mexican holidays

Prepare Your E-commerce Store for Mexico’s Top Shopping 2022 Holidays

It’s that time of the year! Mark your calendar with the most important e-commerce holidays to increase your sales and customer base in Mexico.   

Due to its proximity to the US, it is a major trade partner, and consumers like to buy products from the US, which now is easier than ever with the growth of cross-border e-commerce.   

So, stay and prepare for the busiest shopping time of the year! … You can also check out our blog “6 Tips to Prepare Your E-commerce Store for Holiday Season,” to be fully prepared to succeed in these holidays.   

 

October  

31st Halloween: This is celebrated the same as in the USA. There are Halloween parties and trick or treat. Not many national brands have deals during this holiday unless they sell Halloween costumes or decorations, but consumers are aware of US brands shipping to Mexico that do so. Be prepared to offer Halloween-themed bundles and discounts.   

November  

2nd Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead): This day is mainly celebrated with family, and they make an altar for loved ones who have passed away, and some also visit their loved ones’ graves. For foreign brands, if they want to support this holiday, they can post content about it, for example “Feliz dia de los Muertos to all our Mexican customers.”  

18th to 21st Buen fin (Good Weekend): A weekend full of discounts from offline and online stores. This happens every year on the weekend before Thanksgiving (USA). Mexican shoppers expect good deals and discounts from local and international brands that ship to Mexico. You should be ready to have deals and market them through social media ads and Google, as they tend to browse the Internet to find out who has offers during this time.   

28th Cyber Monday: This holiday is the same as in the US. It is only for online shops, and Mexican consumers are aware of it and expect to find discounts from brands over the Internet.   

December 

24th Christmas Eve: In Mexico, this is the day when families gather for the big dinner and have the presents ready for Christmas Day. Some families exchange gifts on this day (like secret Santa). Take this into account for your marketing advertising and communication. 

25th Christmas Day: This day is when everything is close, children open their gifts, and people enjoy being with family.  

31st New Year`s Eve: This is celebrated with family or friends, like in the US. People get ready to ring the bells for the New Year. Some people make twelve wishes while eating twelve green grapes for the New Year. After Christmas, your shop should be ready to promote the New Year with campaigns on how your products contribute to goals, aspirations and new beginnings.   

January:  

1st New Year’s Day: A day to relax. Most people just stay at home or visit relatives to wish a happy New Year.   

6th Dia de los Reyes Magos (Wisemen’s Day): This day is celebrated by children leaving a letter or shoe to receive gifts, and then families have a special bread called “Rosca de Reyes.” For this holiday, the presents are for children, so they are the main focus for brands. However, for brands with a different target market, they can promote special discounts referring to “Dia de Reyes”, as currently Mexican consumers are used to this sales time.   

Rebajas de Invierno (January sales) 7th : January sales begin immediately after Dia de Reyes. Here is the time for brands to push sales by promoting winter items and new products that look towards starting a great new year.   

 

As the holidays approach, make sure you are ready in all areas of your business, from marketing, customer service to shipping, especially when it comes to international shipping, due to high customer expectations and logistical time constraints.   

As Borderguru, powered by Hermes Logistics, we can offer you our cross-border solution that can help you reach your customers in Mexico and around the world successfully. You will be able to provide them with an excellent checkout and shipping experience, with tax and duty calculations and low shipping costs at checkout.   

Make it easy for you and your customers to buy from your e-commerce brand these holidays! Contact us now.   

holiday bes option for Canada

Canada Holidays 2022 – Get your Shopify store ready for cross-border

With Holidays around the corner, your e-commerce strategy needs to be ready. In our previous blog, “6 Tips to Prepare Your E-commerce Store for Holiday Season,” you will find additional tips to be 100% prepared for it. This time, we share with you the Special Holidays you need to mark on your calendar for your business to boost sales in Canada, and how to gain additional customers potentially.

Thanksgiving 10th 

In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October, so this year lands on the 10th. Like the American Thanksgiving, this holiday is to spend time with their families. As an e-commerce brand, it is essential to be ready for this memorable holiday, as the weeks before are the busiest shopping days. Take advantage of this by marketing and promoting your products to be grateful to family and friends. 

Halloween 31st   

Similarly, as the celebration in the US, it is a day when children dress up in Halloween costumes and trick or treat around their neighborhood. Others have costume parties and pumpkin carving. People expect some deals on this holiday, mainly if you sell Halloween-related products. If you want to capitalize on this holiday, be prepared with discounts and bundle deals Halloween-themed, and you can also promote by doing content over social media.  

 

 

Black Friday 25th  

This holiday comes from the US every year on the last Friday of November, on November 25th, and has become popular in Canada. Shoppers in this country love the extreme price cuts that US brands are famous for during this time. As a US brand selling to Canada, be ready operational and promotional-wise to fulfill the incredible demand during this holiday.  

Sofa Sunday 27th  

This year’s Sofa Sunday is celebrated on November 27th. It has become a holiday due to the growing use of tablet devices. The idea is that after Thanksgiving (USA) and Black Friday, shoppers recover on Buy Nothing Day (Saturday) and then be ready on Sunday to go online and scroll websites to find online bargains. US brands that ship to Canada should be prepared to use it to grow sales and get new customers.  

Cyber Monday 28th  

This day is the first Monday after Thanksgiving (USA). This day is now used to promote online shopping, and is when people redeem gift vouchers and coupons and look for special discounts and pricing. As November has three special dates that promote shopping and special deals, it is essential not to miss out on any and research each audience to market what is needed according to the target audience.  

