After much persuasion by someone on your staff, potential international customers, or your shipping carrier you have decided to mitigate the risk and open the floodgates for international orders. After several minutes, or days, of waiting you finally get the first order, so what do you do now?
1. Verify that the order is legitimate. As you are probably aware, international orders have a higher tendency to be fraudulent. The last thing that you want to do is send an order overseas just to be burned and lose money. Having a sour taste in your mouth after your first order will cause you to be more likely to discontinue the feature. Don’t let one bad experience ruin it for you and the international consumers who want your products.
2. Go through your pick and pack process. One exception, double and triple check that you get the right goods in the right box for all of your international orders. If you are annoyed when your warehouse ships the wrong item to someone domestically, just wait until it happens internationally. It can be much more expensive to return goods than to ship them internationally, and typically it is more expensive than the goods are worth.
3. Prepare the shipping labels and customs documentation. Verify the ship to address. Again, any mistakes that can be made domestically can also be made internationally but cost a lot more to resolve. Make sure you have all of the required customs forms and that they are filled out properly. If you do not process the customs paperwork properly you can have your shipments returned, disposed, refused, abandoned, etc.. Your international customer also may end up paying more for duty and tax if these forms are not accurate.
4. Place labels and any necessary customs forms on the box and set aside for the carrier. Make sure you get the right labels on the right box. This is another area that is open to costly mistakes. Double check everything and ensure that the labels and documents have been prepared according to your carrier’s specification.
Once the carrier picks up the package you are done. Hopefully the package is delivered without and problems and you will have a new customer that was unable to order from you before.
One key thing is to get help. There are plenty of people and organizations out there, like iGlobal or your shipping carrier that can help with your international processes and pains. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or ideas on how you can increase your sales.