Cross-border e-commerce is a booming industry that hit $1 billion in the year 2018 and is all set to reach over 4 trillion dollars by the end of 2027.
As e-commerce has now increased, a lot of people (including us, of course) prefer shopping online rather than visiting a physical store.
And with technology, nothing has been impossible lately! For instance, let’s say you like a dress from a company based halfway across the world.
The company may usually have international shipping options, so you can go right ahead and order the dress. Without having to physically visit the place to buy it. We think that’s extremely cool, don’t you?
Taken in a literal sense, the term ‘cross-border shipping’ refers to shipping goods from one country to another.
Locally available goods in a certain country may not necessarily be easily available in another country.
This is where cross-border shipping comes into action, with this process, these goods are exported from one country and imported into another.
Like any other import-export exchange, of course, these packages go through thorough customs checks and import duties before they reach their receiver.
Cross-border shipping makes it possible for business owners to export their products to a different country by avoiding the additional cost of setting up a physical warehouse in that country.
In simple words, it may seem like the more cost-effective and easy alternative for businesses that wish to expand online.
For instance, if you live in India and would like to purchase something from a UK-based company, you may make use of cross-border shipping.
Now that we’re clear about what cross-border shipping is, let’s look at how it can benefit those involved in the shipping process.
Benefits of cross-border shipping
1. It gives you a competitive edge
With the rise in businesses, international or cross-border shipping is among the best ways to make your business stand out from the crowd.
When a company wishes to expand its business internationally, the first step is to pick a country and provide cross-border shipping for it.
Cross-border shipping can also help a company understand the scalability of its business before physically moving or setting up a warehouse in another country.
3. Vast clientele
Tapping into international markets becomes a lot easier with cross-border shipping. Before cross-border shipping came into play, businesses would only focus on their own country’s market, their target audience and market have both now changed.
4. Increased Revenue
It is only obvious that when a business taps into different markets, it will generate more revenue. The more countries a business ships to, the more potential there is to grow its brand. Hence, more customers can even be reached.
5. Peaked Product Interest
What works for the customers of one country may not work well for another’s. Businesses have the opportunity to explore more shipping or business destinations by doing international shipping, in turn increasing their ROI.
The audience or market of different countries can hence, be better understood with the help of cross-border shipping.
While cross-border shipping has many benefits and advantages to it, one must also consider the risks involved in the process.
What are the risks involved in cross-border shipping?
There may be many challenges to international or cross-border shipping that may cause significant issues, however, if businesses can tackle these issues, shipping will be a smooth and hassle-free process.
Many times, language differences or difficulties may pose a threat to cross-border shipping.
According to research, about 79% of consumers who shop online prefer to purchase products from websites that are in their native language, while 59% rarely ever purchase products from websites in English only.
This issue may not arise for domestic shipping, however, in the case of international or cross-border shipping, internet speed may have an impact on conversion rates. New users of websites abroad may face internet speed issues.
3. Customer retention and support
When talking to customers that need support, and who are not based in the same country as you, helping the customer may get tough.
When it comes to cross-border shipping, a lot of hands-on customer servicing and support are required, especially to maintain your brand image and reputation.
Customers may feel more supported when they’re spoken to in their native language and may even feel better understood in the same.
If your website has a currency conversion feature, it works as an add-on. However, your company may also need to offer payment methods that international customers can trust and support.
Your customers are your priority, and it is necessary to make them feel appreciated and put their preferences first.
Credit cards are usually considered the easiest option for payment in most countries but other methods also should be provided for your customer.
To tackle these issues, it is important to choose the correct logistics partner and shipping partner.
Here are a few key factors to keep in mind while picking your logistics partner:
- Shipping options
- Customs and Duties
- Customer support and services
- Support from the logistics company
Ecommerce in international trade plays an essential role in the world economy. E Commerce is on its way to becoming the largest market soon.
It is the need of the hour for businesses to make use of cross-border shipping if they wish to expand their businesses and grow.
This shipping poses many risks and challenges, but the opportunities and benefits it provides certainly outweigh the downfalls.
Businesses must be mindful of using the right logistics partner and the right business and marketing strategies to sell and expand as much as possible!