The world continues to shrink. Customers are no longer only in your neighborhood; they can now be found halfway around the world.
For your international customers, there are two specific occasions when you can make a lasting impression:
- During your customer’s online experience.
- The day your customer receives and opens your shipment.
Today we discuss the second opportunity to make a great impression. Making sure to follow a few, yet critical steps in your shipping process can mean the difference between having a one-time customer or gaining a repeat buyer.
1. Select Proper Packaging
Ensuring you deliver as promised to your customers starts with your packaging. Compared to domestic shipping, using heavier packaging stock is preferred. The higher quality materials hold up better to the harsh treatment international shipments commonly receive from postal services in other countries.
Be sure to use discreet packaging as well when shipping jewelry internationally. Branding is important; however, leave your brand imagery, product specifications, and other revealing information for the inner container. The inner package would be the same as if you presented your product in a retail setting. By keeping the primary packaging limited to the basic shipping information, thieves will not be tempted in walking away with your goods.
Within the package itself, a good rule of thumb is to allow for two inches of bubble wrap or other protective material around your inner package. Avoid empty space that could allow jewelry to knock around within the box, potentially causing damage to your customer’s purchase.
Finally, invest in quality packaging tape. Strong tape may prove to be a minor inconvenience to your customer upon opening. A perfectly delivered piece of jewelry is worth the few extra pennies in quality material. A missing address label or an item slipping out of an accidentally opened box would erase any savings had by using lesser materials.
Format Addresses Correctly
There are over 190 countries in our world. Unfortunately, not all of them belong to the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the United Nations specialized agency for the postal sector. The first step to correctly address your package is to reference the S42 International Addressing Standards.
There is a quick reference by country available on the UPU website. If the destination country is not listed, then it is best to visit the destination country’s postal services website. If you any doubt on how to correctly address your label or use registered mail, you can always take your package to the local post office and receive assistance from a post office official.
Once you have determined the correct address format, it is only a matter of inputting the customer provided information. Sounds simple enough, so long as the information gathered is comprehensive enough. For online sales, a quality web portal will modify the questions asked about your customer’s address based on the country originally selected.
For older websites or less reputable eCommerce vendors, address correction services may not be available, especially for less common destination countries. It is best to confirm how your web portal handles the process of gathering address information if international sales are a recent addition to your business offerings.
Accounting for Customs
One of the easiest details to overlook when shipping jewelry internationally are customs and their associated forms. Making an error on customs form is a quick way to have your customer’s order significantly delayed, if not returned altogether. It is critical all relevant information is filled out completely and truthfully. There is no reason to risk your inventory and reputation by trying to save a few dollars illegally avoiding paying duties and taxes.
Avoiding the Inevitable
The longer you ship jewelry internationally, the higher your chances of an expensive piece of jewelry going missing or becoming damaged beyond repair. It is not a question of if you ever lose or damage a piece of jewelry, but when.
Your business “all risk” jewelers mutual policy may provide some coverage, but only if the policy language does not have an exclusion for the shipping of inventory. Unfortunately, most insurance policies only provide coverage for inventory while on premises.
For businesses who commonly ship products, especially internationally, supplemental shipping insurance may be a wise investment. Global shipping coverage offered by companies such as Cabrella’s extends protection for events and causes of loss normally excluded on the typical insurance policy such as:
- Natural disasters
- Maximum value covered
- Certain zip codes and delivery zones
- Shipments made using non-approved carriers
- Multiple shipments to the same address in any one day
- Specific shipping terms (often only overnight shipping is covered)
To guarantee a lost, damaged, or stolen jewelry shipment will be covered is to purchase supplemental global shipping coverage. With this type of insurance, you gain a wealth of benefits, such as:
- Ship to nearly anywhere in the world, and you’re covered
- Potential discounts on your jewelers block policy
- Zero premium increase to your jewelers block insurance policy
- Freedom to use the best shipping company of your choice
- Peace of mind knowing any international jewelry shipment is covered
- Higher valuation limits available, often 5 to 6 times higher coverage amount
With global shipping insurance supplementing your “all risk” business insurance policy, you will be able to focus on what is most important when a customer’s jewelry order is mishandled; making sure your customer receives the proper service they need. Have confidence knowing that should the inevitable happen, you will be fully and properly covered.
With Cabrella shipping insurance, you can save up to 90% in rates as compared to other carriers. Get a quote and find out how much Cabrella can save you!