Tapping into overseas markets can become very lucrative for businesses like yours, despite a lot of complexities dealing with international logistics. While many fulfillment centers here in the U.S. can help you make overseas shipping a reality, it depends on what their knowledge is on customs and other international regulations.
Any violations from lack of awareness could hurt your business reputation in short order. Many countries don’t accept certain products, and various fees and taxes need full consideration. Even if the fulfillment center receives a fine for violating these regulations, your overseas customers are going to blame you.
This could ruin any chance of keeping loyal international customers you’re just starting to nurture.
It’s all the more reason to consider the costs and benefits of expanding to an overseas fulfillment solution. Doing so could give you more advantages in reaching various foreign cities that are otherwise too difficult to reach from the U.S.
Let’s take a look at how this could work for you in the coming year.
International Markets Help During U.S. Sale Downturns
As a major impetus to find an international fulfillment center, keep in mind sales here in the U.S. can frequently fluctuate wildly. You may already feel the pain of this with the holidays ending and a sudden drop-off in sales figures.
By finding an overseas warehouse to partner with, they’ll help you find markets in their region to keep sales going when dwindling here. Some countries have specific holidays during other parts of the year that could help you attract sales during slow times stateside.
The Costs of Shipping Internationally
More than anything, you’ll want to find an overseas fulfillment center because of the large cost of shipping from here to there. Once you open new markets, the shipping fees, package tracking, taxes, and customs fees become tremendous. Since this constantly changes, you could also make mistakes on these as mentioned above.
During times when a good portion of your sales occur in a foreign market, it can start to become a major expense shipping there. Since you want new customers overseas to get packages as soon as possible, you’ll probably have to invest in air cargo most of the time.
It may become a challenge when you have to decide whether shipping by slower ship cargo is easier on your budget over air service. Because customers overseas want their deliveries just as fast as Americans do, you may have no choice but to do expensive shipping by air most of the time.
Expensive Shipping Charges for the Customer
A major problem with shipping overseas from the U.S. is that you’ll have to charge larger shipping fees to keep yourself profitable. International customers may balk at this when they see how high overseas shipping rates are. Even American consumers sometimes abandon shopping carts if they see shipping charges going beyond more than a few dollars.
International shipping frequently goes above $10 (and more), depending on what the product is. Going through an international fulfillment center allows you to get rid of the expensive shipping and just charge normal domestic shipping in a particular country.
Caveat: Communicating With Your Overseas Warehouse
Now that you see the benefits in cost for using an international fulfillment warehouse, it’s time to remember how important communication is with them. If you’ve slacked on keeping communicated with a domestic warehouse, you absolutely need to know what’s going on with one overseas.
Thanks to real-time technologies, you can find out without having to visit in person. Be sure to talk with everyone in charge there every day, whether through video conferencing or by real-time chat technology.
Expect them to give you transparency so there isn’t any confusion about your shipping expectations and what’s occurring internally.
Contact us at insightQuote to let us help you find a fulfillment center that’s perfect for you here in the states. We can also help in finding one internationally.