 

Green Monday 12th  

This holiday is important for online stores, as it is the second biggest selling time before Christmas after Cyber Monday. eBay created it in 2007 after it realized that from the second Monday of December, there are only ten days for orders to arrive on time for Christmas. Be prepared, as many are waiting for this day (last minute) to purchase the best deals for Christmas gifts.   

Super Saturday 24th  

This day can be seen as more profitable for offline stores, because Christmas is the next day. That does not mean online stores cannot play around with the concept and make good sales. Since customers are unlikely to receive gifts on time for Christmas Day, online brands can focus on people who have not received a gift for themselves and create a campaign with special discounts to promote self-confidence.   

Christmas 25th  

This day is for enjoying with family and give gifting. Most people do not pay attention to anything else, as it’s a special day to celebrate with your loved ones and spend quality time with them. This is not a shopping day, so relax and enjoy. 

Boxing Day 26 – 31 

Boxing day is on the 26th, but it has become a week of special discounts. Many businesses selling to Canadian shoppers offer special discounts and prices. This is the start of winter sales, and it is no longer about buying Christmas gifts, but buying for upcoming year occasions. Also, for things consumers could not buy before or during Christmas and waited for these deals.   

New Year’s Day 1st  

This holiday is for celebrating the New Year with your loved ones, whether with family or friends. After this day, you can promote the New Year for the next two weeks with marketing campaigns such as “New Year wardrobe,” “Gym clothes for your new goals,” and suitcases such as “New Year, new adventures.” It’s about aspirations and goals. Start the year with solid sales by knowing what your target market is interested in, and creating the need and want for them to have your products.  

 

Are you ready to take on the Canadian market? As important as marketing, offering an excellent international shipping experience is also essential; this is your lucky day! We are BorderGuru, a cross-border solution that can help convert your existing traffic into actual customers. We will make it easy for you to ship your products to Canada, so that you only focus on branding and selling your product. 

  

Contact us now! And start to boost your sales this holiday season!   

 

 

Sustainable online selling and shipping - ecommerce

Sustainable eCommerce – Become a Sustainable E-commerce Brand

Recently, we have heard the word sustainability many times across all sectors. But what is it, and how small-medium e-commerce brands can positively contribute to sustainability? 

Let’s begin by defining “sustainability.”
According to
the United Nations, Sustainability is fulfilling the needs of current generations without compromising the needs of future generations, ensuring a balance between economic growth, environmental care and social well-being.   

In business terms, the meaning is to look at the products and services produced and consider their impact on the environment and society. 

In this post, we will explain the main pillars and practices to become a sustainable e-commerce brand and how you can positively impact your business, customer acquisition and customer retention.   

Consumers are now aware of the product’s impact on the environment. As e-commerce sales have increased, as seen in our previous blog, “Cross-Border eCommerce – The key to international growth,” the impact on the environment has become an essential topic for consumers.

In summary, this is the perfect time for small-medium e-commerce brands to start implementing sustainable practices that positively impact the environment while satisfying shoppers.   

What are the three pillars of sustainability? 

Environment: Focuses on biodiversity conservation without hurting economic and social progress, for example, safeguarding energy, reducing waste, reusing paper, and using sustainable transport. 

Economy: This refers to the ability of a company to manage its resources and responsibly generate profits in the long term. For example, create and promote awareness among consumers regarding responsible consumption.   

Society refers to ensuring proper working conditions and fair wages rather than just caring about volume and spending. It is about caring for employees and those in the supply chain and giving back to communities in need.  

Taking these pillars into account, here are four best practices you can implement to become a sustainable e-commerce brand.  

  • Supply chain  

It is essential to know where the raw materials for producing your products come from and how workers are treated. This is the first step to see if you need to make changes and how you can improve to contribute to sustainability.   

For example, if you are a fashion brand, you would check whether the fabrics used are recycled, if the cotton is organic, and about the travel time and energy used to produce. By auditing your supply chain, you can find out what you need to do or change to be more sustainable. 

  • Packaging  

As an e-commerce brand, the packaging is essential to deliver your products in good condition. Sometimes it is almost impossible not to use specific packaging to protect your products as much as possible. Still, there are alternatives that you can use to reduce the impact on the environment and be cost-effective without hurting quality.   

Some ideas:  

    • Use just enough packaging to protect the product, avoid oversized packaging 
    • Use packaging made of recycled materials   
    • Recycle old boxes, paper bags, or paper sheets by shedding them to use as a protective material for packaging 
    • Go paperless with invoices. 
    • Promote and raise awareness of the recycling of packaging materials by finding a new use or giving them back to you or recycling companies. 
  • Shipping  

Here are some ideas on how your company can implement sustainability in shipping your products. 

    • When possible, ship in bulk.   
    • Ask your customers to ensure their chosen address is the right one, and offer delivery alternatives to avoid additional trips and save resources. 
    • Use a cross-border solution such as BorderGuru, part of Hermes, a global logistics champion based in Germany, committed to reducing CO2 emissions and taking sustainability measures such as using electric vans, cargo bikes and renewable energy. 
    • Save money, time and transport resources by offering your customers the opportunity to pay taxes and duties at checkout and have customs-clear orders so their package is delivered to their chosen address without additional costs or trips. You can offer this with BorderGuru’s Shopify cross-border shipping app.   
  • Returns  

Returns for online shops are inevitable because there are various reasons a customer wants to return an item. But here’s what you can do to reduce returns: 

    • Provide clear information about your products, such as exact size information, high-quality photos and photos of different sizes, to avoid customers choosing the wrong size and reduce the likelihood of disappointment when they receive something different from what they expected. 
    • Implement policies to avoid customers ordering the same product in different sizes to reduce the probability of returning unwanted items. 
    • You could offer customers small discounts if they waive their return option. 

