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Not all products suit overseas shipment. Follow this four-step guide to determine whether your e-commerce business should be going global

While the potential of accessing international markets may leave you feeling more excited than ever about the future of your e-commerce business, it’s important to remember that not all products suit overseas shipment.

Follow this four-step guide to determine whether you should ship your product overseas:

1 Product weight

Just like domestic shipping, international freight is largely calculated on the weight and size of your product. If you sell large, heavy products, high international shipping costs may price you out of the market. Stick to shipping smaller, lightweight products overseas and assess domestic competitors to ensure you can still compete after international freight costs are considered.

2 Product durability

Longer delivery timeframes to international markets may not suit products that are perishable, and the rigours of a longer journey can wield a greater impact on fragile items. Be sure to factor costs associated with damaged stock and international returns into your product pricing to protect your bottom line from an unexpected drain.

3 International duties

You – or your customer – will need to pay duties when shipping products overseas. These differ from country to country, so rather than offering international shipping across the board, do your research and focus only on the territories that make the most economic sense. This will also help you optimise your marketing budget as you target only high-value markets.

4 Unique selling point

Entering an overseas market means you’ll be competing with international brands and local players. That’s why it’s so important to have a well-defined unique selling point (USP) that differentiates your product from your competitors. With a strong USP, your international customers will be more likely to spend a little more on international shipping.

So what can we learn?

If you sell large, heavy or perishable products that attract higher international shipping costs, you may be better off concentrating on the domestic market.

However, if your product range is lightweight and relatively durable with a strong USP, then you could be on the track to international sales success.

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