4 international shipping tips for eSellers this holiday season

Neil Kokemuller
Neil Kokemuller
October 17, 2017

As you prepare for an ambitious holiday season, it’s important to consider as many strategies as possible to help you maximize efficiency and profits. In some cases, eSellers focus well on more general costs of doing business, but overlook some critical opportunities to save, such as on international shipping.

The following is a look at several helpful tips you can use to save on international shipping this holiday season.

Bundle items together

Some shipping services allow you to bundle items together more effectively than others. To leverage economies of scale, promote certain products that customers often buy in combination to increase the size of individual shipments. When possible, combine multiple orders into one shipment to avoid multiple smaller units. You could offer customers bundling discounts to give them more value while reducing your costs with each item purchased.

Use geographic targeting

The costs of international shipping vary greatly by region and country. North American eSellers can generally ship items economically when sending to Canada, Mexico or the United States. However, sending items across continents to parts of Europe, for instance, can drastically increase the costs.

Before you promote goods in particular regions, research the amount of international shipping regulations you would face. Some territories are more restrictive while others have looser policies. Research all costs involved, including tariffs and customs fees before targeting buyers in select countries. Some providers have tools that help your research regulations in advance, such as the United Parcel Service tool.

As you look for markets in which to promote, consider the shipping costs along with other costs of doing business. It might make sense to invest heavily in a concentrated number of international countries in which you can succeed rather than trying to offer goods everywhere.

Outsource shipping to a fulfillment service

Many marketplaces, such as Amazon, Wish and Shopify, offer their own fulfillment services.

By using a fulfillment service, you avoid some of the indirect costs of storing, packaging and delivering goods. These shippers enjoy bulk discounts based on the volume of packages that send, which can save you money. You typically pay a flat fee for the distribution services and you don’t have to worry about all the facets of transportation and logistics.

Use Free or Inexpensive Packaging Materials

The weight and dimensions of your package can significantly influence international shipping costs. Thus, use lighter materials while still packing items safely. The United States Postal Service and some other shipping providers often offer free packaging in combination with selected services.

Conclusions

These are some of the most effective ways that you can cut costs for your global e-commerce business. Saving money on international shipping not only improves your efficiency and profits, but it allows you to deliver a better value to your customers. Seize these opportunities to gain an advantage over other eSellers.

 

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