Once you have decided what to implement to contribute to sustainability, it is time to communicate this clearly and honestly with your customers. So, here are some tips to help you achieve this.   

  • The homepage  

In this section of your website, make sure that you share the sustainability practices of your brand with your customers in a friendly and exciting way for your target market, especially if you have certifications that increase the credibility of your brand’s sustainability statements and decisions.   

  • Product page   

Here you should share in detail information about your products’ source and production process and show their sustainable part. For example, if you are a clothing brand and use organic cotton, you should share it here.   

  • Checkout   

Be transparent about reducing carbon emissions from customer purchases, for example, by using a carrier like BorderGuru Hermes, which is committed to reducing its environmental impact. Another idea is to add a planet badge to your online store to show your commitment to shipping carbon neutrality to your customers.   

  • About Us page   

It would be best if you highlighted all your brand’s efforts to reduce the environmental impact. For example, if you have a donation or buyback program or program to encourage your customers to recycle non-used products. All this information is a great way to show how much you care about the environment and prioritize the life cycle of your products.   

 

This is the right time for your brand to become more sustainable and sell across borders! Take your US e-commerce brand to the next level and start selling to up to 200 countries using BorderGruru’s cross-border solution. Many potential customers from different countries are waiting for your brand to be available in their countries. Do not miss this opportunity and take advantage of this growing global demand!   

Contact us now and start selling internationally without complexities! 
Australia_BorderGuru

Australia: Cross-border selling opportunity for US brands

Australia is an important trade partner for the United States. Of the total imports, China is the most significant (29%), followed by the US (11%) and Japan (6.3%). The same applies to cross-border online sales, as shown in the following graph. The US is second with a share of 28%, putting it ahead of the UK and behind China. 

In 2021, it remained similar in terms of the top countries where Australians bought the most online, China with 30.1%, the USA with 22.5% and New Zealand with 4.7%. This means that the US continues to be a strong player in cross-border e-commerce in Australia, allowing US brands to enter the Australian market successfully.  

For this reason, we are discussing different market & economy overviews, digital overviews, e-commerce outlook, and how BorderGuru can help your brand expand into a country full of opportunities for your fashion Shopify store to increase international sales.  

Population & economy overview 

Australia has a population of 26.14 million. The most populous cities are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. The median age is 37.5 years, and the largest age group in percentage is people between 25 and 54 years (41.15%), as can be seen in the image below: 

 

The official language is English, and the currency is the Australian dollar. The exchange rate is approx. 1 USD = 1.38 AUD.   

Regarding the economy, Australia ranks 13th among the largest economies in the world. With a GDP per capita of $51,885 and a Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) of $ 1.31 trillion. Australia’s economy has become stronger after the pandemic, and GDP is expected to grow by 6.6%  by the end of 2022. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that Australia would move up one place to be the 12th largest economy in 2023. 

Digital Overview 

Australia is a very digital market like Canada, as our previous blog, Canada: Cross-Border Selling Opportunity for US Brands,” shows. Australia has many Internet users. As seen in the image below, 90% of the population, just under 5% of Canada, has access to the Internet. It is also essential to be aware of the percentage of mobile Internet users, as it accounts for more than 50% of the population. Your website must provide a mobile-optimized experience, and the content must be suitable for mobile phones to further capitalize on this market.   

Regarding social media, there were 21.45 million users in January 2022, representing 82.7 percent of the total population; this is many users who can become potential customers for your brand. The following image shows the number of users per social network. With this information and knowing your specific target market, you can get an idea of where it is best to promote your brand to attract Australian consumers and increase your sales.   

According to Statista, in 2021, the most popular online activities of adult Internet users in Australia were e-mail 98%, web browsing 96%, banking 92%, watching videos 90%, access to news 85% and online shopping 85%. This means that shopping is one of the top online activities as e-commerce sales continue to grow. As we will see next, “E-commerce Outlook.” 

E-commerce outlook 

As e-commerce sales are on the rise worldwide, Australia is in the same boat as online sales increased by 15% in 2021. The same year, Australia’s online sales totaled 31 billion US dollars, placing it ahead of Russia and Canada.   

According to Australia Post’s E-commerce Industry Report, online purchase frequency increased by 112% in 2021, from 1.6 million in 2019 to 3.4 million. Over 80% of Australian households made online purchases in the same year.   

In 2021, the top 5 categories purchased through e-commerce (local and foreign brands) were fashion products (72%), groceries (54%), takeaways (54%), beauty (45%) and electronics (43%).   

Not only are Australians buying more online vs offline, but they also buy more from foreign brands. In 2021, cross-border purchases increased more than domestic purchases, 5.32%, compared to 4.07%. And the top categories of cross-border e-commerce were: 

 

                                                

As seen at the beginning of this blog, the US is a strong player in cross-border e-commerce in Australia, after China is one of the countries where Australians buy the most products. This shows that more US brands in the trendy categories will successfully enter this market. 

Here are the top reasons Australians continue to buy online after the pandemic. This information comes from the Interactive Advertising Bureau Australia (IAB). 

  • Convenience – 76% 
  • Free delivery – 50% 
  • Lower prices – 45% 
  • Discounts – 37% 
  • More product options 33% 
  • Fast shipping – 26% 
  • Finding certain products/ brands – 25% 
  • Products only sold online – 25% 
  • Safety (avoid public places) – 20% 
  • Free returns – 13% 
  • Find new brands – 11% 
  • Reviews from other customers – 10% 

It is essential to be aware of these reasons, so you can provide the products and experience that the Australian market wants and expects from online stores. 

How can your brand expand to Australia without hurdles?  

