Do you operate an e-commerce site? If so, do you limit your shipping to avoid sending products overseas? You could be missing out on a huge amount of sales! Adding international shipping opens the door to a much larger base of potential customers. With the right strategy and shipping partner, you can grow your business substantially by looking beyond your own borders.
The Proof is in the Numbers
Before getting to the details of international e-commerce shipping, let us talk about the numbers. According to stats cited by Shopify in 2020, e-commerce retailers offering international shipping grow much faster than those that don’t. In fact, they grow 60% faster. When was the last time your operation experienced that much growth?
Next up, the data shows that the average value of an international sale is 17% higher than the domestic average. On orders shipped outside the United States, this amounts to an average of $147 per order. That is nearly $1,500 on just ten orders.
Finally, one in every four internet users shops online. Every one of those people represents a potential customer. You will never reach the majority of those customers if you do not add the option for international shipping. As a DHL authorized reseller, we can say for certain that some of your competitors are already shipping overseas. You need to keep up.
Adding International Shipping
We typically tell e-commerce shops to decide exactly where you want to ship before anything else. It’s often helpful to start with a few countries that have less regulations or who the US has a free trade agreement with. You can start small with just one or two new countries. This way you don’t overextend yourself beyond your ability to ship. In your Google Analytics account, you can see where your traffic is coming from. This view can help you better understand which international markets are the best ones to add first.
Next up, it is important to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of international shipping. For example, there are some things that cannot be exported without special permits. Or there are specific guidelines for shipping lithium batteries found in many electronics. Make sure you know the rules about your specific product. Our international shipping experts are also available to answer questions about common regulations.
E-commerce platforms like Shopify, Woocommerce, Shipstation, Magento 2, and BigCommerce try to make it as easy as possible for store owners to administer their sites. They understand that e-commerce experts are not necessarily coding experts. When you are selecting a shipping partner, make sure their rates can be integrated into the shopping cart of your ecommerce store so rates can be calculated for your customers.
Announcing International Shipping to your Store Visitors
Once you have decided on shipping destinations, briefed yourself on the rules and regulations, and added your international shipping to your shopping cart, it’s time to let the market know!
Here are a few ways you can let your audience know on your website:
- Have a banner on your website that announces your shipping destinations. You can also add this to your website footer.
- Consider using plugins or addons to change the language of your website with just one click.
- Have a shipping page on your website that clearly explains everywhere you ship.
- Add multiple currencies to your shopping cart.
- Make sure any package tracking your site has will track international packages
Hopefully, you will be pleasantly surprised to see your store grow as a result of more international customers shopping with you. That is the whole point of adding international shipping to your e-commerce site.
Have more questions about getting started with international shipping on your ecommerce store?