- Increase postage fees due to international postage fees
- Increase lead times due to international courier services
- Customer service can become challenging:
- International consumers can become irritated with the time it takes to receive their products
- Products could get damaged, lost or stolen when being shipped internationally.
- Products could potentially get stuck in hold, waiting to pass customs inspections.
- Product returns can get expensive and tricky due to the time it wold take to send the product back and get replaced.
- Every country has different social norms, which can make communicating efficiently challenging.
- Government paper work can eat your time and become rather confusing.
Shipping & Returns Policies
Shipping products internationally can be expensive and somewhat of a challenge. It is important to clearly state on your website your shipping process and return policies. Most international consumers will refuse to buy from a seller if these processes and policies are not clearly defined.
The shipping process should include the method of transport and time it will take for the product to arrive. Keep in mind, the longer it takes for your product to arrive to those international buyers the chances of them purchasing from you begins to deteriorate. It is also important to list potential variables in the event their parcel does not come in the time your shipping policy states.
The returns policies needs to clearly instruct your businesses process of accepting returned goods.
- Will your business provide return postage free of charge?
- If Yes, how will you provide this?
- Will you enclose a return label in the event they need to return the item, or will you reimburse the customer?
- What options do you provide on your returns?
- Do you provide a full refund, or replacement of product sold?
- How long could the process of returning a product take?
Sizing & CustomsUK and American sizing is completely different. One country prefers metric while the other prefers imperial. To prevent any miscommunication the prospective sellers need to ensure that sizing conversions and product information is presented clearly for all nationalities to perceive correctly. Remember, the success of any business comes from customer satisfaction.
Customs can be tricky and should be handled with care. Any paperwork that is filled out incorrectly can cost your business both financial loses but also damage its reputation. Think about that potential international customer who has been waiting over three weeks for their product and your business is unable to track and locate it. International sellers should also be mindful of the customs charges imposed on items coming into the EU.
SummaryThe main objective here is to ensure expectations are clearly laid out from the beginning. Providing clear understandable shipping, returns and customs procedures. Adding, additional info on sizing, weight, etc.. shows your business goes the extra mile, by accommodating different country norms. Having a policy in place covering these bases will aid in providing great customer service, improve your businesses reputation and guarantee returning happy customers!
By Erik Miller
The Invisible Link- Between your business and its customers