4 billion people
The Internet is much more than a continent. It is a world of its own. Rather than focusing on a country or city, consider selling internationally as a unique opportunity. What could be more exciting than selling online to expand your brand all over the world?
How can you take advantage of this profusion of Internet users as African fashion designers and artisans? How can African culture take its lion share? It is our mission at Afrikrea, to guide you throughout this whole process. If you want to succeed worldwide, remember that shipping management is key!
You are an international company
On Afrikrea, more than half of the orders are placed worldwide, as we have already mentioned countless times. That is why opening your shop on our website automatically makes you an international company. Yes, it does!…and you should be proud of it :-)
1 out of 2 orders is placed worldwide
Designers have shipped to 94 countries in total . Together, we represent a multinational company :-).
The Internet allows us to cross borders and push boundaries. You no longer have to be limited to a restricted neighborhood. The world is yours.
High shipping fees make the customer run away
Stakes are high. Therefore, if you wish to fill your customers with happiness and joy all over the world, it is crucial that you manage your shipping fees efficiently.
Countries to watch
In the United States, shipping fees have a very strong emotional impact. American customers do not mind buying beautiful designs at a high price but if the shipping fees are high, you will never sell anything there. Buyers from America value good deals and high quality service but high shipping fees will have them run away. You have been warned.
Those who ship from France can benefit from the local Post Office, which offers interesting services . For instance, sending a tracked letter instead of a parcel is a cost-effective solution just make sure your letters do not exceed 3 cm in thickness
If you are looking for a cheaper shipping solution, Mondial Relay can be an option, if your customers agree to receive their package in a Relay pick-up point.
Furthermore, Mondial Relay makes home deliveries in several European countries such as Germany, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom ;-)
Do not forget to pamper your customers from the French West Indies because they are loyal customers with well-stocked shopping carts.
Last but not least, do not neglect your customers from Switzerland and the United Kingdom. English and Swiss buyers have an average cart between 110 and 180 €. They deserve to be pampered like real queens.
Local or private carrier?
We often get asked if it is better to use a local or a private carrier. It depends on the country. If you have a reliable local postal service, consider it as your main option. To be qualified as reliable, your local post office should offer at least the following services: shipping with a tracking number, and the ability to track the delivery of the package over the Internet.
Take advantage of existing agreements and partnerships between post offices from different countries, to avoid paying customs fees.
In France, La Poste remains the best shipping carrier .
In Africa, private carriers like DHL, are the only ones which provide an online tracking service . The Post Office in Senegal and Togo have worked hard on improving their delivery time, yet, their tracking services are still not reliable.
This is why Afrikrea has partnerships with DHL Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Cameroon. Designers in these countries can benefit from preferential shipping rates, by using an Afrikrea account. Even better, they can directly print on the website a DHL shipping label with a tracking number . We aim to expand this partnership agreement in other countries very soon.
Beware of customs
When you ship an international package, private carriers like DHL or UPS are subject to customs duties. They can ask buyers to pay these fees at delivery. Unfortunately, this policy is applied randomly and you have little visibility on this matter.
This often leads to a misunderstanding and a very bad surprise for the customer. This can lead to the customer refusing the order and have it sent back to the designer. It is important to warn your customers beforehand, and find a solution quickly when you are confronted to this type of situation.
Here are a few tips to minimize customs fees:
- The value of a product should be as low as possible (10 € max). From 22€, you are subjected to VAT in France and almost everywhere in Europe. This includes the value of the product and the shipment!
- Send small packages. It is better to send several small packages (0 to 2kg) than a big one (4 kg for example). You will benefit from cheaper rates, and it will be better to justify your package’s low value.
- Send the packages under your name instead of your company’s. Indeed, as an individual, you are subjected to taxes from the amount above (45 € for VAT in France instead of 22 € if you were a company)
Unfortunately, there are no written rules and the fees are set by the Custom office. It’s more like a do-it-yourself job, but it is important when you are starting in the business and have your first orders because as we know, each sale counts.
Finally, by broadening your vision, it is possible to take advantage of the countless opportunities that can result from selling online. You were gifted with the talent of creating unique designs inspired by African culture, it’s up to you to carry this torch around the world. We remain at your disposal if you need more advice and support on this matter All you need to do is contact us on Afrikrea.com.