In this 3 minute video, Rob Smith MD of Blueleaf offers you valuable advice on how to expand your ecommerce reach internationally, in a low risk and resource light way.

As always, we've transcribed this video below, in case you've forgotten your headphones or there's a juicy bit you want to re-read.

Hello, I'm Rob Smith, MD of Blueleaf and today's Retail Roundup is all about tax, customs, excise, international delivery, international logistics, international returns and any other considerations, when you're launching your website internationally. I'd like to offer some advice on how to simplify the process.  

When you've got an international ecommerce website, a lot of the pain comes from the points I've listed above. Logistically, it can be very difficult to offer a good customer service in countries, that quite frankly, don't necessarily add a huge amount to your P & L. The issue can be that you want to open up to these countries and see if it works, but you don't necessarily want to open up your full service because the cost of doing so can outweigh the profit.  

We've started to see quite a few retailers outsource these logistical complications to 3rd parties, such as Borderfree and Global-e. Not everyone knows that these services exist, which is why I wanted to produce this video and hopefully, give you something to consider.

These companies will take over the complicated logistical elements of launching in new countries; one way they can do this is to handle your website's checkout. Now this may seem scary but the potential benefits are excellent. Instead of delivering to the country you're ultimately shipping the order to, you ship to a UK warehouse, so as far as you're concerned, it's a UK sale.  

As well as distributing the parcel to the desired country, they'll also handle returns, customs, excise etc. Due to the global nature of what they do, they get a much better deal on the couriers etc than one single retailer could do individually. 

What's in it for them? They'll take a percentage of the sale. This model gives you a hassle-free way of accessing countries that you may have put off due to the logistical challenges. You may still want to manage some of your international operations yourself, for example in the countries that you know are lucrative for you, but for other the countries, where you just want to try and test, this is a fantastic way to do so.  

I think this option is well worth exploring if you want to expand into a new country quickly but you also want to limit the risk and the hassle. I hope this video has given you something to consider, thanks for listening and don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this.