10 Steps to creating to expanding your e-commerce business into America.
On a daily basis we consult with international sellers eager to taste the fruit of the American retail market. So to help sellers better prepare, we’ve put together a quick 10 step guide. Expanding your operation beyond Europe, Asia, or elsewhere is not necessarily complicated but does take a little planning and establishing a few strategic partnerships to ensure a successful launch and recurring revenue steam. So let's get started.
Do you research. Have you done your homework to determine if this is the best market for your products? This includes understanding how people shop in different countries. A country with a small percentage of the population using ecommerce is not a choice, for example.
Local competition, what competition? Have you identified the market that will return riches? Perhaps you should look at the local marketplace too. Doing so may help you better differentiate your product from the rest and give you an advantage.
Priced to compete or priced to bleed. The final step of market research is to assess local prices for comparable products. When doing this is important to look at the entire cost picture. Logistics to the seller, marketplace commissions if applicable, and of course the product cost. Sometimes based on pricing, it doesn’t make sense to expand into a market where competition could be priced lower than you.
Final Mile is the only mile that counts. One significant advantage global sellers have is the use of the postal service for delivery of goods into the US market. Due to outdated US Treasury rules, foreign shippers benefit with deeply discounted rates though foreign post. A big advantage as the USPS provides the final-mile delivery.
Customs, there's a brightside? While customs are a part of life and delivery to the end-customer could result in a tax bill, the chances are pretty slim given the de minimus ($800.00 USD) values for US imports. Furthermore, when delivering with the USPS, most mail passes without inspection.
Shipment lead times. This can be tricky when using the postal service, but you will want to provide a lead time to your customers regardless. With couriers, your packages are usually guaranteed making it much easier to provide delivery information. Be sure to give a range, just to be on the safe side.
Pack it right. There is nothing worse than receiving an item that is poorly packaged. It shows lack of care for the shopper and lack of value for the product. Do yourself a favor and pack you products well. Use the proper packaging, tape, and packing materials to ensure a safe delivery of the item.
Remember how it felt when you opened your first iPhone? The package was as impressive as the phone, and we all remember. Consider putting your brand first, and package it like its your iProduct!
Insurance. Domestic shipping may not require it but it’s more important with international shipping as there’s a greater risk of products being damaged or lost. By providing insurance, merchants can lessen concerns of international buyers. Keep in mind that most couriers will automatically insure it up to $100.
USA Taxes, your Uncle Sam too. There are many automated tax vendors that can help with your tax payments and offer solutions to your ecommerce needs. Take TaxJar for example, they offer tax services to help you with tax registration and filing monthly, quarterly, and annual taxes based on sales and return on Amazon.
International Returns Management. When it comes to International E-commerce Returns Management, we’re a little biased because we feel we are pretty awesome in this area. Check out our page for International E-commerce Returns.
Our goal is to give any seller, regardless of size; the logistics support to expand operations to America without the nagging concerns of how to manage something as mundane as e-commerce returns. We know that you started your business to sell to a global clientele and your knowledge and skillset is best focused in areas of marketing, sales, and customer support. As your International Returns Solution Partner, we will implement an easy returns process that will allow you to focus on the revenue generating aspects of your business.
Amazon, Rakuten, Bonanza, Shopify, BigCommerce, EBAY, and other platforms and marketplaces will help promote your product to the world, but giving your customers a local returns solution will add credibility and confidence to your customers when they see you have a USA logistics operation.
Alternatively you may be using a partner in China to manage your fulfillment into the US, but there is that one piece of the supply-chain model that needs implementation, international returns management.
American eBox International e-commmerce returns, we deliver competitive advantages you can take to the bank!