International Ecommerce: Getting it Right, Every Time

Selling internationally can be daunting for any retailer. As the range and number of digital devices has soared, customer expectations for instant gratification and more personalized service have followed suit.

By expanding beyond domestic operations and tapping into a global customer base, retailers gain a significant revenue stream opportunity. According to eMarketer, this year global business-to-consumer Ecommerce sales are expected to surpass $1.7 trillion in sales. And, surprisingly, out of the 22 countries surveyed, the U.S. isn’t the first, second or even third on the list of countries with the largest percentage of retail Ecommerce growth expected this year – in fact, the U.S. is tenth - which means there are some shopping-hungry countries retailers might be missing out on. The businesses that fall behind in pursuing a global customer audience and strategy risk losing a significant revenue opportunity, as well as losing those customers to their competitors.

While some domestic operational processes can be easily adapted to meet international requirements, there are country-specific considerations that merchants need to address before delving into international Ecommerce. Here are some of the other points you need to consider before going global:

•  Configuration, pricing visibility and price certainty for all cross-border costs, including duty, tax, brokerage and shipping.
•  Product classifications and ratings.
•  Export and import compliances.
•  Required documentation or “paperwork” with various customs authorities, brokerages, carriers, ports of landing.
•  Prohibited goods or denied parties screening.
•  Coordination of managing parcels across borders, including routing, logistics, tracking, insurability and last mile delivery.

Every country has unique compliance requirements and restrictions when it comes to importing and exporting goods. To ensure you’re addressing each regulation appropriately and also crafting a buyer experience that is transparent, convenient and affordable, you need a global ecommerce partner that’s been there before.

The right partner can point you to a global ecommerce solution that serves up the right pricing information for each customer, or recommends the most cost-effective and compliance-friendly shipping strategy for your business. Cross-border retail may be a brave new world for some, but you don’t have to face it alone, and expert help can ensure you get it right, every time.

This blog post was written by Craig Reed, SVP, Strategy & Innovation at Pitney Bowes Global Ecommerce.

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