BorderGuru can help your Shopify store to achieve a smooth and successful expansion into Australia by providing you with a full cross-border service, from legal compliance and competitive shipping costs to customs-clear orders. Process all international orders like any other domestic sale without investment or changes in your daily operations. Offer your customers the best online shopping and shipping experience. With BorderGuru, your customers will never have to deal with additional fees at delivery time. 

 Are you ready for the next step of your international expansion? Contact us now and start your global journey with us.   

holiday seasons main1.jpg

6 Tips to Prepare Your E-commerce Store for Holiday Season

It’s that time of the year! Can you believe it? Time to prepare for the Holiday Season.

As an e-commerce brand, preparing for one of the best sales times of the year is essential. The holiday season begins with Halloween, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and the New Year. However, don’t forget other important holidays from other countries, such as Boxing Day or Wisemen Day, and after Christmas sales, such as January sales.

Since many dates are now considered essential holidays for online shops, it can be overwhelming, so brands need to start planning now. Avoid panicking and instead become shoppers’ go-to for gifts.

Consider these six tips for a successful holiday season. Trust us; they will help you stay calm and competitive, and even turn new and current customers into loyal ones.

1- Don’t undervalue the power of sales on other holidays around the world

As important as it is to consider US holidays, which are also celebrated in other countries, such as Christmas and New Year. Other holidays could be regarded as necessary, depending on where your customers are.

For example, suppose your customers are in Mexico or Spain. In that case, it is important to consider Wisemen Day (Dia de Reyes), as it is a memorable holiday where children receive surprise gifts (similar to Santa’s gifts), which your business can capitalize on. Similarly, if your customers are in the UK, Boxing Day is a date to mark as special to increase your revenue.

So don’t forget to research to maximize sales during the holiday season!

2- Prepare for incoming traffic

As the holiday season approaches, consumers start looking for gifts, which translates into increased sales and inventory needs. So, to keep your customers happy, consider the following:

  • Check inventory:

Consider your most sold and popular products and plan to have a higher number of items in stock than you usually do. Collaborate with your marketing and demand planning team to have as much information as possible to help you forecast and make informed decisions rather than guessing.

  • E-commerce fulfillment: 

As sales increase, so does the fulfillment of orders. This means you should be prepared to have sufficient resources, personnel and packaging materials to complete all sales. Remember, it’s essential to keep customers happy. Try to avoid mistakes by planning as much as possible.

Also, do not forget about the after-sale experience. Since many products are bought as gifts, prepared for exchanges and returns in January, the customer experience is the key to re-purchases. Better to be prepared than to lose customers.

  • Website reliability: 

It is common for people to buy at the last minute, and systems can become saturated. To avoid an unpleasant experience for your customers, test your site and ensure your site’s infrastructure is ready for high demand. Remember that page load speed matters for revenue, avoiding cart abandonment.

3- Enhance Customer Experience

This is one of the most important aspects to consider, as it can turn into a purchase or unfinished transaction. From the moment your home page is displayed on the customer’s device, it is the first impression they get from your brand. Make sure your homepage shows what your customers are looking for. This means your bestsellers, discounts, search bar and menu so they can easily navigate through your site. If your site is complex to navigate, you risk users will not find what they need and will look elsewhere.

4- Ensure maximum transparency in the shipping experience

For online brands, the shipping experience is essential, and during the holidays, you can encounter problems that affect the ability to deliver orders on time, which can upset customers. Since delays cannot be avoided this season, you should be ready to communicate this clearly to customers.

Customers also appreciate tracking their orders and getting notifications to be informed. They take this aspect as an excellent customer service experience. As BorderGuru, we can help you provide an excellent shipping experience, as we offer whole track and trace transparency and competitive shipping prices.

You can also try to avoid additional delays with our service, as we calculate all taxes and duties in real-time at checkout and provide your customers with customs-cleared orders. So, you and your customers do not have to worry about extra delays and fees.

5- Optimize your online shop’s marketing

At this time of the year, the more you can advertise your products, the better, as consumers actively seek items to gift and wear at holiday parties. Ultimately, if you do not showcase your products, people will never know about them.

Some of the things you can do to optimize your marketing efforts are:

  • Find out where your target market spends the most online
  • Take the time to prepare the design and copy of your ads
  • Use your social media pages to post organic content
  • Collaborate with influencers who resonate with your target audience

6- Special offers

Special offers are a must during the holiday season, so please do not forget to consider this. As these are special days for many, consumers will appreciate the nice touches on this. This can differentiate you from competitors.

To optimize the results of these special offers, you can create a feeling of urgency by offering them for a limited period, and you can change them as you see fit.

Some ideas for special offers are:

  • Discounted prices
  • Buy one, get one free or at a discounted price
  • Purchase a certain amount, and you get a free gift
  • Gift-themed stickers adding your brand name
  • Include a personalized message depending on the holiday (Halloween, Christmas)
  • Free branded goodies as a thank you

This year’s holiday season is expected to be particularly special for businesses and consumers, as they want to celebrate as closely as before the pandemic. This is the time for your online shop to shine, despite the logistical challenges associated with a busy sales season.

Remember to plan this properly, so that you can achieve positive results. Also, to stay in customers’ minds, so they come back to you and even recommend your brand to others.

BorderGuru can help you successfully reach all your customers around the world. Offer your customers an easy and convenient shipping experience with our cross-border solution. We calculate all taxes and duties in real time and handle them for you. We provide your customers with customs-cleared orders and competitive shipping prices. This gives them less worrying and more time to enjoy their holidays with their special people.

