CATEGORY ARCHIVES: Doing Business in Mexico
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Doing Business in Mexico provides news and information about why taking advantage of the growing Mexican consumer market can make sense for your business.
eCommerce comes with many obstacles. Through our years of shipping we have worked with many eCommerce gurus, and were happy to share their knowledge. Who would’ve thought that you’re Etsy shop would one day need a human resources department?
Make your site search ready
The first step is to make sure that customers can use every inch of your beautiful site. In order to do that you need a search tool that does much more than simply match keywords. Enabling a more advanced search can not only usher customers to products they’ll love but also provide you more data on what they are looking for. These tools are often self-learning, and come with auto-correct features which means you don’t have to self program each possible mistyped word anymore. The more easily your customers can reach their end goal, the more likely they are to return. Tools such as Unbxd or SearchSpring can help you utilize your already present content and make it as user friendly as possible.
Keep an eye on the exit
Once your site is searchable, you will need to begin identifying when and why people leave it. Tools can help you track customer activity on your page and identify where they are located directly before leaving your site. Once you have this information you can improve the page they usually exit from or install a tool that will navigate them elsewhere quickly. Knowledge is power in eCommerce, and this type of knowledge can’t be faked. The longer customers linger on your site the greater stickiness rate search engines detect, this means higher search ranking all around. Tools such as CrazyEgg, OptiMonk, and ExitBee all allow you to trace when most people exit your site and help to determine why.
Monitor the competition
Kick the fear the your competition is beating you, and save time with systems that track competitor prices and actions for you. If the information is always waiting, there is not room for wondering. By keeping an eye on competitor rates you cannot only adjust lower as needed but raise your price when the average goes up. Being the lowest price around has never been easier, and it can kick your obsessive habit of checking their site (you’re only helping their analytics and hurting your schedule). Some of our favorite platforms include PriSync and Price2Spy, both track multiple competitors and report results.
Maximize Customer Happiness
While price is important to monitor, it’s not everything. Customer service, quality products, and creating an enjoyable experience are equally as important and valued. Consistently monitoring and providing open communication channels to customers will allow for the service, quality, and attentiveness to shine through.You can’t allow customer satisfaction to drop, and also can’t afford the time to email back each concern or question. If your response times have been dropping and it’s time to regain the positive feedback, time to answer their questions in real time. While the concept can seem overwhelming, the execution usually isn’t. Systems can deliver chat requests in multiple methods (email, text, phone, etc), which means that your excuses for delaying are quickly dwindling. Services such as Zopim and Tawk can get you started and you can develop your best customer service method as time goes on. Being available to your customers doesn’t have to be a hassle.
Share their good news
When you perfect the customer service experience, it’s time to start collecting and displaying positive reviews highlighting your customers boasting about how great you are. Positive reviews serve to both instill confidence with customers, and boost your search rankings by providing back links and mentions. The more your name is quoted (naturally) the more likely you are to match to a keyword for your product. But how do you go about that? Tools like Yotpo or testimonial robot allow you to collect and display reviews on your webpage or you can monitor your outside reviews from platforms such as ReviewPush. Whichever route you pick, be sure to bask in the glow of customer satisfaction for a bit.
Cover the basics
As you grow your eCommerce business it is important to cover the little things. Don’t let things like establishing a good human resources system and accounting matters fall through the cracks. By establishing good practices when you are still small it can simplify the process drastically as you scale. Not to mention, it requires you spending less time in a ‘Taxes for Dummies’ book and more doing what you love. If you aren’t yet ready to hire staff to manage those aspects you can use services such as KinHR that can cover yours HR bases and accounting resources like InDinero. While these services won’t work forever nor include all needs, they will help to power your business forward in growth with a safety net of processes and systems.
Estafeta Makes Shipping to Mexico Seamless and Painless
Red tape is a major player in shipping to Mexico, and without the correct shipping partner it can become an even bigger pain. Estafeta USA uses dedicated customs and border agents to liaison with customs and make sure every shipment goes smoothly and without unexpected delays. Because when you’re ready for help, you need the experts.
As you try to navigate the crazy road of eCommerce we are here to avoid those potholes. By knowing what to expect, you know how to budget for exporting and can move your business into Mexico confidently.
- If the declared package value is below $50, you don’t need to pay any additional taxes. It’s as simple as that, no import tax or crazy paperwork needed.
- For packages with a declared value from $50 to $1,000, they will only incur the minimum sales tax of 16%. This is the general tax for all products in Mexico and consumers are used to this added cost.
