As the world of online selling becomes increasingly competitive, online retailers are looking beyond the U.S. borders to market and sell their products to an international audience that makes up 95 percent of the world’s population.
For some sellers, this can be a daunting initiative. There are language barriers, cultural barriers, currency barriers, regulatory barriers, and increased risk of payment fraud – let alone cross-border shipping and fulfillment issues to consider. In the face of these challenges, how can you jump start your business so that you can participate and win in the lucrative world of international e-commerce?
One way is to take advantage of service providers that make it easy to go global with minimal changes to your existing website or fulfillment processes. For example, a DYMO Endicia® partner, Shipwire®, holds your inventory in their internationally located warehouses to cut down on shipping costs and times. If you wish to add currency conversion or other international capabilities into your online store, take advantage of e-commerce platforms, such as the one offered by Miva Merchant®, another DYMO Endicia partner. If you’re currently using any of our other partners, it’s worth looking into what international services they offer. You may be surprised by how much of the work has already been done for you.
Another way to ease into markets outside the U.S. is to start in one or two English-speaking countries. The U.K., Canada, and Australia account for nearly half of the global e-commerce market – markets you can enter with little need to worry about language barriers.
Often, a major obstacle to cross-border selling is navigating the myriad of country- and/or region-specific regulations and restrictions on imported goods. To make it easier for your business to sell globally, you already have access to lists of prohibited items and other country-specific regulations on imported items directly from DYMO Endicia’s International Mail Advisor.
When you are ready to ship products internationally, DYMO Endicia has a number of innovative features that make it fast and simple. You can easily pick from a number of different international service options based on delivery times. You can fill out the required customs forms electronically. If you routinely ship the same items, you can even save the customs form as a template to avoid filling in the same information on future shipments. DYMO Endicia allows you to look up HTS (Harmonization Tariff Schedule) codes for the products shipped (please see Harry’s article about HTS codes to learn more). When you’re done, you can use DYMO Endicia to print the international shipping label and the integrated customs forms.
Check out how some of our customers have entered the world of international e-commerce by viewing these success stories:
For more insight, check out our ecommerce tips and trends page.