Guide to international SME eCommerce expansion step 6: Shipping and Fulfillment

In our final guide to international SME expansion, we’ll cover the options you have for managing logistics and fulfillment overseas, as well as other considerations to ensure you’re nailing customer experience from the get-go.

Step 6: International SME shipping & fulfillment

International success comes down to providing great service, no matter where your customers may be. For SMEs, processing orders in a timely and convenient fashion should be top of the priority list.

International Shipping containers-1Be sure to have the following bases covered:

Get to know local packaging and labelling regulations

Whether you’re shipping your products to a warehouse overseas or shipping from an overseas warehouse to customers, you need to understand local rules and regulations to ensure your goods get where they need to be on time and without issue.

If you’re using a transportation company to move products for you, make sure they have in-depth knowledge of international SME packing and shipping and the right certifications to transport goods in each of your markets.Shipping Photo

Compare international fulfillment and logistics providers

For the sake of practicality, many SMEs use a third-party fulfillment or logistics provider when trading internationally. The level of involvement these companies have in your fulfillment process is up to you; some companies simply handle shipping from a fulfillment centre for you, while other 3PL companies manage the entire supply chain including stock control, order management, and even customer service.

It’s up to you to decide which will be the most pragmatic solution for your business. Keep in mind, though, that many shipping and 3PL providers like ShipStation, StarShipIT, 3PL Central, Fulfillment by Amazon, and others integrate with TradeGecko – which makes it easier for you to manage all your business operations in the one place.Guide to international sme expansion

Need more advice? Fear not – we’ve got plenty more for you in our full SME International Growth Guide eBook.

Stay tuned for Step 6: International SME order fulfillment

This is the final installment in our SME toolkit for international expansion. For more info, read our previous steps to international SME expansion:

  1. Research
  2. Planning
  3. Financing
  4. Essential details
  5. Sales and distribution

And then watch an overview of the whole international expansion process in our video below:

 

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