Making the most of international customers

Making the most of international customers

Published in Growth

Targeting international shoppers is one of the best ways to grow and establish a retail business; 57% of shoppers in 2015 said that they had purchased from an overseas retailer in the last six months.  We take a look at how you can capitalise on international shoppers, and the best ways to send your products to the rest of the world.

How big is international ecommerce?

Worldwide retail ecommerce sales totaled $1.86 trillion in 2016, and they’re predicted to reach a staggering $4.48 trillion by 2021. Improvements in logistics, tracking and communications coupled with this insatiable growth of ecommerce, means that more and more shoppers are looking to purchase from retailers in other countries. Some of the highest numbers of cross border purchases are from European countries; in Italy 79% had purchased from an online retailer in the previous six months, 73% in Germany, 64% in Russia and 63% in Spain.

Benefits of international sales

With so many online shoppers looking to buy internationally, offering shipping to destinations outside the UK is an essential way of growing an ecommerce business. In a survey of Zenstores’ users, 68.8% were already offering international shipping, and 77% believed that their international sales have increased in the last 12 months.

As the logistical side of international sales become easier, the barriers for retailers are lessened. Targeting international sales is a great way to increase turnover and expand your customer base.

64% of UK SME online retailers are intending to increase their international sales revenue during 2018 by simplifying the sales/ordering/delivery and payment process (45%), selling more to the markets they already sell to (28%) and targeting new markets and countries (20%). 

However, there are few things to be aware of to ensure that you make the most of your international customers:

  • Research and target specific countries that are likely to buy your products 
  • Take a look at what and where your competitors and similar businesses are doing 
  • Pick a reliable, cost effective courier and services for international deliveries
  • Offer local and international payment options
  • Display prices in the local currency 
  • Be aware of and comply with local laws, regulations and taxes. 

Managing international shipping

The best international delivery service and courier will depend on the contents, weight, size and destination of your parcels, as well as how quickly it needs to arrive. It’s best to compare prices, services and the reliability of international shipping options, taking into account the value of the product and the end destination.

Using Zenstores it’s simple to create shipments and dispatch parcels with multiple couriers. You can ensure that you’re always using the most efficient, well-priced and reliable courier service for each international delivery.

Zenstores integrates with Royal Mail, Parcelforce, DPD, DPD Local, APC Overnight, MyHermes, Yodel and postage comparison service, Parcel2Go.

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About the author

Verity is a journalist and content producer at Zenstores.

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