14 steps to stress-free worldwide shipping
International shipping doesn’t have to be stressful. With a few simple tips, you can easily expand your customer base across the globe.
1. Do your research. Don’t leave anything to chance – read up on the ins and outs of all the countries you’re shipping to. Our worldwide directory gives you a comprehensive guide to each country’s sending requirements and specifications.
2. Know your markets. It’s important to have a plan and not spread yourself too thin. Find markets that show the most promise and be mindful of complications such as unexpected import duties.
3. Aim big. You just received an order from Spain, but next week it might be Timbuktu. Find a delivery supplier who has the global coverage to help you grow.
4. Be clear. As your business grows, you’ll learn a lot about the service you can provide. To help manage your customers’ expectations, pass on that knowledge and they’ll feel more confident about pressing the buy button.
5. Give options – everyone likes them. Sometimes your customer wants their order yesterday, sometimes they’re happy to wait a little longer for cheaper shipping. So, it’s a good idea to give them a selection of delivery options to choose from.
6. Keep up the good work. It doesn’t matter where your customer is, you’ll want them to receive a service as good as you provide in the UK. Options like delivery notifications in a local language can really make a difference to your customer’s experience.
7. Pack it up. Pack well and you’ll save on shipping costs. Wasted space is wasted money. Take the time to source the perfect shipping materials that efficiently protect your precious cargo.
8. Measure it once, and again. When shipping internationally, size and dimensions can vary by country so it’s important to check before sending.
9. Make sure you’re covered. Check the compensation your delivery supplier provides – so you know what’s standard and included in the price, and what’s available as an enhanced option (for higher value items, for example). Just in case things go wrong.
10. Do your paperwork. Can your delivery supplier make it easier to create customs documents like Electronic Trade Documentation and paperless invoices? If they can, it will save you a lot of time.
11. Take the hassle out of shipping. Look out for services that can integrate with your current systems to automate orders, fulfilment and delivery notifications.
12. Use local experts. No one can expect you to know every country inside out. So, work with a reputable delivery supplier that has a good understanding of your shipping destination and has the local expertise to manage your parcels end-to-end.
13. Keep an eye on it. You need to be able to track all your parcels, easily and in detail, every step of the way. That way you can answer customer queries and get assurances your deliveries have reached their destination safely.
14. Allow returns. Even with international delivery, returns do happen. Make sure your delivery supplier can help you handle this with great customer service. And don’t forget to check how much this will cost you.
With a bit of forward thinking and some help from people that know, expanding your reach across the globe is easy. Consider setting up an account with your delivery supplier – this can give you access to discounted rates, scheduled collections, and the ability to integrate with your inventory and shipping systems. Take the time to choose a delivery supplier with the expertise to help you scale. And with a knowledgeable Account Manager on hand to answer questions and provide help along the way, you’ll be flying in no time.