Let us help you succeed in this holiday season! Contact us now and be fully ready to bring happiness to your customers.

world-crossborder-ecommerce

Top Countries for US Fashion Brands to Expand Internationally

Our previous blog, “Cross-Border eCommerce – The Key to International Growth,” mentions that e-commerce is continuously growing. According to Statista, online sales in 2021 were $4.9 trillion and are expected to rise to $7.3 trillion.   

The cross-border e-commerce market value in 2019 was about $579 billion and is expected to reach $2.25 trillion by 2026. Cross-border e-commerce involves buying and selling products in online stores across international borders.   

The following map shows the countries with the most significant percentage of shoppers buying from international online stores.

As we can see in the image, these are some countries where US fashion brands can expand internationally. Taking this premise into account, the five most important countries with the highest percentage of cross-border shoppers are; Brazil at 86%, Australia at 85%, Canada at 83%, France at 79% and Germany at 74%.    

In 2020, the countries that purchased the most from US brands through e-commerce were: Canada at 51%, Mexico at 50%, South Korea at 47% and India at 28%.   

The main reasons for consumers to purchase through cross-border e-commerce are:   

  • Lower prices  
  • Brands not available in their home countries 
  • Unique and more expansive product options 

Where does Fashion stand in the e-commerce market?   

The global Fashion C-commerce Market was valued at nearly 700 billion US dollars in 2021. In 2022, it is expected to be one of the three most important categories of global e-commerce sales, with a revenue forecast of $1 trillion. This category has grown continuously and become more popular in online sales. Global fashion e-commerce is expected to reach more than $1.2 trillion by 2025.   

The International Post Corporation’s online survey, conducted in 2021 in 40 countries with 33,179 participants, found that the top categories in cross-border e-commerce were clothing, footwear and apparel, with 34% of respondents.   

As can be seen, fashion products have a high demand worldwide, leaving plenty of room for brands interested in fulfilling the needs and wishes of consumers in other countries to do so successfully.    

Which countries have a higher potential for US fashion brands to expand?  

At this point, you might ask yourself what the best countries for your US fashion brand are to expand and increase your international sales. Here you will find a list of the countries with the highest online fashion sales.   

Looking at the graph below at the revenue of fashion retail e-commerce by country, we can get an idea of the top 10 countries where the fashion category in e-commerce has a higher penetration and thus higher revenue.

1. China  

  • Internet penetration in 2020: 70%  
  • E-commerce sales in 2021: $2.78 trillion 
  • Fashion e-commerce sales forecast 2022: $312.2 billion 
  • Percentage of cross-border shoppers: 65% 

 2. The UK 

  • Internet penetration in 2020: 95% 
  • E-commerce sales in 2021: $1.69 billion 
  • Fashion e-commerce sales forecast 2022: $60.56 billion 
  • Percentage of cross-border shoppers: 66% 

 3. Japan  

  • Internet penetration in 2020: 90% 
  • E-commerce sales in 2021: $144 billion 
  • Fashion e-commerce sales forecast 2022: $54.39 billion 
  • Percentage of cross-border shoppers: 36% 

4. Germany  

  • Internet penetration in 2020: 90% 
  • E-commerce sales in 2021: $101.5 billion 
  • Fashion e-commerce sales forecast 2022: $38.47 billion 
  • Percentage of cross-border shoppers: 74% 

5. South Korea  

  • Internet penetration in 2020: 97% 
  • E-commerce sales in 2021: $120.56 billion 
  • Fashion e-commerce sales forecast 2022: 37.18 billion 
  • Percentage of cross-border shoppers: 41% 

6. France 

  • Internet penetration in 2020: 85%
  • E-commerce sales in 2021: $80 billion
  • Fashion e-commerce sales forecast 2022: 32.96 billion
  • Percentage of cross-border shoppers: 79% 

7. India 

  • Internet penetration in 2020: 43% 
  • E-commerce sales in 2021: $67.5 billion 
  • Fashion e-commerce sales forecast 2022: 19.69 billion 
  • Percentage of cross-border shoppers: 56% 

8. Italy  

  • Internet penetration in 2020: 70% 
  • E-commerce sales in 2021: $26 billion 
  • Fashion e-commerce sales forecast 2022: $19.43 billion 
  • Percentage of cross-border shoppers: 67% 

9. Canada  

  • Internet penetration in 2020: 97% 
  • E-commerce sales in 2021: $44 billion 
  • Fashion e-commerce sales forecast 2022: $16.53 billion 
  • Percentage of cross-border shoppers: 83% 

10. Australia 

  • Internet penetration in 2020: 90% 
  • E-commerce sales in 2021: $31 billion 
  • Fashion e-commerce sales forecast 2022: $11.12 billion 
  • Percentage of cross-border shoppers: 83% 

These countries could be an excellent choice for US fashion brands to expand their international footprint. As shown, they not only have the highest percentage of consumers willing to buy from foreign brands through e-commerce but also the highest fashion e-commerce sales. These offer US brands high opportunities to penetrate the international market successfully.   

What do you need to consider before expanding into a new country?  

Marketing elements  

  • Identify your ideal international customer: Your brand needs to create a target persona that means your ideal international customer. In this way, you can find the most effective way to present and sell your products and have a higher chance of success in the market or markets you want to expand. 
  • Connect with influencers: This marketing tactic has become popular in recent years, allowing brands to become more natural and build trust. It is also a way to connect deeper with consumers. Finding influencers with followers like your ideal customer could give you a higher chance of starting on the right foot and attracting their attention. 
  • Engage with your Audience: Research popular social media networks within your target audience and try different engagement activities to find out what gives you positive results—for example, answering messages on time, giveaways and polls. This will help you to increase brand awareness, trust and sales. 
  • Retarget visitors: It is a good marketing practice to have campaigns to retarget visitors who have left products on the shopping cart or have products on their favorite list. For example, show ads or send e-mails with discounts on the products they were interested in. Retargeting helps increase turnover and generate a great return on investment (ROI).   

