Historically, only large, established companies have enjoyed the luxury of working with teams of analysts and consultants who can project and assist in their grow. The good news is that today, with much fewer personnel, big and small businesses can operate with similar power by leveraging technology and ecommerce tools to position their companies for massive growth. In this guide, “3 Export Secrets,” learn business strategies and best practices used by the Fortune 500, but applicable to all businesses: selling into overseas markets, shipping internationally, and entering the export market.
Over the past 15 years, an array of e-commerce tools and marketplaces have emerged to make it possible to source products globally and sell them locally. Fortune 500 businesses have discovered that to compete in an overseas marketplace and subsequently grow exports, inventory must be stored in those local markets. By keeping their inventory in the local marketplace, it can be shipped to individual and corporate buyers with local shipping rates, enable in-country “drop shipping”, and allow small retail shops to get resupplied quickly when inventories run low.
Additionally, due in part to post-9/11 security concerns, local customs agencies around the world often hold packages that are shipped into their country
for weeks on end. Consequently, American businesses that sell products into a foreign country – even into a market as close as Canada – have traditionally been unable to guarantee their products would arrive in a timely fashion. Moreover, as American exporters have learned, a surprisingly high number of packages seem to “disappear” after crossing the border, never to reach their destination. Fortune 500 companies have learned the hard way that storing merchandise in a foreign market is the missing link that eliminates the significant hassles, cost and time constraints associated with international product sales.
In lieu of storing merchandise abroad, product manufacturers and exporters have traditionally worked through distributors that were willing to buy containers of product at wholesale prices and, in turn, resell them to end users, drop shippers or directly to over- seas retailers. This proverbial “middle man” introduces additional complexities, opportunities for error and costs that further reduce the profits of selling to the global economy. Adding to the challenge, finding good distributors is difficult and keeping, as well as managing those that perform, is increasingly difficult in today’s fast paced market- place. As a result, Fortune 500 companies have established trusted networks of distribution partners that help them route, transfer and ship their products through the individual nuances of each country.
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