When you began your small business, you had big dreams. You knew what you wanted to do and how you could grow your ideas until they became your reality. It’s why you have a thriving company and the opportunity to sell products internationally.
Leaping from strictly domestic sales to international ones as well is a huge accomplishment. Celebrate how successful your business has become, but also be aware that there are some major differences when dealing with shipping products around the world.
Here’s how to handle international shipping as a small business. With a little bit of time and energy, you’ll rethink your current global strategies and approach shipping in a way that benefits both you and your customers.
Start Small at First
Once you’ve grown your consumer base to a size that spans countries, you’ll want to make more of your products available to those people. It’s exciting to reach more potential customers and be more accessible, but start small at first.
Pick one or two countries where most of your international customers live. Roll out your new shipping availability slowly so you can deal with unexpected problems as they arise. The more comfortable you get with the process, the more you can expand your shipping range in the future.
Choose International Products
Certain products may be more beneficial for global sales than others, even if they’re your most popular items. It all depends on their Harmonized System (HS) code, which classifies traded products for taxes and other duties. Look your products up in this code to see which ones will cost more in shipping, and use that information to strategize which items you should sell internationally.
Another caution you should take with global sales is thinking about what you use to make your products. The federal government may prohibit them from international shipments because they could contain something dangerous. Things that contain certain liquids, flammable ingredients or explosive components aren’t legal to ship outside the United States.
Pick Packaging Wisely
How you package your products plays a huge role in what your customers must pay for shipment. A standard cardboard box feels weightless, but a padded envelope is even lighter. Consider switching to things like cushioned envelopes and airbag packaging so you protect your products without paying extra.
You can always stop by different shipment stores and compare their international rates before officially mailing a product. After you’ve chosen the store with the best pricing, talk with the people who work there about how to cut costs and make things more affordable.
Adust Shipping Estimates
You can also decrease shipping costs for your customers by presenting them with options. Depending on where they live, they can pay for the fastest shipping or the slowest. They’ll potentially need to wait a few more days for the cheapest shipping, but it could save them a significant amount of money.
Consider Your Business
Think about your business and what kind of products your customers want. What you sell changes how you can adjust your international shipping fees, so give it some thought. Try out these tips to see how you can make things better for your customer base.