So at this point you have determined which markets to target and how to update your website to facilitate these new international customers. Now you need to figure out how to get their purchases to them. Today’s blog entry focuses on the logistics of actually shipping items overseas. Shipping overseas has become easier as supply chain logistics providers are readily available. There are several options to consider, including:
Doing Your Own Shipping: If you are just getting started and are unsure of what the international demand will be, the best shipping option might be to do your own shipping. You can simply pack and ship the order using any larger carrier. However, because you will be shipping one order at a time with this method, this will be an expensive means to ship.
Drop Shipping: Drop shipping is popular among some merchants. The drop shipper can hold your inventory and pack and ship the order once you have made a sale. Some merchants may also opt to ship the product to the drop shipper when they get a sale. Drop shippers work with large volumes, so they have the ability to secure discounted shipping rates. They also handle export documentation and refunds. When a customer wants to return an item, they can ship the order back to the drop shipper, who would then notify you so that you can refund the customer’s credit card.
Freight Forwarding: Freight forwarders are agents who help merchants ship orders to freight destinations. They can reserve cargo space and prepare paperwork for the shipment. Freight forwarders typically specialize in specific regions and are licensed by the US federal government. You can find Freight forwarders by visiting the National Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association of America at http://ncbfaa.org.
Thoroughly research all of the above options to determine what best suits your growing international eCommerce business and your shipping needs.
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