8 April 2022 / 0 min read
It is important to understand international shipping policies if you have a business that sells and ships goods to foreign countries. Taking that one step further, it’s important to be transparent with your international shoppers so that they know what to expect when purchasing goods from you. Transparency is key to a positive cross-border shopping experience, and one of the best ways to provide it for your shoppers is by displaying your international shipping policy on your website.
This blog will explain the following:
International shipping policies have several purposes, including the following:
To truly understand the importance of an international shipping policy, it helps to think of it from common, real-life perspectives. Picture these scenarios:
A customer from India recently made a purchase on your website and is unhappy with how long the order is taking to reach her home. She is complaining that it has been six days since she ordered her items and she thinks the package is lost. If you have outlined your shipping options with estimated shipping times in your international shipping policy, your shoppers can use it to determine how long they should wait before worrying about a package being lost or requesting a refund because of a late shipment.
A shopper in Germany orders a product from your store that they needed by a particular date and the shipment arrives late. The customer, who already prepaid duty and tax, rejects the parcel and requests a refund because they no longer want the item. You then process the request and refund the cost of the item. Your customer says that the duty and tax they paid should be refunded to them as well. If you include in your shipping policy that duty and tax are non-refundable in certain or all circumstances, you are not liable to reimburse your customer for duties and taxes on a package where you will lose the money paid for the order, e.g. a lost or rejected package.
Though shipping policies can look different from one business to another, here are some necessary elements of a thorough international shipping policy:
⚠️ Your international shipping policy should be separate from your domestic shipping policy because shipping options, delivery times, etc. differ between domestic and cross-border shipments.
ℹ️ In addition to a solid international shipping policy, it is important to be transparent with your shoppers and make it clear that your business ships to their country as soon as they get to your website. Zonos Hello greets customers in their language on your website. The greeting includes pertinent information about duty, tax, and de minimis values in the shopper’s currency, along with notifying them that you accept orders from their country.
There’s no question about it. You always need an international shipping policy if you are sending orders across borders. It is a proactive solution to possible shipping mishaps, a way of providing transparency to your customers and managing their expectations, and a helpful resource to direct shoppers and avoid wasting time with repetitive international shipping policy questions.
A love of bringing words together to create clear, simple messages about complex topics has driven me to pursue a career in professional writing. As the Technical Writer at Zonos, I find excitement and purpose in decoding the complex details of cross-border ecommerce.