Major international e-commerce challenges
One key challenge is fully meeting international customer expectations. Many expect a premium delivery service at an affordable price. That means:
- Fast, on-time delivery every time,
- Clearly stated fees, including applicable taxes shipping and duty fees,
- The flexibility to reschedule planned deliveries,
- Customer service related to damaged, misplaced, lost or stolen packages,
- Visibility on shipment status and
- A simple return process.
If a company can’t make good on these points, they risk losing the sale and face cart abandonment issues as well.
While dealing with customer expectations, companies also face major supply chain and logistical challenges.
Many, especially smaller brands that lack the administrative expertise or staff to handle the back end, often turn to marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay to deal with customs, exemptions, warehouse stock and shipping issues. However, the sales commissions of digital and physical middle men can amount to as much as 15% to 20% of the cost of product depending on what you are selling according to Applico.
On top of monetary gains, brands that maintain a direct-to-consumer relationship can also retain control of shopper behavior, experience and forecasting, which can positively and exponentially impact their business.
Today, e-tailers that choose to go it on their own are faced with two options: expensive, high-quality delivery service such as DHL, UPS, FEDEX, or inexpensive services with long delivery times and often without tracking. Both solutions are largely DDU (Delivered Duty unpaid) and do not include destination customs clearance.
For brands to sell their product at an attractive price, guarantee an excellent user experience, and avoid missed sales, they need an end-to-end solid international solution.