 Logistics and payment  

  • Payment options: Be aware of your target market’s most common payment options. For example, paying with Apple Pay, Google Wallet, or bank transfer is very common in Europe. Therefore, it is a matter of finding out what your visitors use for online payments and offering them.   
  • Customer service: Customer satisfaction is the key to happiness, loyalty and returning customers. Barriers to language, culture and time zones can be challenging to provide an excellent buying experience. However, allocating staff to support clients in other countries helps businesses avoid misunderstandings and be more efficient.   

 Delivery experience: 

  • Shipping cost: One of the concerns of shoppers buying from international brands is the high shipping costs. So, what you can do as a brand is finding the most cost-effective solution to offer your customers. This will help your customers continue their checkout and improve their shopping and shipping experience. With BorderGuru, you can offer the most competitive shipping costs and a smooth checkout experience.   
  •  Delivery time: This is also a concern and the best thing to do is to be transparent with your customers about delivery times and situations where deliveries can be delayed. Next, you need a solution that provides your customers with reliable shipping updates until they receive their package. BorderGuru offers end-to-end track and trace that allows your customers to feel safe, as they will know every shipment stage until it gets delivered. 
  • Return policy: Research and understand the return rate and legislation of the country or countries the business is selling to. Make sure to have a straightforward process and policies to handle returns and communicate them to customers. 
  • Customs, Taxes and duties: It is vital for companies to have information on customs, taxes, and duties and check how they will be handled and communicated to customers. For example, it might be easier and more transparent for customers to see a price with tax and pay duties upfront along with shipping. This way, customers do not have to worry about further costs once their package arrives, as it will be customs cleared.   

If your brand is ready to take the next step towards international expansion, consider us your global partner. BorderGuru will provide full support by offering you and your customers the best shipping experience, from competitive shipping costs to calculating taxes and duties at checkout to custom-made orders so that your customers do not have to worry about surprises at delivery.   

With BorderGuru, you have the opportunity to ship to up to 200 countries without any hurdles.  

Contact us now and discover the endless possibilities the international market offers! 

1200x630_crossborder commerce

Why Are HS Codes So Important for Cross-Border Trade?

International shipping can be an excellent opportunity for brands to increase their sales. As cross-border e-commerce continues to grow worldwide, it becomes easier to reach customers worldwide. Your online store must be ready to meet the demand you have.

So, what about all the requirements and documents you need to import your products into other countries? Preparing your products for shipping across borders can seem daunting and overwhelming. If you already offer international shipping, you must have come across the term “HS code” and how important it is to be compliant to avoid penalties and delays in delivering your products to your customers. If you don’t know about it… don’t worry, after reading this blog, you will learn and understand it.    

HS codes are a fundamental part of international shipping. These codes classify your products and make it easier to fill out any needed international documents. It is important to be aware of the requirements to comply with customs and tax authorities to find a solution that can save you from problems that can cost you money and dissatisfied customers.   

For this reason, we will explain what HS codes are, how customs use them, their relevance to your Shopify store, and how we can help your business remove all the complexity of international growth. 

What is an HS Code?  

Harmonized System (HS) code is a standardized numerical method to classify goods being traded internationally. They are commonly used across the world by customs authorities to identify products when assessing duties and taxes, and to record imported products.  

Each HS code is composed of six digits. The first two digits are chapters, the following two digit headings, and the last two sub-headings. There are 21 sections, 99 chapters, 1,244 headings, and 5,224 sub-headings.   

Summary: key features of HS codes:  

  • Six-digit code to classify the goods 
  • Defined rules that classify the goods 
  • Act as a uniform standard for the classification of goods worldwide 
  • Covers 98% of goods in international trade and over 5000 commodities

How do Customs use HS Codes?  

Imagine everyday countries receive a large amount of goods from other parts of the world, and categories vary, as well as name, appearance and size of each product. So, it would take a long time for customs authorities to identify each product manually. Therefore, HS codes are used to identify imported goods more accurately and faster and charge the right amount of taxes and duties.   

It is vital for merchants to classify the imported goods and include this information correctly in the documents presented to customs. If not done correctly, you run the risk of customs opening your parcels and checking the content inside. If the HS codes declared do not match the product, your business might encounter the following issues:   

  • Considered non-compliant   
  • Extra charges to be paid   
  • Fines and charges as penalties   
  • Product rejections   
  • Delivery delays  
  • Unsatisfied customers  
  • Lower profit margins in case of paying a higher amount of tax or customer returns    

For these reasons and more, you need a partner and solution to help you with compliance. BorderGuru helps you avoid these risks by accurately mapping and automatically classifying all your products and assigning an HS code. We will be the importer of record and handle customs on your behalf. Once your products are shipped, we will ensure that they navigate customs safely and are seamlessly delivered to your end customers.   

 Why are HS Codes relevant for your Shopify Store, and how can BorderGuru help your business comply with customs?  

As already explained, HS codes are required to ship any product internationally. This can be complex for brands, as not only do products have to be accurately classified to be assigned an HS code, but also the information must be included in most international export documentation, like commercial invoices or certificates of origin.   

Failure to correctly assign HS codes or include all necessary information in customs documents can lead to delays, additional significant costs, and unsatisfied customers.   

It is important to consider all import requirements to offer international shipping in your Shopify store. Without HS codes and export documents, you will not be able to comply with customs, or deliver parcels to your international customers.   

