2014 Holiday Deadlines: 4 Tips for International Shipping

USPS delivery man dropping presents out of Santa's sleigh

Let’s face it. The holidays are not an easy time for ecommerce businesses. Just hearing the words “holiday shipping” can cause online retailers to sweat. And international shipping can be an even bigger nightmare.

But it doesn’t have to be. With a little bit of extra planning, you can alleviate some of that holiday stress and grow your business by offering global shopping. Here are a few tips to help you beat the holiday shipping blues and ship internationally like a pro:

  1. Stay on top of international holiday shipping deadlines. It’s important to make sure your customers are well aware of holiday shipping deadlines, so they don’t procrastinate on buying that gift for Uncle Joe in Austria. Post these deadlines on your website where they are clearly visible to your customers, so they won’t be caught off guard if an item doesn’t arrive in time. Don’t know this year’s holiday shipping deadlines? No worries! We’ve already done all the work for you. Check out the chart below for a list of USPS international holiday shipping deadlines.

international deadlines chart

To view the complete list of USPS holiday shipping deadlines, please click here.

  1. Get your technology in place. When you’re shipping internationally, the worst mistake you can make is doing it by hand. First of all, there are all sorts of international shipping bans that you might not know about. Did you know that you can’t ship a deck of cards to Spain or bells to Italy? Automation technology makes it easy to navigate these bans since it alerts you before you try and ship a forbidden item. Plus, automation technology is an absolute life-saver when it comes to filling out customs forms. Endicia integrates directly into your product database, fills out customs forms automatically once a label is printed and will pre-alert you if you try to ship a banned item.
  1. Pad your package for the long haul. The holidays mean peak shipping season for many businesses, so it’s extra important to make sure your products are packaged properly, especially if they’re fragile and traveling around the world. Bubble wrap and Styrofoam packing peanuts are your new best friends. BONUS: Holiday-themed packaging also adds a nice festive touch!
  1. Track your shipments. Everyone gets a little antsy when they’re waiting for a package, especially if it’s a time-sensitive holiday gift coming from overseas. Provide relief to your customers by giving them the option to track their packages from pickup to final delivery. The USPS offers excellent end-to-end tracking services, providing an average of 11 scan events per package.

Check our blog post on  domestic holiday shipping tips! The infographic gives you the low-down on important domestic shipping deadlines to make sure those closer to home also receive their packages.

 

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