If you sell products online or through a catalog, you might be hoping to reach out to international customers. This can be a great way to increase your business, but of course, businesses often have concerns with international shipping. For one thing, you probably want to make sure that your customers are happy with the shipping process.
Things can go wrong with shipping in any situation, but this can particularly be a problem with international shipping. If you follow these tips, however, you can help prevent problems and customer dissatisfaction.
1. Work With a Customs Broker
First of all, many companies find that working with a customs broker helps them improve the process of international shipping significantly. A customs broker can help both you and your customers.
One major complaint that many businesses get when it comes to international shipping is the length of time that it takes for them to receive their packages. With the sheer distance that the products have to travel, it makes sense that it would take longer for them to arrive to their destination when they're being shipped halfway around the world.
However, the holdup is often more related to customs than to the distance that the products are being shipped. Every country has different laws about items that can be sent into the country, and many packages are checked by customs as they enter the country.
The good news is that a customs broker will be experienced with international shipping. A customs broker can help you speed up the customs process and avoid any problems.
2. Package Products Properly
Few things can be more disappointing to a customer than opening a package that they have been anxiously waiting for only to find that their item has been damaged. However, when a package is sent to another country, the package might be handled by a lot of people in the process. Somewhere along the way, the package could be handled roughly, and items inside can break or otherwise be damaged.
Even though you might not be able to completely prevent damage, you can use proper packaging for the items you ship. Ensure that boxes and packages are the appropriate size, and avoid packing too many items in one box. Also, use heavy-duty boxes and packaging and utilize protective materials like newspaper or packing peanuts to help provide a cushion.
Also, label boxes that contain fragile items. This labeling can help encourage those who handle the packages to treat them a little more carefully.
3. Be Realistic
You want your customers to be excited about their order, and you might know that listing a long estimated shipping time can be a downer for shoppers. However, be realistic about shipping times when customers are placing orders. Then, customers will know from the beginning that they may have to wait a while before they receive their order.
4. Keep Customers Updated
If your customers have no idea where their packages are, customers might get concerned or upset. Email or otherwise contact customers to let them know when their product has shipped and when the estimated arrival date is to avoid upset customers. Additionally, consider providing tracking information so that customers can check on the status of their packages along the way.
You don't have to steer away from international customers because of shipping-related concerns. Instead, keep these tips in mind so that you can start selling your products to customers from all over the world while having minimal complaints and headaches. If you need help shipping your packages internationally, contact Dolphin Brokerage International of FL, Inc., for experienced help.