Breaking Down the Borders: How to Expand Your Business into International Markets

It is no news that technology has shrunken the world into a global village. The existence of international shipping and global communication channels makes it more convenient than ever for businesses to cater to foreign markets.  

There’s no doubt that selling internationally has numerous advantages for your business. It widens the borders of your business and allows you to harness the purchasing power of a larger demographic. Expanding your business into international markets, however, can be quite challenging. You must understand the basics of selling internationally and be flexible enough to incorporate necessary measures into your business model.  

The Basics of Selling Internationally  

When planning to go global, you have to first decide exactly which regions or countries you want to expand to first. It is always important to start small, as doing it all in one go might not be a sustainable plan.  

Research is key. Aim to determine whether your product will do well in foreign markets, and who your target demographic should be. To optimally advertise to your target foreign audience, it is vital that you completely grasp the digital marketing landscape in the region. Learning about the most effective advertisement channels and how to leverage them will save you the time and effort that would otherwise have gone into fruitless campaigns.  

Another crucial step in expanding your business is increasing the language options in your store. An online store with very few language choices will invariably have stunted global growth. Even the inclusion of just a few widespread languages like Spanish, Italian, and French can dramatically boost your sales.  

While you increase the language choices on your online store, it is also worthwhile to make your payment options more diversified. A lot of studies show that while people in continents like North America and Australia prefer to pay using credit/debit cards, people in Asian and African countries generally prefer bank transfers and cash on delivery as payment options.  

Factors to Consider 

There are several factors you must consider when trying to determine whether it is worthwhile to market your products internationally. Customs charges and taxes can prove tenuous if you and your business aren’t adequately prepared.  

Taxes on shipping cost 

International shipping involves settling duties, taxes, and clearance charges. To make the process less complicated, endeavor to understand international shipping duties and how they apply to your target foreign market.  

The value of these duties depends not only on the destination country but also on the country you’re shipping from. In addition, international shipping requires that you pay value-added tax (VAT), also called goods and services tax (GST).  

Custom regulations 

Every business that plans on using international shipping services should also plan an efficient system for meeting custom regulations. If you plan on handling a lot of shipments, having a customs broker can help streamline the process.  

Some big international shipping companies like UPS and DHL offer internal customs brokerage. However, these services might not be a perfect fit for small businesses as they may feel overly complicated and impersonal. With freight shipping companies like GoShip, however, you can get recommended reliable customs brokers to help you sort out your needs.  

Return policies when selling internationally 

Because international shipping is expensive, processing returns can be tricky. Failure to account for taxes, or to follow a country’s regulations regarding returns could lead to custom delays. To avoid hassles when it comes to returns, you must establish an international returns policy from the get-go.  

All your products subject to international shipping should have a clear, detailed return policy, preferably written in multiple languages. Your international returns policy should aim to not only make the return process easier for consumers but also mitigate the factors that led to the return in the first place. For lower-priced goods, it might be more cost-efficient to issue refunds rather than process returns, as international returns are costly. 

Ship Internationally with GoShip 

When taking the leap from local shipping to international shipping, you need to have a freight carrier company you can trust. This is even more paramount if you intend to ship large Full Truckload (FTL) or Less-than-truckload (LTL) products.  

With GoShip, you can book a fright carrier from the comfort of your home. We specialize in large shipping items that most shipping services refuse to handle. Our unique, innovative self-service platform enables you to choose an affordable freight carrier yourself, without having to go through a freight broker. 

If you are new to international shipping, GoShip can help make the process of paying taxes and duties easier by referring you to trusted custom brokers. We provide custom services based on your shipping needs, and our shipment tracking tool can be accessed round the clock.  

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