping methods proves to be one strategic move to best serve your customers.

Offering free shipping to your customers

A study conducted by 2018 Pitney Bowes Global eCommerce shared that 91% of the customers leave an online store if it lacks quick and free shipping. These statistics show that free shipping is no longer just a delivery method but also a marketing strategy. However, when you offer this to your customers, this affects your profit margin. Just because a free shipping option brings in a number of customers does not mean you forget about the cost of shipping expenses for every sale you make.

In order to utilize free shipping wisely, make sure you provide your customers with different choices of shipping methods. First choice would be requiring a minimum amount spent for free shipping to apply.

To illustrate:

  • You’ll require at least a total amount of $350 before customers get the free shipping option.

At least 66% of customers expect to spend a minimum of $25-30 worth of purchase before availing of the free shipping option. Eventually, this increases the amount every customer spends during a sale.

With free shipping, you can always offer this seasonally especially during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or even Prime Day. Other companies add other options such as free shipping during a specific time or during standard delivery times (e.g. business hours). Another option would be offering same-day delivery but this means additional cost on the part of the customers.

Flat rate shipping

Most people easily understand this as it’s basically self-explanatory. Flat rate shipping means that there’s a specific price assigned to a specific item. This means that the cost does not depend on the dimensions, weight, and the value of the product.

Customers get a look at the total payable they incur. Businesses get the final say when it comes to setting the flat rate for shipping. People benefit from this option especially when they plan on buying larger items such as appliances or pieces of equipment. Flat rate shipping may also be an option for international shipping and tracking.

Table rate shipping

This is the exact opposite of flat rate shipping. Companies get to customize their shipping options. With table rate shipping, businesses choose how much the shipping costs would be with regard to factors they determine.

These factors include:

  • Destination
  • Product dimensions
  • Weight
  • Quantity of products ordered

To illustrate:

  • The business charges you for deliveries with a specific location and a different fee for locations outside the area.

Businesses may choose to charge a fixed shipping fee for a single item and a different fee for other items purchased. To know which rates may apply to you, you may visit this international shipping rate calculator and find out.

International shipping and tracking

When you understand how things work and what shipping strategies you’ll apply, studying about international shipping and tracking may be the next step for you. As previously mentioned, shipping has evolved into a marketing strategy that most businesses think to be beneficial for their growth. Expanding your business to an international market brings more customers and sales.

One of the many things that you need to consider is the country you want to expand to. Research on the import and export policies of the country. Factor in the taxes and the documentation necessary when shipping products there. Work with a courier company that ensures the safety and security of your items.

Benefits of international shipping and tracking

The shipping industry continues to evolve as new technologies arise. In order to ship orders efficiently and quickly to customers, courier companies use tracking codes in order to monitor where the parcels are. Customers adapt to various technologies used by eCommerce platforms to have a seamless shopping experience.

International shipping is something new especially for businesses and courier companies. One of the main features of this is it provides transparency for the shipment. Now, as you continue reading, we will share the other benefits of international shipping and tracking.

Revolutionizes the shipping experience for customers

When you are capable of tracking your parcels, it prevents losing shipments altogether. You get to monitor if it left the point of origin and is currently in transit to its destination. Tracking the shipment raises awareness on the part of customers and businesses if there are some unforeseen disruptions or even delay on the arrival to the destination.

Diminishes delays and unforeseen fees

When you track a shipment, it relieves companies and customers of worrying where the shipment could be. If businesses see the issues that happen during the shipping process, they easily make vital changes to prevent delays and unforeseen fees due to changes in schedules. Without the ability of international shipping and tracking, additional expenses and delays arise.

Creates customer loyalty

Customers and businesses encounter different levels of stress when processing shipments. A heightened level of stress exists especially when valuable items are being shipped. In order to reduce this anxiety about not getting products shipped punctually, companies choose a courier that offers tracking especially for international shipments.

Therefore, international shipping and tracking help customers and businesses establish a great relationship and loyalty with each other.

Takeaway

Customers feel pensive and anxious about their orders and shipments. Their stress levels are at their highest when items are valuable and very essential. A number of eCommerce companies collaborate closely with shipping companies that provide tracking information about shipments. One of the many good things about shipment tracking is that it creates a good relationship between customers and businesses.

International shipping and tracking benefits both customers and companies. Stallion Express gives customers a way to see and track their shipments locally and internationally. Moreover, you can also create user profiles, check your transaction history, and more importantly, experience a life-changing shipping experience. Start booking your shipments with Stallion Express and register now!

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Written by Pramod Bhat

Pramod is the CEO of Stallion Express - the leading eCommerce shipping provider in Canada. His vision, leadership, and innovative strategies have catapulted Stallion into one of the industry's most trusted brands. He is on a mission to help online sellers in Canada scale and succeed. He is also the reigning office ping pong champion.

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