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Delivering across borders poses its own set of challenges. Here are our top tips for ensuring your cross border deliveries are as smooth as possible:

Make it clear you're open for international delivery

If you ship your products overseas, make sure you say so, especially on your homepage, so a potential international customer knows that if they want to buy from you they can. 

Include charges for customers before checkout 

Be transparent! Depending on the product you are sending, you (or your customer) are likely going to have to pay extra as a cost of doing business for importing goods into a country. Therefore you do have options: 

  • Delivery Duty Paid (DDP)

    This means you, the merchant, pay all the taxes and fees associated with shipping internationally. You are generally billed by your carrier for these fees.

  • Delivery Duty Unpaid (DDU) 

    This means that the customer pays all taxes and fees associated with the package. If you choose this route, be sure to let the customer know upfront that they will be responsible for duties.

    The last thing you want to do is surprise your customers with a huge grand total when they’re about to hit “Buy Now.”  Or shipping something around the world only for the customer to refuse to accept the shipment because of the high duties.

Meet the customer's shipping needs

It’s important to remember that a positive shipping experience is vital to customer satisfaction. According to figures, 39% of consumers who have a poor delivery experience will never shop with that retailer again, that’s a big portion of customers you could potentially lose as a result of poor shipping experience. 

With ecommerce becoming the norm, online shoppers now want and expect their goods as soon as possible and want that express delivery option, which actually can be good for business. 

Provide free shipping

 If you offer free international shipping you need to make sure you make enough on each order to cover the associated shipping costs. This is why you’ll see that most companies, such as Amazon, only offer free shipping over a certain price point and only on specific products. Essentially, only offer it for orders where you know you’re making enough on the sale to cover shipping and still make a profit.

Provide international tracking 

In order to reduce the number of customer service requests and the chances of your shipment getting lost overseas, it’s recommended you choose a carrier that offers good tracking. Giving your customers accurate, timely information about their order deliveries will improve customers' experience with your brand and increase their confidence in your company.

Meet the customer’s return needs

Many international online shoppers fear returns, with 23% of potential online shoppers assuming that returns would be difficult or costly as a barrier to shopping with an international online retailer. Therefore it’s vital you have a simple returns process and make that clear on your website. 

Offer flexible delivery options

To ensure that you’re meeting the needs of your customers you should consider delivery preferences such as; leaving a parcel in a safe place or at a collection point. That said, these do vary from country to country and you should ensure that your shipping provider is able to meet the requirements of customers across the globe in order to increase both customer convenience and satisfaction.

More information

Read Next Chapter: Managing Cross-Border Trade Challenges

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Read Next Chapter: Managing Cross-Border Trade Challenges

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