The best thing about ecommerce is you can reach customers across the world. To take a brand global, ecommerce businesses must find ways to keep shipping costs down and increase transit times to thrive in international markets.
But shipping internationally isn’t always easy. You have to account for taxes, import duties, tariffs, and more. The complexity involved with international shipping involves seeking out the services of an international fulfillment partner like ShipBob. ShipBob is a tech-enabled third-party logistics (3PL) provider with fulfillment centers across the United States and in Canada and Ireland.
“We are all about the entire customer experience, so international shipping is very important to us. We ship to 55 different countries and all 50 states. When I found out ShipBob was expanding into both Canada and Europe, I knew we wanted to expand our physical footprint with them.”
Nikolai Paloni, Co-Founder of Ombraz Sunglasses
Learn how to get started ShipBob can help you take your brand global.
Reach more customers with global fulfillment
A 3PL with global fulfillment services allows fast-growing ecommerce businesses to expand their customer base and launch into new markets. While this sounds simple in principle, branching out on an international scale can be challenging. There are many factors that ecommerce businesses must account for, such as higher shipping costs and longer last mile delivery times.
However, small to mid-size direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands can rely on a fulfillment partner to provide the necessary infrastructure and technology needed to go global. With 3PLs like ShipBob, you’re able to store inventory in one or more of our fulfillment center locations (in the United States, Europe, and Canada), so you can deliver to international customers faster.
The top 3 challenges that stop ecommerce stores from expanding globally
Considering how beneficial it is to serve international customers, many online stores lack the resources needed to do so. Here are some of the common reasons ecommerce businesses hold back from launching into international markets.
1. Too expensive
If you’re storing all your inventory in your home country and you’re shipping orders internationally, it will cost you. This is solved when partnering with a 3PL that offers international fulfillment center locations so you can fulfill and ship orders within the country.
2. Too long for shipping
Not only can shipping far from your home country increase transit time, other issues such as customs can cause delays in shipping. By storing inventory within the country you’re shipping to, you’re able to reduce transit time significantly.
3. Too complicated
Every country has their own set of rules and regulations when it comes to shipping orders. And customs and taxes can be a challenge to understand when you’re first launching into new markets. ShipBob’s international fulfillment experts work side by side with you to make sure your international launch goes smoothly.
3PLs like ShipBob remove these challenges for you
ShipBob is a leading ecommerce order fulfillment solution that operates warehouses across the United States, Europe, and Canada. You have the option to split inventory across fulfillment centers based on where customers are located. If an order comes in from Canada and you have inventory stored in our Canadian warehouse, we will fulfill and ship the order from there — no passing through customs required.
Discounts with major shipping carriers
ShipBob negotiates discounted rates with major shipping carriers such as UPS, DHL, USPS, and FedEx. By partnering with us, you’ll save more on international shipping costs.
Faster packaging and shipments
ShipBob’s warehouses are operated with our proprietary technology. By integrating your online store with ShipBob, orders are automatically sent to the closest fulfillment center location where inventory is stored. From there, orders are picked, packed, and shipped out.
Ecommerce partner network
Whether you need a DDP shipping solution or a freight partner, ShipBob has a vast partner network that can help optimize your international supply chain. Launching internationally can be a challenge for businesses, so it’s important to have the right network of partners that will provide the tools, resources, and expertise you need to be successful in new markets.
Global fulfillment center locations
ShipBob has global fulfillment centers based in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Here’s how our international locations can help your business experience rapid growth.
Branching into Europe gives you the opportunity to fulfill international orders in European countries. ShipBob’s European center is based in Kilkenny, Ireland, with three Tier 1 ports in the vicinity. We’ll take care of complexities such as customs, taxes, and your company’s freight options. ShipBob’s EU-based carriers, UPS and DHL, offer standard delivery times of 2-5 days.
