I have spent more than 10 years working in the logistics industry for big players such as DHL and Aramex. I never ever thought logistics could be sexy until, early in my career, I developed a fun branded packaging solution for one of South Africa’s biggest ecommerce customers. They were taking the market by storm; not many at this stage had even considered selling online and what that could mean for their business. It was from this moment that I had a passion for working with ecommerce customers.
How many people can open up a store front and potentially receive hundreds of thousands to millions of customers? Unless you are an iconic store like Macy’s or Harrods this isn’t likely. What I love about the ecommerce world, is that your website can become the shop front and if you get it right, the world is your oyster.
Obviously being in the logistics world, ecommerce sellers rely heavily on the provider they choose. The person delivering their parcel is the first, and often only, face-to-face contact a customer has with your business. The customer experience is so much more than that though, it’s about ensuring customers can buy from your store, anywhere in the world. This means there are several things to consider. Duty and Taxes, languages, currency, payment options to name a few. These must all be operating faultlessly to make sure your customer’s experience is a memorable one. Memorable enough that they will buy from you again, that they will share their experience with friends.
This was all part of my journey helping to support ecommerce customers in reaching their full potential. This journey has now brought me to what I can only call a major piece in the puzzle. A piece that is complex, yet essential. A piece of the puzzle many people try to avoid.
That puzzle piece is Duty and Tax compliance. Now before you switch off at the word compliance, it’s about so much more than that. Did you know that if goods aren’t classified correctly, a country’s customs will charge the highest possible duty for that product? Why would anyone want that experience for their end customer?
You want to be able to open up your website, or ‘shop window’ as I call it, to as many people as possible and with the right partners this is 100% possible. You know what they say about putting all your eggs in one basket? Avalara helps take the eggs that are Duty and Taxes and relieve you of a heavy burden.
I am excited because I haven’t seen a product like this in the market until now. A product that can correctly assign HS codes to your entire product base, and then calculate your duties and taxes for the country your customer is in. This will include US sales tax, VAT and GST as well as the duties. The beauty is that this process is all automated and therefore ensures the most streamlined process, for which customer satisfaction and growth is necessary.
The best way to believe it, is to see it in action. To learn more about Avalara’s Cross-Border solutions, visit our panel session titled, Breaking into new markets - what we learned from Brexit at Avalara’s Virtual Ecommerce Summit on May 6th.
Here’s a link to register for free: www.avalara.com/global-ecommerce-summit