Have you ever stumbled upon a truly amazing online shop, oohed and ahhed over something wonderful, decided on the spur of the moment to buy it … only to find it’s not shipped to your country? This happens to me all the time. It’s so frustrating!
If you are not offering international shipping, may I ask why not? I’m sure you have your reasons but with the holiday season fast approaching I encourage you to review your shipping policy.
I’ve been told it’s tiresome to go to the post office and face the long queues. Have you checked out the amazing resources available on the USPS website? You can print postage labels at home, pay by credit card and even order free packaging supplies! It really couldn’t be easier. As far as I can tell the Postal Service is really trying hard to support small businesses like ours. Maybe they deserve another look.
Glancing over the prices for shipping internationally you might cringe at $26.95 or $12.95. I might too BUT why not let me, your potential international customer, be the judge of how desperately I want your wonderful product? Last night I ordered a really cool notebook for my son’s upcoming birthday. It was $9.95. Postage was $14.00. Yes, more than the item itself. I really wanted it … so I ordered two notebooks for the same postage. I’ll give one to a friend. That made it seem more worthwhile in my mind (whether you agree with my logic or not it wouldn’t matter if I was one of your customers).
How do you know if there is or isn’t a demand for international shipping in your store? Hopefully you have signed up for some kind of statistical tracking for your store traffic. I like Google Analytics which is supported by many shopping carts including Etsy, Big Cartel and Shopify. Take a look at the map and graph below.
Over the given period I had 651 visitors to my site. I’m located in Japan but just 7% of visitors to my site came from Japan (it’s my seven friends clicking links on my blog!). The other 93% of potential customers are scattered around the world so you can see how essential it is for me to ship globally.
We’re well into the biggest selling period of the year with just under two months until Christmas and other end of year celebrations. Wouldn’t you like to tap into the biggest market possible?
One last point. Check the cut-off dates for delivery for Christmas. Display this information prominently on your website. For my shop, Mee a Bee, I have modified my main logo to include the vital information. It will display on every page of my site. Changing the banner or logo is also a good option if you cannot edit your website layout such as for Etsy shops. Have a go at making your own banner or get someone to help you. (Etsy has numerous tutorials about this topic).
Have a great and prosperous holiday season! We’d love to hear if you do make a change to your shipping policy – tweet us @ohmyhandmade with the news: “now shipping globally” and let us know how it works out for you!