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Cross-Border Shipping Services: What Do You Need to Know About?

Pramod Bhat
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  •  
March 11, 2021

Putting up a business may call for international shipping—deliveries to areas that have their own laws and jurisdictions. Dealing with customs may certainly challenge your business operations. It makes you wonder why some courier companies charge fees that almost reach the sky.

Some businesses find it easier to conduct their business transactions within the area without leaving the borders. However, when they do not expand their business little by little, they lose potential customers. Partnering with border shipping services to save resources and reach out to more customers is an option to consider.

The Essentials of Cross-Border Shipping

When sellers think of expanding their market into other regions, provinces, or even countries, they wonder which shipping service is cheapest and within their budget. Before working with a courier company, make sure you get a full grasp on their operations and know the essentials: Are they capable of delivering my products? Can they ship overseas? What are the exact charges? Are import taxes and duties included in the total cost? 

Choosing Your Market 101

Starting your own business means you have control over the products you create and manufacture. Following the results of detailed market analytics, check if your product has a good chance of selling globally before deciding on a courier service. Newbie businesses usually start small, servicing their immediate area and then country. Once you start to hit it off on the national scale, it might be time to expand to other countries. 

Do you check your analytics regularly? These reports show where you get your traffic. More specifically, it shows which countries visit your online store frequently. Start looking up border shipping services that can accommodate your needs and audience.

Identifying Your Products 

Once you identify your target market, the next thing to do is determine which products you’ll open for international shipping. Check which products get the most number of clicks or visits. Products that do not attract much attention during shipping and could be shipped internationally with ease include clothing, shoes, and small handcrafted items such as coasters. These are the ideal qualities of products you should introduce to the global market—the perfect opportunity to test cross-border shipping routes like Canada-US.

Country Restrictions

Every country sets its own restrictions on importing and exporting goods. Before you start packing the orders or even labeling them, make sure to study the rules and regulations of every country pertaining to international shipments. Most countries will require sellers to submit important documents that validate the legitimacy of their cross-border transactions.

Prohibited Items

Utilizing border shipping services for your products means that you and the courier understand and abide by the laws of both countries—this includes official importing and exporting protocol. Before you decide to ship your product across the border, you must first make sure that your products are not on the prohibited items list. Otherwise, serious issues may arise.

Take lithium-ion batteries, for example: these are commonly restricted to many countries, which is why sellers make the extra effort to deliver them to their customers. No wonder some sellers give disclaimers about the potential fees that customers may incur. Other shipment restrictions depend on the mode of transportation used by the courier company. Don’t fret when one shipping service turns you down. Another one will be waiting to pick your parcels up and deliver them to your customers.

Considering Cross-Border Shipping?

Cross-border shipping services have transcended into one of the most notable kinds of shipping there is. Most shipping companies will advise sellers to begin with high-profit margin products that they can afford to lose just in case the trial fails. Try shipping low-risk items such as books before expensive ones such as jewelry or gadgets.

Equip Your Business for Cross-Border Shipping

  1. Build a website that utilizes the native language of your country. Add a feature for translations for countries that you will market to.
  2. Set prices at a margin that considers taxes, duties, and other fees.
  3. Create an FAQ page that provides all essential information that your customers need to know about; this should answer all shipping-related questions.
  4. Put up a policy page that links from the product pages and checkout page.
  5. Use a platform that lets you establish shipping terms and conditions and keeps you compliant with the laws.

Where to Start with Logistics?

As you continue constructing your business, start thinking about the courier companies you should partner with. It’s good to keep the following in mind:

Pick a courier you trust

When working with a shipping company, you need to trust that they will handle your packages with care. You can offer multiple shipping options, like standard shipping or express shipping. Prices will vary depending on what the customers choose and how much their parcels weigh. Of course, express shipping will cost more since it’s faster.

Knowing and understanding customs and duties

When sellers think about shipping, factors such as tariffs, customs, and duties should also come to mind. The cost you incur depends on the value, weight, and quantity of the products you plan on shipping. Distance is another aspect. The more products you plan on importing or exporting and the farther they are, the higher your fees will be.

Build a local warehouse

Another strategy for reaching more international customers is to build a local warehouse in the area you plan on expanding to. This way, you can easily work with the set rules and regulations mandated by that country. You can also find local vendors or manufacturers you can partner with to replicate your products for easier inventory and operations.

