Shopify International Shipping

Learn how to prepare your Shopify store for international shipping.

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With the advent of the internet, cross-border communication across different platforms has risen like never before. With it, international shopping has also been on a rise. While expanding your customer base is ultimately what every business owner wants, there are certain challenges that arise as you go international. International shipping and order fulfillment are some of the challenges that e-commerce business owners have to tackle.

So, how can you find the right fulfillment partner to manage your international shipping?

Does Shopify ship globally?

When it comes to international shipping, partnering with Shopify is a promising way to improve your company’s growth. Shopify provides its customers with unmatched shipping services and rates, so both you and your customers get the best experience.

The short answer is yes

With ties and connections all over the world, Shopify partners up with different courier companies across the globe to provide international shipping. If you are a business owner looking to expand your company, then Shopify is an easy option.

Different carriers have different policies

Different shipping carriers partner up with Shopify to give different shipping options to customers. Shipping carriers also differ by country.

In the USA, Shopify works with USPS, UPS, and DHL. In Canada, Shopify works with Canada Post. In Australia, Shopify is partnered up with Sendle.

Each of these shipping carriers offers multiple ecommerce shipping services, so you can choose the best option for your business according to your budget and needs.

With Shopify shipping, customers can enjoy attractive features like package pick-ups, overnight delivery, shipping insurance, shipment tracking, as well as international shipping. Among these carrier options, certain carrier partners provide the option for:Priority Mail International (6-10 business days) and Priority Mail Express International (3-5 business days) that cut down on international shipping times significantly.

COVID-19 has impacted shipping policies

Since the end of 2019, the world has been faced with some major abrupt changes and challenges. Many industries have been deeply impacted by lockdowns and new Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs). Because of the strain on the ecommerce industry during this time, both merchants and carriers are seeing unprecedented spikes in orders and transactions. Many carriers are unable to guarantee exact delivery times. Specified changes in the shipping policies of DHL, UPS, and FedEx, etc. can be found on their respective sites.

It's important to be open with your customers about the changing conditions and set customer expectations accordingly.

Factors to Consider About International Shipping

For ecommerce businesses, domestic and in-country shipping is usually easier to handle. It can even be done through your local post office, by checking what mail class the package requires. For international shipping, there a few things you need to consider. From the shipping packaging to the shipping strategy, everything needs to be accounted for beforehand to avoid any disruption during transit.

Shopify provides you with international shipping services, so you don’t have to worry too much about the process. Shopify Shipping works with multiple shipping carriers where multiple mail classes are offered, so you have a variety of options to choose from.

Language translations

Communication is key for building up customer relations. If you are looking to expand your business to a new country, your shipping policy and details on your website must be clear-cut so that they are not lost in translation. If your business is based in countries with only a certain language, like English, it is wise to target countries where English is the major language of communication.

This way you ensure that your customer base understands you and can comprehend the shipping labels. Shopify, with its international relations and partners, provides the option for international shipping so whatever territorial demographic you choose to target, you won’t need to worry about shipping.

Multiple currencies

With international shipping, it is advisable to be mindful of the local rules and regulations of the destination country so that your business’s international shipping rates cover the taxes and tariffs that will be incurred on your while shipment. How much you choose to sell an item for should be specified in different currencies on your website so that any miscommunication during the package delivery can be avoided.

Whether you choose to have flat-rate shipping or real-time shipping, you should consider offering a way to display pricing in different currencies so that your customers know exactly how much they need to pay for their purchases.

Product packaging and shipping

Among the different aspects of logistics, product packaging and shipping are an important part of the supply chain. With Shopify and its carrier partners, business owners have a choice on the type of packaging and shipping method they prefer. These options come with varying prices and features, so you can find what works best for you and your customers.

Additionally, some carriers offer the option for label printing, so you can choose to brand the packaging and customize it. For international shipments, opt for sturdier and durable packaging to minimize damage during transit. Fragile products might need extra cushioning during shipment. Be mindful!

Product weight and dimensions

For international shipment, you should ensure that the product weight and dimensions are specified in the details to avoid any hassle at customs. Larger parcels translate to heftier international shipping rates because shipping rates are usually based on the weight and dimensions of the product. Generally, lightweight and smaller parcels are easier to package and deliver internationally.

Border restrictions

International shipments often come across barriers in the form of customs forms and import taxes and tariffs. Based on the country your product is being shipped to, you might need to pay extra import fees. Additionally, customs forms and details might need to be attached with the package to avoid any delay or hold-up while the package is being checked at customs. With Shopify, you can generate the customs and detail form with the shipping label.

Depending on what country the products are being shipped to, some products might be outright banned. Always familiarize yourself with local laws.

Shipping carrier options

Once you have decided on your shipping fulfillment partner, you will need to choose from among the shipping carrier options that the company provides. Some shipping companies might provide you with a warehousing option while others might pick up your orders for shipment.

Shopify is partnered up with DHL in the United States, Canada Post in Canada, and Sendle in Australia. These shipping carriers offer different shipping rates. Depending on available options, you can even choose faster international shipping options through Priority Mail Express International and Priority Mail International services.

Shipping insurance

Depending on the value of your shipment products, you might need insurance for coverage of your courier during accidents. What shipping company you choose determines your insurance options. If you are a business owner that deals with pricier items, it might be wise for you to invest in insurance. Some fulfillment companies offer insurance as part of their shipment deal, so you do not need to go through any extra process to get your packages insured.

Setting Up International Fulfillment

Once you have decided on the country and products that you want to ship, the next step is finding the right fulfillment company in the correct country. Shopify takes care of this for you to provide easy international fulfillment services.

What is fulfillment?

Fulfillment is the process of transporting a product from the inventory warehouse to the customer. It usually involves warehousing and storing the products, picking and packing them, and then shipping the order to the customer. An order fulfillment company like Shopify takes care of your order fulfillment for you so that you do not have to deal with any shipment paperwork. If you have the Shopify store integrated with your online store, this process is further streamlined.

Optimize shipping through international fulfillment centers

It is wiser to work with fulfillment companies that offer international fulfillment centers, as they significantly cut down on shipping costs. Shopify provides you with this option thanks to its robust shipping carrier network. It works with local carrier companies and fulfillment service providers to optimal international shipping for your company.

How to find international fulfillment partners

You can easily find different fulfillment partners through online research. Most international shipping service providers have shipping apps for easy access and tracking. But, Shopify store owners may find using Shopify partners easier.

In Summary

Order fulfillment is among the most important arm of your ecommerce business. International order fulfillment and shipping can be a daunting task for you to handle on your own, especially if you are new to the industry. If you have an online store and are want to provide your shoppers with a reliable experience, using Shopify services may be the right choice for you.

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