There are two ways you can expand your business:
- Create or stock new product lines that you can sell to your existing customers
- Sell the same products to a new market such as customers in a new country
The first of these options has many challenges.
Firstly, cross selling and up-selling requires completely new marketing and is not always effective. Only some of your existing customer base will want to buy more from you.
In addition there will be extra costs, such as storage, for your new products.
In contrast, selling your goods to a market in another continent has a lot of benefits.
For instance, there are no new initial storage costs. Only when you have successfully penetrated the market can you expect your storage needs to increase.
Likewise, you already know what marketing materials are successful for the products and the targeted customers, so you can reuse these in the new market with only a few minor adjustments; i.e. localizing your offer for the local market.
Therefore, moving into a new territory can be relatively cost effective. The only struggles you may have are with the fulfilment strategy for the foreign customers.
Here are three, key challenges, associated with cross border fulfillment:
Rules And Regulations
Every country has its own set of import and export regulations.
It isn’t as easy as packaging your product, slapping an international shipping code on the package and sending it off to your courier.
Some products aren’t acceptable in certain countries and some packaging material is also under constraints in some territories.
Knowing these regulations can be a struggle, especially if they change due to circumstances out of your control (i.e. disease, etc).
Couriers In The New Territory
It is highly unlikely that the couriers who deliver your products in your current territories also cover the new areas.
This can lead to significant problems, choosing the right courier is really important as to ensure that your product arrives with your customer on-time and intact.
Otherwise you can suffer from high customer dissatisfaction, higher returns from customers and significant churn rate that threatens your successful introduction into the area.
It is difficult to assess the couriers capacity and capability when you aren’t in the area and don’t know the customers.
Therefore, without support in choosing the right couriers, you can be putting your brand value and image at risk.
Costs of shipping can be expensive, particularly when you are starting out in a new territory.
The costs are higher often when you don’t have a reputation or a high volume for the area. Therefore, your profit margins per delivery are lower and this can be challenge.
Instead, you need to look at ways to lower the costs of your delivery. This might include creating strong partnerships with brands already operating in the area.
The Floship Success
The answer to these problems is Floship.
We have the experience, expertise and knowledge to solve each of these challenges without much trouble. The Floship partnership helps you to shorten the transit time of goods across borders and prevents additional administrative costs.
We also partner with the best delivery companies across the world, so whatever territory you are sending packages to, we know they will be handled professionally and with care. Therefore, your customer complaints will be minimised.
Finally, we look to actively reduce the cost for sending your products internationally. This is really important to you, as the lower your unit costs to deliver, the more profit you can make and the more funds you will have to reinvest in your business for growth.
- What challenges have you found with selling internationally?
- What was your solution?
See how easy it can be to expand your business growth globally, get your free International Ecommerce Fulfillment Audit.
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— Floship (@floship) May 19, 2016