Moreover, one of the major benefits of building a local warehouse is cutting delivery time and costs. 

How to Optimize Your Customers’ Experience?

Provide different delivery methods to choose from

Customers want to get their orders right away, and it takes different delivery methods to achieve this. It’s also crucial to consider the expenses they will incur. Those who want to save their money may use an international shipping rate calculator to check if the price works for them.

Be clear about the shipping costs

Some customers get shocked about the cost they see when they are about to check out their cart. Fees get higher depending on the location. In some cases, when customers choose “Buy Now,” they get charged more because of express shipping. Sellers must be transparent about the shipping costs. Otherwise, expect negative reviews from upset customers.

What Happens When Customers Add Items to Their Cart?

As a business, you’ll want to provide your customers with the best shopping experience—speedy transactions and deliveries, quick responses, and a flexible payment system. Nowadays, people prefer cashless options, so include Stripe payments, Paypal, or even credit card payment schemes to your listings. 

Remember to include choices for shipping services as well. You don’t want to keep your customers wondering how their orders will reach them. You can maximize the use of geotags on your listings if you don’t particularly ship some of your items to some regions. Doing so avoids some confusion on the side of customers.

Cart Abandonment: Quick Stats

Businesses want to know facts and base important decisions on in-depth research and customer behavior. This answers key questions, like what makes a customer decide to abandon their cart? Some sellers fail to fully comprehend why resolving cart abandonment is vital. How does it affect their business? What can eCommerce shipping solutions do?

  • At least 17% of customers don’t proceed with their orders because they worry about security and privacy.
  • More than 50% leave their carts due to redundancy in entering credit card information.
  • Additional fees such as shipping costs, taxes, and other miscellaneous fees drive customers to hit the back button.
  • Customers seldom push through with checkout if the platform requires them to sign up.
  • Around 10% abandon their carts because they cannot find their preferred payment method.
  • A whopping 85.65% of mobile users don’t see the order process through.

What to Do During Checkout?

Sellers can prevent various costs just by being transparent and clarifying border shipping services. You want to avoid hefty fees for shipping packages in order to secure your customers’ trust.

Encourage building trust

According to a study, one of the things that hinder shoppers from purchasing overseas is simply a sketchy checkout method.

Establish trust with your customers and keep them glued to your online shop for as long as you can. Lead them to different website pages with user-friendly navigation and a responsive interface. Get them to the terms and conditions about shipping, modes of payment, and even refunds and returns in just a few clicks. Make them feel safe as they browse through your website and ponder on making a purchase. Finally, checkouts should be as smooth as possible and free from any glitches to secure their trust. 

A study conducted by Paypal and Magneto discovered that when you add a security icon to the checkout page, it raises mobile Revenue Per Visitor by around 17.37% versus other websites. RPV has increased by at least 7% when it comes to desktop and tablet users.

Another way of building trust with your customers is by giving them prompt responses to their inquiries and good customer reviews.

Reduce requiring customers to fill out forms

Online stores may require customers to fill out forms for order tracking purposes. In order for sellers to fulfill their orders, they need contact information, such as name, address, email address, and phone/mobile numbers. However, customers want to enjoy a certain amount of privacy. If they see more blanks to fill out, such as birthdays, this may drive them to abandon their cart. Remember, less is more.

Refrain from mandating account creation among customers

Most online shopping experiences include creating an account with a password just to be able to check out. One of the advantages of this is that if they really like your shop, it would be very easy for them to just process their orders. Otherwise, the time-consuming process may trigger them to leave your store in a heartbeat.

Show your customers prices in their local currency

Around 75% of cross-border customers say they like to see prices in their local currency, especially in an international online store. 62% say that they have a habit of checking prices in their local currency before adding it to their cart or even checking out their order.

Takeaway

These days most customers prefer to do shopping online. However, around 70% of the customers abandon their carts if the store lacks convenient shipping options. Most customers want to know upfront how their orders will be shipped, how soon they’ll arrive, and how much the total bill is, including all shipping costs and taxes.

Be properly guided on this matter with Stallion Express, your cross-border shipping buddy that will relieve you of all these worries. Offering both affordability and high-quality service, this eCommerce shipping solution lets you save up to 75% in shipping fees. Learn more about us and what we can do to grow your business.

Get started today! Ship faster, smarter, cheaper with Stallion.

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Pramod Bhat
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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