Located in Ottawa, ShipBob’s Canadian fulfillment center runs on our warehouse management system. ShipBob partners with Canada Post to ship orders within 2-4 days. In 2019, ecommerce sales amounted to almost 1.85 billion in Canadian dollars. Thus, Canada is the perfect place to expand into. With ShipBob’s help, you can offer Canadian customers the ideal ecommerce experience.
Ecommerce shops that went global (and aren’t looking back)
ShipBob has helped leading ecommerce companies expand into international markets by offering international fulfillment solutions.
BAKblade is a men’s grooming brand that experienced rapid growth in 2016. Overwhelmed by the task of 20-30 thousand orders to fulfill, BAKblade sought out a reliable 3PL team to partner with. They turned to ShipBob to help optimize their order fulfillment process. Since then, BAKblade has experienced 291% growth and made $10 million in annual sales during 2018.
When BAKblade decided it was time to go global, ShipBob was there to help them expand into Canada. Canadian customers can now order from BAKblade and orders are shipped from ShipBob’s fulfillment center in Ottawa.
“We have seen that Canadian customers order more when they know the order ships from within Canada and they do not need to worry about additional taxes if the order comes from the US. From our history through the years with ShipBob, it was a no-brainer to expand into other markets with them knowing that they have done their due diligence to meet the ShipBob standard.”
Marc Fontanetta, Logistics Manager at BAKblade
Ombraz is a sunglasses brand that became an international success in less than two short years. When they found out ShipBob was expanding into both Canada and Europe, they knew they wanted to expand their physical footprint with us. Ombraz utilizes three of ShipBob’s locations in two countries.
“We want everyone to get their Ombraz in a few days or less with no duties at delivery. Our goal is to remove the barriers to purchase. Now, a customer can get their package without spending an extra 25 euros or Canadian dollars on duties and taxes after purchasing a pair of sunglasses.”
Nikolai Paloni, Co-Founder of Ombraz Sunglasses
Bathorium is a Canadian luxury bath brand that partnered up with ShipBob to break into the United States market. Thanks to our US-based fulfillment centers and optimized operations, Bathorium was able to reduce shipping costs to the US by 70%.
We’ve seen a reduction of 70% on shipping costs in the US, which helps keep conversions high. When we joined ShipBob, only 20% of our customers were in the US. By the end of the year, that number will be around 40%.
Greg MacDonald, CEO & Founder of Bathorium
Kula Cloth is the ultimate outdoor solution for hikers and backpackers, and consumers realized this quickly. When the order demand increased rapidly, the brand’s founder, Anastasia Allison, turned to ShipBob to fulfill them. Since partnering with us, Kula Cloth has grown quickly, even internationally.
“I’ve also been fortunate to ship orders to customers from around the world. The process of shipping internationally to optimize costs has been easy. There’s no difference on my website for international shipping except adding tariff codes on products. Otherwise ShipBob handles everything for me. Best of all, the price that ShipBob charges to ship internationally is less than it costs for me to print a USPS label myself.”
Anastasia Allison, founder of Kula Cloth
See why ShipBob is the trusted 3PL for global fulfillment
ShipBob is a 3PL with international fulfillment capabilities. Our team is always in close contact with our partners, integrating our systems with your own, and determining how best to grow your business in the most efficient way possible.
Expand into global fulfillment centers
ShipBob offers fulfillment capabilities all over the United States as well as in Canada and Europe, and ships to all countries served by USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, and other carriers with discounted international rates.
Meet delivery time expectations
Keeping your inventory near your customers and shipping from the closest location reduces the time in transit, allowing for international orders to get to customers faster.
It’s not uncommon for it to take a month for an international order to be delivered. But with ShipBob, you’re able to create a better experience for your international customers.
Manage inventory levels easily
ShipBob makes it easy to ship from multiple fulfillment centers, even internationally, by providing visibility into inventory tracking to view your stock levels and ensure you have enough product in each location.
Global fulfillment can be challenging, but with ShipBob, you’re given the infrastructure, technology, and support you need to take your ecommerce business global.
To learn more about ShipBob can help with global fulfillment, click the button below to contact our team.
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