The cross-border e-commerce expansion also involves reducing delivery times. Learn how important it is to track your purchases to avoid unforeseen situations.
The coronavirus pandemic has made e-commerce sales skyrocket in 2020, which saw a 41% growth, according to the Ebit/Nielsen Webshoppers report. Consequently, international trade realized that it needed to improve its processes to remain competitive against local solutions. We are talking about cross-border: a mode of commerce that gives a new meaning to borders.
The evolution of the retail calendar, with new seasonal dates that boost sales, also impacted cross-border e-commerce positively. To give you an idea, AliExpress had USD 75 billion in sales on Singles’ Day alone, which is celebrated on November 11.
Realizing the growing Brazilian interest and demand for this type of commerce, AliExpress and other international websites are making their platforms available in Portuguese and offering local payment options. Like this, consumers who do not have an international credit card can also become customers.
According to the Webshoppers 43 report, prepared by Ebit/Nielsen in partnership with Bexs, cross-border e-commerce grew in revenue by 76% in 2020 compared to the previous year. The number of orders was largely responsible for this increase: 52% more orders than in 2019. The average ticket has also increased, becoming 15% higher. In total, cross-border e-commerce grossed BRL 22.7 billion.
B2W is one of the Brazilian retailers that saw its sales accelerate because of this type of import. Operating with cross-border e-commerce since March 2019, Americanas Mundo started with 410,000 items on its shelf. Currently, there are more than 20 million products and 200 international sellers, mainly from China. Last year, the company managed to halve the delivery time for products from eight countries by closing a deal with three carriers. The company accounted for a 200% growth in cross-border sales compared to 2019. The progress of the marketplace for domestic products has also grown, but only by 60%.
In Brazil, Chinese company AliExpress, considered the world’s top cross-border platform, recorded its highest profit in 2020. Growth in some categories reached 130% thanks to changes in delivery logistics, one of the most critical points in the sales process. The solution found by the company was to change its logistics by chartering four planes a week to speed up the shipment of products to Brazil.
The Brazilian post office company Correios has also detected this trend and has been making arrangements to meet the growing demand. The company has implemented in its app Correios Digital a feature that allows the payment of taxes and other fees, as well as postal clearance charges.
Correios charges postal clearance for the provision of support services to the customs processing activities. It covers the costs of processing and returning the parcel when the recipient does not pay the taxes. With the new type of import, all international orders are subject to this service charge.
Below we share some tips on tracking international orders:
It is very important to have the shipping code and to track it regularly on the Correios website to check the parcel’s status and not miss the deadline for paying the postal clearance charge and other fees. If you miss the deadline, your package will be returned to the sender.
When you opt for free shipping – which has a code beginning with the letter “R” or “U” – the deadline is up to 40 working days. If the code begins with the letter “U”, the order has no tracking information. The prime service has a deadline of up to 12 working days after arrival in the country, and Correios Packet, up to six days. Another tip is to keep the receipts and route information of the product ordered.
You will pay a one-time postal clearance charge of BRL 15.00, but there is always the chance that tax will be levied on the parcel, which – in some cases – may be higher than the value of the product, according to customs regulations.
Although there is no consensus on the matter, the Consumer Protection and Defense Code points the responsibility to the seller website, with joint and several liability shared by Correios. These parties, however, claim only to reimburse the clearance fee and related taxes.
Cross border e-commerce is sure to keep growing, and now you know how to keep a close eye on items you purchase on international shopping websites.