The potential for sellers, brands, and businesses who sell online is huge. But with expansion – both local and overseas – there comes a need for logistics and planning in relation to eCommerce shipping solutions, fulfilment, customs, customer service, and more.
As a global eCommerce service provider, we work with sellers across all markets as they expand into and across Europe and the
UK – identifying gaps in the market, establishing core connections and partnerships, and tracking sales and demand across every marketplace. In this blog, we share some of the best methods and solutions in relation to shipping specifically – including our eCommerce shipping and customs clearance services.
Ecommerce Shipping: What you need to know
So, you’ve done your research and found a gap in the market that you believe you can fill with your own range of products. Great! But before you can start pairing your products with the buyers who sorely need them, you need to consider how to ship eCommerce products.
While selling from a physical store instantly matches buyers with products, when customers order online it is up to you to ensure that their products arrive at the right place, in perfect condition, and within the timeline promised as part of your service.
Crucially, that means making sure that you are working with the right marketplaces, and that the right products are in place and ready to be sent out before customers start ordering. As a seller looking to expand, that means that the first and most important thing you need to do in relation to shipping is to find and make contact with a reputable shipping partner.
This shipping partner will physically transport products from your destination to the market you want to sell in – generally in bulk orders which are then stored and ready to be sold. And before we look at this in more detail, it’s worth noting the importance here of establishing a captive and active market for your products – otherwise, you’re shipping products to a place where no one will buy them. Do that research and make sure you’re confident in the viability of the market before continuing.
Ecommerce Shipping Solutions
We offer direct shipping solutions through Global E-commerce Logistics. We can provide a comprehensive service based on some simple information, including:
- Do you need to ship via container ship or via air?
- Do you need to send a container load of product or less?
- How quickly do you need your shipment to arrive?
Once your products have arrived at their destination, you need to be paired with a warehouse or storage facility which can oversee the onward journey of each product as required – from the central facility in your destination country to the front door of each individual customer.
What you need to consider as a seller
Ecommerce shipping is a process. What that means is that there are a number of steps you need to consider and actions you need to take in order to streamline the process both for you and for your customers.
Once you’ve identified a shipping company, you need to obtain an EORI number – a number which is required by any business shipping in and out of Europe, which links to your VAT number and allows you to claim back on the import duty that you pay with each shipment. A unique code, the EORI number becomes a crucial part of your customs form when importing into the EU for delivery to your customers – allowing customs to identify who is sending the goods in, where they are coming from, and where they are going.
Finally, you need a registered individual who becomes officially responsible for your goods once they arrive in the UK or EU. This is where it becomes crucial to partner with an agency, like GEE, that can become your safe place for products and for your business to be registered in that destination country – such as the UK. While you are still named as liable and responsible for your own products, working with us, for example, allows you to set our warehouse as your destination, where products can then be unloaded, stored, and shipped onwards to the end customer.
What is customs and how does it work?
Customs is a step in the process which can often feel daunting, as it links to import duty payments, fees, and the declaration of what you are importing and for what purpose. Getting this bit wrong can lead to all manner of challenges and costs, which is why it is recommended that you seek support from an agency which is linked with the most up-to-date regulations, information, and advice from HMRC.
Provided you work with a reputable shipping company for the physical movement of your products, our team can offer support with every area of the customs process for you – ensuring that you are operating in line with EORI requirements, duty and VAT rates, simplified customs procedures and declarations, and proper warehousing. Not only that, but efficient management of the customs process means that customers will receive their orders without additional charges and long wait time – making this a crucial step in the management of your customer’s experience.
Visit our website for a quick downloadable link to the customs forms and information you need. Or you can get in touch with us for a deep dive into the shipping process from start to finish – learning more about our recommended shipping partners and services as your go-to global expansion agent.