If your business is performing well locally, you might be wondering whether to add international shipping to your website. This could open up a whole new customer base for you, growing your businesses and increasing profits. But how do you know if it’s the right step for you? Make sure you’re considering these things before taking the plunge:
Before announcing your intention to ship internationally across your social media channels and website, make sure you fully understand how to accept international payments. You need to remember that your tax rate might differ and that your customer will be paying in a different currency. This means factoring in any conversion charges from your bank or payment provider. While thousands of businesses offer international payments and shipping, they all do their research beforehand if they want to be successful.
Before reaching out to a new customer base abroad, consider whether your product will sell to those audiences. Thoroughly research the market you want to target and reach out to them. Never assume that just because you now offer international shipping your audience will automatically discover your website. If you are really serious about shipping outside of your home country, then you can even consider making adjustments to the product you sell so that it suits international needs better.
It’s also important to keep in mind that some products may be restricted in other countries. Food and cosmetics often can’t be shipped internationally if they don’t comply with particular regulations, so you’ll need to read up on this before your package is seized by customs.
Are you prepared to translate your website and services into another language? If this isn’t something you feel confident doing, make sure you aren’t targeting audiences who don’t speak English. While there are many English speakers abroad, you might be better off reaching out to other English-speaking populations to begin with.
While shipping internationally could grow your business, you need to ask yourself if you’re prepared for this influx of new sales. Growth is never a bad thing, but if you want to avoid getting overwhelmed you will need to put things into place before this big change happens. This might include outsourcing some of your processes or looking into a more efficient method of packing and shipping. If you’re currently the only person preparing orders, you might struggle if your international shipping is a hit.
Shipping abroad will cost more than shipping within the same country. While you can charge your customers the shipping fee, have you thought about the extra stress if packages get lost? Depending on what country you’re shipping to, there could be a higher risk of your parcel getting misplaced in transit. You will often be able to claim back lost costs from your postal provider, but is it worth the effort? If this process is a long one, consider whether you can afford to sometimes pay the price for a lost product.