Many of our other interviewees will be talking about customer-facing ecommerce, but you’re here to discuss ecommerce as undertaken by retailers who buy stock online from overseas suppliers. Can you talk about this process?
Buying retail stock online is simple. A retailer can browse to find the international website of their preference, select the goods and select the shipping method, just as a consumer would.
Then, shipping is usually either via post or through an international express carrier such as DHL or FedEx. If the shipment is larger than around 30kg, options include general air cargo, or for pallets and larger goods, sea freight via container or part-container.
What should retailers watch out for when they’re shipping stock they purchased online?
Retailers are rarely aware of what fees and charges apply, and therefore don’t budget accurately for them. This is particularly common in larger businesses where the buyer is not responsible for the freight and logistics budget. By understanding the process the buyer can make the best choices to improve total profit.
Retailers should always consider:
– Cost of the goods
– Weight (kgs)
– Dimensions (m3)
– Commodity type
– Mode of transport
– Delivery address in New Zealand
Moving towards customer-facing ecommerce, what are some shipping/freight issues that retailers should take into consideration when looking to target a global market from NZ?
Primarily, they should consider the tax-free thresholds imposed by the nation to which the goods will be exported. Australia is a fantastic market for NZ exporters at present because of the high tax-free threshold of AU$1000 for imported goods. In this case there are no duty, GST or import processing charges for the buyer, meaning Kiwi retailers can promote the low cost of importing from NZ to prospective customers.
Also worth considering is the freighting charge. Retailers ship to particular nations that afford them reasonable shipping rates, which is why global consumers can sometimes be disappointed that a retailer won’t ship to their location.
This story was originally published in NZ Retail magazine issue 739, August/September 2015.