Uncover international markets

October 2016


Uncover international markets you thought were out of reach

It’s been said before but ‘there’s a whole world out there’ and the limitations you put on your business because the thought of sending your goods a million miles away is so incredibly daunting - VAT, customs, border control, duty, tracking? It really need not be. At Whistl we have a wealth of experience in international e-commerce to help you uncover markets you thought were out of reach. There need be no bounds beyond your UK customer base and there are so many potential customers abroad who are itching for UK designed goods and seasonal offers. Some of the biggest shoppers on UK ecommerce sites are actually from the USA, Australia, France, Germany and Southern Ireland who benefit from lower shipping costs (on a par with the UK) thanks to high demand and high volume.

Australia presents a huge opportunity for UK brands and retailers as they like to buy British! The duty threshold is higher at $1000 (Australian dollars) so buyers will pay less for their goods and international shipping costs are in line with their delivery costs at home. Together with counter seasonality, it’s an all round win-win!

The USA, a big market for the UK, is also very attractive – especially now it has raised its duty threshold to $800. That means customers in the US can purchase more from the UK without having to pay local duty and tax premiums.

If you want to be successful and competitive abroad, you’ll need to understand the shopping culture of overseas buyers. Legal obligations differ from country to country so it’s important to always meet expectations if you want to stay ahead of the game. Secondly, never over, or underpromise. Don’t deliver in 4 days when you said it would be 10. Although you may think you’re exceeding expectations you may be inconveniencing your customers if they’re not home or on holiday.

And know the duty threshold of each country as they do vary. It’s $800 in the USA making us more attractive to the American market because they don’t have to pay US duty premiums. Make sure you capture the right email, phone and contact details, without overwhelming your customers with lengthy forms! Keep it simple so that when you need to notify them you’ll have all the right information to hand.

It’s important to include the correct harmonised code – this is an internationally recognised code that classifies goods into commodity groups. If you use the right code, your customer will pay the right duty price – no more, no less! Make it easy for your customers to track their shipments online and be clear about the possible customs duties they may have to pay so there are no nasty surprises! Assess the competition – research what products and services are being offered in the destination country and identify gaps in the market. Give your customers choice – when it comes to delivery, customers like to choose which delivery option suits them, whether it’s economy, standard or premium.

At Whistl we have a lot of expertise dealing with emerging markets. Russia, Brazil, China and Japan are growth markets that offer massive sales opportunities for UK retailers, however they are more complex to deal with. Each country has its own culture, customs, buying behaviour so we really try to see things from the consumers point of view and advise you how to appeal to that customer.

We can help you to deliver ‘culturally’ what the customer wants as well as economically to help grow your business globally. Plus we’ll manage the entire distribution process without you having to get involved. We provide all the relevant tracking information and deal direct with the customer regarding any delivery queries, meaning there’s one less headache for you to manage! Just get in touch and find out how you can reach new customers today.

Find out more about Whistl’s range of international delivery services

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