BorderGuru can handle everything for you to correctly comply with all requirements, so that your business doesn’t encounter any issue when its parcels go through customs, and they can be easily dispatched and delivered to your customers around the world.    

We can also calculate and guarantee all landed costs at checkout to give you and your customers the best possible shipping experience.   

 

Click here to learn more about how BorderGuru can manage the entire process, from start to finish, to expand your business globally without complexities. 

ddp shipping

How Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) Can Benefit Your Online Business

As cross-border e-commerce sales continue to grow, US brands have great potential to reach customers worldwide. However, some aspects that brands must consider to handle international shipping in the best way to avoid headaches for the business and consumers. These include shipping costs, tax and Duty fees, and delivery times. If these aspects are not handled properly, the customer experience may suffer, and the brand may have consequences, such as higher shopping cart abandonment rates, higher shipping costs and lower conversion rates.   

Offering a DDP shipping solution addresses the top consumer concerns. However, for brands, it can be overwhelming, as every country has import taxes, duties fees, and requirements. Therefore, it is essential to have a solution that provides the best user experience, cost-effective operation and practicality for the business to expand internationally successfully.    

For this reason, we will explain what DDP is, how your company can benefit from it, and how we can help your business offer and handle DDP so your business can provide the best shipping experience for your customers.   

What is DDP?  

Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) shipping is when a merchant takes responsibility for all landed costs (taxes & duties) and charges them to the end customer without paying additional fees or dealing with customs delays.

This means that the merchant is responsible for the entire shipping process, from delivery of the package to payment of taxes and fees to the delivery to the end customer at the final destination. This helps build trust and improve the customer experience, as they have paid for everything up front; there will be no surprise fees when it arrives at the final destination.    

What is the difference between DDP and DDU? 

DDU is when the merchant is responsible for the entire shipping process, from sending to ensuring that the goods arrive safely at a destination. However, once the package is in the final country destination, the buyer is responsible for paying all the necessary import fees.   

The difference between DDP and DDU is that in DDU, the customer may have to pay import taxes without knowing the exact amount until the package arrives. As fees often come as a surprise, it creates a poor customer experience and can lead customers not to accept the goods, financially impacting the merchant.   

What are the benefits of offering DDP?  

The benefits of offering DDP are the following:  

  • Be transparent with taxes and duties fees  
  • Custom clear orders 
  • Avoid delivery delays 
  • Avoid extra costs 
  • Build trust  
  • Enhance customer service  
  • Lower cart abandonment  
  • Increase website conversion rates 

How can BorderGuru help your business handle and offer DDP on your Shopify store?  

Offering a DDP solution benefits both the brand and the end customer. Brands need to research tax and duty fees and import laws per country and calculate each product that will sell cross-border. If done on your own, this can become very overwhelming and might discourage you as a brand top opening your cross-border channel.  

With BorderGuru, you have a strategic partner that can help your Shopify store offer DDP and handle all import requirements for each country. Our solution takes everything from product mapping to tax filling. You don’t have to worry about import requirements, as we’ll have everything ready for you to ship your products as if it were local shipping.   

Our cross-border solution is a free plug-and-play app that can is integrated into your Shopify store within 10 minutes. It automatically and accurately calculates taxes and duties at checkout and offers your customers competitive shipping rates.   

 

BorderGuru is, as can be seen, a one-shop-stop solution for international shipping. It allows you to reach your customers regardless of location, as you can choose up to 200 countries to ship to.   

Our solution helps your brand to provide the best possible customer shop experience to increase trust, loyalty and sales.   

Contact us to learn more about how your brand can expand quickly internationally!    

Sell to canada

Canada: Cross-Border Selling Opportunity for US Brands

Canada is widely known as a significant trade partner for the United States. Canada’s imports were more prominent than exports in 2020, $510.29 billion compared to $477.31 billion. The US represented 57% of total imports, while China was 11% and Mexico was 5%.   

 

As for cross-border online sales, as seen in the graph below, the US has the largest share, as consumers buy most products from this country, second China and thirdly the UK.   

As can be seen, US brands have a big opportunity to enter and penetrate the Canadian market.   

For this reason, we are discussing further market & economy overview, Digital overview, e-commerce outlook, and how BorderGuru can help your brand expand into a country full of opportunities to increase your international sales.    

 

Population & Economy overview  

Canada has a population of 38.23 million. The most populous provinces are Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. The median age is 41.8 years, and the largest age group in percentage is people between 25 and 54 years (39.81%), as can be seen in the image below: 

The official languages are English and French, and the currency is the Canadian dollar. The exchange rate is approx. 1 USD = 1.28 CAD. In terms of Economy, Canada is among the top ten largest economies in the world. In 2020, it was 9th place with a GDP per capita of $43,295 and a Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) of $1.74 trillion.   

International trade is an essential component of Canada’s Economy. Exports and imports account for about one-third of GDP. 

 

Digital Overview 

 

Canada is considered one of the largest online markets in America, with 36.39 million users in January 2022. It also has a high percentage of Internet users, as seen in the image below, meaning that almost 100% of the population has access to the Internet. It is also worth noting that a high percentage of the population uses a mobile device to access the Internet. 

Regarding social media, a large percentage of the population is a member of a social media platform (87.1%). In January 2022, the number of users was 33.30 million. The most popular social media platforms are YouTube (33.30m), Facebook (20.90m), LinkedIn (19m) and Instagram (17.40m). It is important to be aware of the social media users for marketing your products, where you can get the most traction and have higher opportunities to increase sales. 

According to Statista, in 2021, the most popular online activities conducted by Internet users in Canada were email 85%, online banking 67%, social media 58%, access news headlines 53% and online shopping 48%. Shopping is one of the five most important activities as e-commerce sales grew considerably; As we will see next, “E-commerce Outlook.” 

