Predictions for the growth of electronic commerce throughout the world vary, but almost all are extremely bullish, as more and more consumers gain access to computers and the Internet.
Nonetheless, the last leg of completing an online sale — getting the product to the buyer — remains a logistical hurdle for many companies selling to international customers. Miami-based From2.com says it has the answer to such shipping problems.
From2.com’s new Global Delivered Cost Calculator enables online merchants to figure out the various costs associated with an overseas sale, before the sale is made. Similarly, it provides customers quotes of those costs before the purchase, to give the shopper an accurate total price.
According to From2.om, a recent study shows that 54 percent of e-commerce merchants decline to sell their products abroad because of the logistics and added costs involved.
From2.com’s GDC Calculator “demystifies the complexities associated with foreign customs issues, thereby providing faster, more accurate and dependable cross-border delivery of e-commerce goods at a lower cost,” President Leon Falic said.
How It Works
The GDC Calculator, which links directly from From2.com to the merchant’s Web site, is available free of charge. The service classifies products by description, value, package dimensions and weight, then calculates shipping and customs charges based on that information. From2.com also offers international shipping services through an international logistics conglomerate.
From2.com guarantees the quote if the merchant uses From2.com’s shipping services and offers air or ocean transport. The company also promises to know and follow all importation laws in the country to which the goods are shipped, freeing the merchant from that responsibility. From2.com also monitors a merchant’s sales by product and country and maintains sales tax exemption records. The service is available to Internet merchants, traditional stores and catalog companies.
For consumers, the service makes keeping track of their orders easier, by providing not only online tracking, but also estimated shipping times from various destinations and scheduling services for pickups and drop-offs.
From2.com is initially targeting businesses eager to expand their reach to Latin America. Its Web site is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese. To push growth in that sector, From2.com plans to launch a join promotional campaign in Central and South American countries with its major merchant clients.
Promoting Global E-Commerce
To help fuel the growth of international e-commerce, From2.com also operates stores in major cities around the world to teach people how to use the Internet. The stores also provide computers and Internet access, shopping assistance and payment services for consumers who do not have credit cards or bank accounts to pay for U.S. goods.