Ever wondered if your business needs to step up and add drop shipping so you can cater to customers around the globe?
With the recent technologies and upgrades to international shipping, international drop shipping has become a central e-commerce strategy.
However, this strategy still presents major problems to drop shippers that may affect their bottom line. Although it sounds simple, the process of getting an order from a customer and placing an order with the supplier, who will then ship the item to the customer, is extremely complex.
If you're thinking of setting up a drop shipping business, you'll have to understand all the risks and all other facets. Here's a quick round-up of the important things you need to know about drop shipping internationally. Read on to see if this is the right business for you.
Drop shipping involves taking orders and payment from customers and having your supplier ship the orders to them. You don't keep stock; you earn money by selling your supplier's items for a higher price or by getting a cut from the sales.
An international drop shipping business then means having both the supplier and customers in another country. They can be in the same country while you're operating your business in your country, or the supplier can be in a different country while most of your customers come from different parts of the world.
It isn't as simple as local drop shipping, as you'll still have to take into account the exchange rate, delivery time, and taxes when purchasing internationally. You'll also have to confirm if the drop shipping wholesalers accept resellers from another country.
Interested in starting a drop shipping business? Here are a few things to consider when looking for a supplier.
What are the terms and conditions of the supplier and how would you work according to it? Do they have different terms for resellers? Review these and then pen your own for your customers.
Make sure that your return and exchange policy is in line with your supplier's so that there won't be problems when your customer wants to return their purchased items. The other terms should be consistent with your supplier's as well.
Your supplier will be in another country, so the payment method is important. Choose one that's convenient for you. Preferably, a payment option where you would able to transact online.
As for the payment methods for your customers, offer different options to ensure that they can pick a convenient option no matter which country they're in. For example, you can accept payments via PayPal and Western Union.
If they have a credit card, PayPal or its rival Ayden will work great. If they want to pay in cash, a money transfer agency like Western Union will do.
You want to make sure that the items will arrive in good condition. However, being a drop shipper means you can't choose your own packaging. Nevertheless, a little chat with the supplier should solve this.
Ask how the supplier packages the items for international shipping. A trip to another country is quite a long way, so the packaging should be able to withstand a bumpy ride, huge waves, or a turbulence.
Before you start drop shipping internationally, though, there are additional factors that you need to think about.
What carrier do you plan to use? If your supplier and customers are from the same country, you might only need a carrier that services their country. Otherwise, you'll need to find a delivery service with worldwide coverage.
When choosing the right international shipping service for your business, consider their rates, tracking tools, delivery time, fees, and policies. They should also offer various shipping options, including express delivery. Look for reviews online as well to see what other sellers and buyers prefer when sending or receiving parcels from another country.
The next thing to ponder is the list of countries you'll be selling to. If you want to make things easier, you can include countries where the majority of the population speaks English.
For example, Denmark's English-speaking population is 86%, making it a good country to sell to. On the other hand, Brazil's 5% English-speaking population might not be the right market for your online store.
If you decide to sell to non-English speaking countries anyway, you might have to translate your website and offers to their local language. Some can still order from your store as recent technologies now help with translating. Google, for instance, can translate a webpage.
Another important factor is the purchasing power of the population of a country. Selling a $30 shirt? It might come off as high-end to some countries, while others will be much more willing to pay such price.
Such differences among countries will affect your conversion rate. Do a thorough review of the countries you're considering to include in your list.
Each country has its own regulations and restrictions when receiving a package from abroad, which means you'll also have to review each one to see if there are going to be problems with what you're selling.
You'll have to make sure you do the proper procedure when shipping out an item. Failure to do so could enable the authorities to seize the package, resulting in a loss of profits and a potential repeat customer. You can read our guide on what happens to packages when they go through customs to get an idea.
Lastly, consider what e-commerce platform you want to use for your business.
Amazon? eBay? Perhaps a free local platform that's more popular in your target country?
An international website works, too, but it costs a lot to maintain. A huge number of sellers use free platforms instead, and they're doing great. However, it's probably not a good idea to sell on the same platform as your supplier.
One of the most important factors in your international drop shipping business is the carrier service. If you're looking for the most reliable package and mail forwarding service, visit our website to learn more. You may also contact us to discuss how we can help your business.