 

 

E-commerce outlook 

 

Global e-commerce sales have grown significantly since 2019 and even more during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Canada, it happened the same way; and during the pandemic, online sales increased as online shopping became the new normal for all generations. Now that restrictions have been lifted and shops are open, purchasing behavior has changed slightly for older generations. Still, for Millennials and Generation Z, online shopping will continue to increase.  

In 2021, Canada was the tenth largest e-commerce market with a revenue of $35 billion, ahead of Australia and Indonesia. In the same year, there were 27 million e-commerce users in Canada, representing 72.5% of the total population, and is expected to grow by 77.6% in 2025.   

Cross-border purchases are also still popular with Canadian consumers, as they believe there is a better selection of products and lower prices when buying from other countries. As it has already been shown, the US is a significant player in the Canadian market, and consumers expect to continue to do most of their online shopping from US brands.   

As for the product categories, the top 5 are clothing (50%), shoes (32%), entertainment (30%), consumer electronics (30%) and cosmetics & body care (26%). 

 

   

This graph shows that US brands in the sectors of fashion and lifestyles have an excellent opportunity to continue to capitalize and that new players can start to capitalize on this ever-growing e-commerce market.   

For US brands to succeed in Canada as a cross-border e-commerce merchant, it is crucial to consider consumers’ expectations, needs and wishes to offer them the best possible online experience and to be able to attract and convert them into loyal customers. 

 

Top 5 aspects to consider that strongly influence Canadian consumers’ online purchasing decisions 

 

1- Word of mouth, social media influencers, video content, and online customer reviews strongly influence Gen Z and Millennial consumers’ purchasing decisions.   

2- Make the returns policy friendly: 63% of shoppers have abandoned their carts because of an unclear or complicated returns policy.  

3- Prioritize delivery: 58% of consumers are influenced by delivery speed, and 46% are motivated to buy from brands that deliver on the expected date.   

4- Customer experience: 46% of consumers are influenced by loyalty or reward programs. It is also essential to consider promotional content.   

5- Consider the environment: 37% of consumers prefer brands that are aware of their carbon footprint and are committed to reducing it.   

 

With BorderGuru, you can expand your brand to Canada and other 200 countries without any hurdles and offer your customers the best online shopping and shipping experience. We calculate all taxes and duties in real-time and handle them for you. We provide your customers with custom-clear orders and competitive shipping prices. They will never have to deal with additional surprise fees at the delivery time. 

Contact us now and expand your global business without the challenges of international compliance! 

 

 

London, England – February 23, 2019: Customs, VAT Exports, Commercial Exports and Border Control at Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport, England, United Kingdom, Europe

IOSS and UK VAT Compliance for US Shopify Stores

As a Shopify store owner in the US, you are undoubtedly interested in selling your goods to the EU and UK markets. Since e-commerce sales in these markets have grown massively and will continue for years to come, the opportunity for US brands to make a profit is significant. This is also why your company should be informed and aware of IOSS and UK VAT and have a solution to handle compliance for your company correctly.   

What are the current European Union import regulations?

Current EU import regulations are different from those before July 2021. Now US sellers must collect VAT on all goods they sell to the EU customers; the difference was that before, goods valued at 22 euros or less were Import VAT exempted. Therefore, you now need to determine the VAT rates of specific goods for all the EU countries you deliver to.

Additionally, you must declare in-customs all goods entering the EU regardless of their value. This means that when you sell to a customer located in any of the 27 EU members, the parcel must come with a customs declaration form.

What is IOSS and how can BorderGuru help me with cross-border selling to the EU?

The Import One-Stop-Shop (IOSS) is an electronic portal that eases the process of complying with VAT e-commerce obligations on imported goods valued < 150 EUR. With IOSS, you do not have to register in each EU country where you sell your products. Instead, you only pay the country of registration and then the authorities are in charge of distributing the taxes to the local tax authorities in which the customer is located; this makes the collection, declaration and payment of the VAT for US sellers easier.    

Even though IOSS intends to make this process easier for non-EU brands, they still need to deal with VAT registration, finding a local fiscal representative, collecting taxes from customers, recording and filing, etc.  

With BorderGuru, compliance with EU tax authorities becomes a simple task for your business. BorderGuru imports into the EU, which helps your company eliminate the complexity of selling and sending to the EU. Here are some benefits of using BorderGuru: 

  • We represent you before EU tax authorities  
  • We provide you with an IOSS number  
  • We provide HS codes   
  • We calculate taxes and duties to be paid at the checkout by your customers   
  • We file your business` taxes on your behalf and keep a record  
  • We offer custom cleared orders 
  • We guarantee the accuracy of our calculation at checkout

What about UK VAT and how can BorderGuru support you?  

Since the UK separated from the EU, it has import tax regulations. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is responsible for tax collection and regulation. If the products you sell to UK customers cost more than135 GBP, you must register your business and pay taxes to HMRC.   

BorderGuru helps you make this process easy for your business, so you do not have to worry about dealing with it on your own and instead focus on selling and connecting with more UK customers.   

We provide you with the same benefits as with the EU, such as UK VAT number, we calculate, file and record taxes and duties, and provide your customers with custom cleared orders. We guarantee the accuracy of our calculation at checkout.   

BorderGuru offers a complete cross-border solution that helps you with IOSS and UK VAT compliance and allows you to ship to 200 countries at a competitive price, calculating tax and duties at checkout and providing customs cleared orders. Additionally, it is effortless to integrate into your Shopify online store.   

If you want to bring your cross-border sales to the next level, get in touch with us!