With an increase in demand in E-commerce, as well as consumer expectations, shipping management is pivotal to offering a great customer experience. Not only do consumers now expect speedy and accurate deliveries as a minimum, reports show that the need for chosen delivery days, as opposed to the speed of a delivery, is starting to emerge.
But how can online retailers and 3PLs up their game when it comes to meeting delivery expectations and ever-increasing demands? We spoke to Calum White, Head of Marketing at MHI – international delivery experts – for their thoughts. Read on to find out more.
Get prepared for international tracked services to become the norm
Historically, items being sent from the UK to overseas territories have been put on untracked services. Once they left the UK, they were untraceable, and this was a risk that customers were willing to take. But as globalisation and data have taken a hold, tracked services have grown, and post-Brexit, the benefits of using an untracked service over a tracked one have decreased so much that tracked is now by far the most popular option for sellers.
This is due to the additional data that is now required to send items overseas for both tracked and untracked services, which includes harmonisation codes and sales values – meaning the cost benefit of choosing untracked over tracked is now negligible.
There is still some competitive advantage to be gained in using a combination of untracked and tracked services – as discussed later – but the days of international non-transparency are long-gone.
Learn your delivery terms and what they mean
DAP, DTP, IOSS, Non-IOSS, PUDO. The list goes on.
Since Brexit, these acronyms have become staples in the international delivery catalogue of terms. DTP (formally DDP) means that the duties and taxes have been paid upon purchase. DAP (formally DDU) means that your customer will have to pay any duties and taxes when the good arrives at their front-door. This service will be a more cost-effective option than DTP, as you pass the cost of customs duty & taxes onto your customer – however, it may negatively harm your customer experience and deter customers who do not wish to pay when they receive the item.
IOSS (Import One-Stop-Shop) was created to solve the payment of taxes post-Brexit. And it’s done that…for the most part. Following the EU’s VAT E-commerce changes that came into effect on 1 July 2021, Mintsoft customers can now input IOSS numbers into their dashboard. The IOSS number will then automatically be provided to your courier of choice, so once you’ve inputted the data, your Mintsoft platform will take care of the rest. Mintsoft’s marketplace integrations also make shipping to the EU even easier, by allowing you to manage everything from one centralised location.
Despite the numerous taxes and duties there are to keep up with, each have their purpose and communicating these to your own customers at checkout is critical. Get in touch with MHI for more information.
Compete on offering multiple delivery options per country
It’s no secret that consumers love choice and convenience – and they all have preferences, whether that’s price, delivery time, or transparency. So why not offer them an option for each of these? With a multi-carrier model, your tariff can include multiple delivery streams per destination.
When your overseas customer gets to checkout, give them the choice. If they want cheap, offer them an untracked postal route. If they want transparency, give them a slightly more expensive option that offers tracking. If they want speed, offer them a premium courier service.
Delivery shouldn’t just be an added expense once a customer gets through to check-out. It should be a selling tool. Give your customer the choice from the get-go, and you’ll make more sales. In the sustainably focused world we live in, inner-city delivery is branching out into cargo bikes and e-vans. Soon enough, you’ll be looking at a “sustainable” delivery option. Expand your delivery options now, and you’ll be thankful for it later.
Connect your shipping with your order management system
The days of sending over your sensitive address data via CSV are long gone. Nowadays, with systems such as ERPs and OMS, e-tailers should be integrating their software to ensure the automated transfer of information.
For example, Mintsoft and MHI have a mutual client-base who benefit from industry-leading order management and international multi-carrier delivery solutions through our integration.
By tapping into this integration, you don’t have to worry about supplying customer address data manually – rather let technology do that for you. Saving you both time and money. If you’re fed up with updating separate databases, then it’s time to look into your integrating your systems.
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