3 Ways to Simplify International E-Commerce


3 Ways to Simplify International E-Commerce. Tricky subject, right? I’m Syama Meagher, CEO of Scaling Retail, and it’s so crazy these days, guys. Everyone seems to be going global, and how do you manage all that logistics? How do you take care of it? How do you simplify it? Well, it happens through a really interesting process, right? Through having the right return policy, through making sure you have the right languages and the right pricing on there, and, oh, to make sure that you have the right back-end and logistics, right? Really, these days it can be so tricky to figure out how to compete with all of these bigger players that are shipping internationally. And certainly as a small business, you want to make sure that you can build scale in that capacity and do it the easy way. So let’s unpack the best ways to do this.

Number one, make sure that you have a kick-ass return policy. Simply put, if they’re shipping it back, maybe they get a refund. But I would say, guys, the people who return to you internationally, they’ve really got to pay for that shipping. And it’s too much of a burden on you, the small business owner, to make sure that things get cleared through customs, to make sure that it comes back to you. So make sure that there’s tracking available on it. Make sure that you actually have a very strict return policy for international so you don’t get somebody sending something back to you 20 or 30 days later. I simply think 14 days is plenty. The next thing you want to do when you’re thinking about your return policy is really to use language that’s very easy. I have some clients who simply choose to say, “Hey, we do international shipping, but we don’t do returns at all.” And while you might say, “Ooof, that’s a tough policy to have,” it’s actually pretty smart. Because that way, if someone really does want the product, you know, the liability is on them. Now, of course, if you want to be growing your policy and you want to be growing your business, then your policy has to be a little bit more expansive, right? So think about the ways in which you can work in tandem in order to grow that business overseas.

Next, I think it’s so crucial to make sure that you know what markets you are going to be spending advertising dollars in. If you take a look a look at a lot of high end luxury brands and high end labels, they actually have… and even some of the more contemporary ones… they actually have, when you log on to their site, “What country are you from? Where are you shipping to?” They have a lot of different kinds of information that’s available to you. So you can make sure to customize what the price point is, you can customize that conversion rate, and you can actually customize the language and how that converts to the language of choice. Personally, I think it might be a little too much to make sure that you’ve got all the languages on there and that you have all the different price conversions. But if you know that there’s a particular market that you’re going to be marketing to, then you definitely want to make sure that you at least have the verbiage in that country’s language, and specifically in countries that are not predominantly English-speaking. So I’d make sure, for example, if you want to be shipping to Japan, make sure you have it written in Japanese, guys. And, when it comes to the currency conversion, make sure that you’ve got the right APIs and the right plug-ins so that kind of conversion is really simple and easy for you. You know, oftentimes if you see brands like Chanel, for example, they charge different prices for different products all over the world, right? And the reason why they do that is obviously customs and shipping and imports. And so when you are shipping, make sure that you have the right information there to indicate to your consumer exactly how much they’re going to be paying for those duties and taxes. There are some applications out there that really help split the difference… one called International Shipping… and they help you split the difference in terms of the pricing on that. However, I think it’s really important to be upfront and clear how much it’s going to charge if you’re doing a flat fee, if you’re doing a free shipping over a certain amount of money. Find out what’s best for your customer, but also do your best to protect your business.

Now, lastly, when it comes to shipping, the logistics part of this is so, so critical. Personally, I’m a huge fan of UPS. I also love DHL. I think they actually do amazing in terms of requiring signatures upon delivery. You wouldn’t imagine how difficult it is when you send a package over that does not require a signature, and all of a sudden your international customer starts to complain that they never received the package. This can happen in different markets, depending on who you’re actually selling the product to. So make sure that the carrier that you’re working with does have signature required available and make sure that you find out exactly what their shipping rates are. I highly suggest doing a sample package and weighing it out and getting some quotes on what markets you’re going to be shipping to. Find out more where your advertising is going and base that correlation on that. All right, guys, good luck with international. Good luck with growing your business on e-commerce. If you have any questions about going global, make sure that you head over to scalingretail.com. We’ve got an amazing eBook that goes all over the different areas of going global and how to do that most efficiently. Also, feel free to shoot us an email at hello@scalingretail.com, especially if you want to start to expand your business and are wondering the best processes. Lastly, guys, follow us on YouTube, and make sure you check us out on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn. I am where you are, so leave a comment below, guys. Talk to you soon. Bye.

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