- For shipments with values over $1,000, we’ll put you in touch with our shipping experts to walk you through the network of taxes and additional duties that may be relevant to your shipment, and outline your choices and best suggestions for your particular shipment.
The shipping world can make for a confusing place, but placing your business in the hands of those who specialize in exporting can make the difference between painless shipping and constant headaches.
If you’re ready to share your business with Mexico, let Estafeta USA help you in that transition and take your success to new heights.
How We Fix Common eCommerce Shipping Problems
We talk with plenty of customers in a day, but some of the most common are eCommerce owners who are out of their scope. Oftentimes, business owners are amazing with day to day challenges but have a harder time adjusting to consequences when it comes to shipping. They shared with us what some of their most commons concerns are, and how to avoid them the next time you need to ship.
1. Lost Merchandise
It’s one of the most common problems when it comes to shipping; simply losing a package. You feel the excitement of finding just the right item at the right price and anxiously await its arrival only to see 2 weeks later that it is now located across the globe. Often, the issue occurs in handover; whether it’s one company shipping within the country who loses the package at a shipping center, or more frequently, when an international shipment goes through multiple companies and shipping systems. Estafeta USA avoids that by having the most expansive shipping across Mexico, as well as using the most efficient routes to the widest range of places, so your package won’t accidentally wind up in Cancun if it was aiming for Ensenada.
2. Damaged Products
You spend hours creating the perfect product and making sure the client knows they need it. Every item deserves to be handled carefully, just like you would . While packaging can play a role in ensuring safe arrival of products, handling is generally the largest factor. After all of your care and work, you can rare be provided a guarantee that your shipping partner values it as much as you do. Estafeta USA understands the value of your items and works to make sure each one is handled with care. We also offer insurance options for the more nervous of the group, because when it’s yours you can never be too careful. We won’t let your labor of love go to waste now or ever.
In the search for a product, customers consider many things, namely, price. They pick your store because of your hard work in lowering costs for them. But after seeing it in their cart with the added shipping costs, it wasn’t so appealing. Cart abandoned.
According to the e-Tailing Group, 80% of customers prefer to shop online in order to better research the products and prices, make sure you come out on top in that calculation. Whether you’re just starting out or an established eCommerce business, you work hard to make sure you have the best prices. Don’t let shipping costs drive customers away and costs up; make sure you’re getting the best price for the best service.
4. Want vs. Need
The difference between a want and a need when it comes to shipping all comes down to the time it takes to hit the button. While a “need” purchase is a function of simple pricing and how soon you’ll get it, a “want” purchase leaves more elements to chance. Likely, it’s not the only impulse buy in your cart, it may not need to be ordered “right now” meaning the page requires a few visits to return to before the order is processed (if it ever is), and a product may end up getting left out altogether if it’s not the biggest want in the cart. By making shipping easier, especially internationally, you remove a factor you can control in hopes that the ones influence these decisions less. Remove that obstacle for your customers in Mexico and make shipping just as easy as ordering.
5. Tracking Shipping Errors
In a world of data, customers love nothing more than up to date information. Thanks to our expansive shipping across Mexico, we offer GPS tracking that allows you to stay up to date wherever your package is. We offer GPS tracking on all LTL shipments at no extra cost so you’ll know what’s going on every step of the way without any extra effort. Allowing you to keep up in this digital data driven world, without missing a step or adding something to your to-do list.
6. The Shipping Void
When running your own business you can never have enough support, many small business owners grow attached to their products. After all, they were imagined, assembled, and sold from the comfort of their home. Shipping those products should feel less like throwing it over a canyon and more like trusting a friend. We answer your calls anytime and our drivers are there to support you.
7. Packaging Costs
From handcrafted lamps to custom-made tables, your business is as unique as it’s products. Is it better to ship a pallet of under-filled boxed or awkward items one at a time? Don’t waste money on shape if you don’t have to. Talk to our LTL experts to see what the lowest cost would be for you because the answer should be specific to you, and your unique needs.
8. Overwhelming Logistics
Sometimes the problems stem from nothing more than workload. Spending your time in one industry can cause tunnel vision and trying to explore the logistics world seems like an impossible task. We are here to take care of the logistics side so that you can focus on whatever makes you happy. After all, you spent years preparing for your role now and you don’t have time to waste learning another. So take one more task off your list and let us help you with shipping.
9. Reputation Concerns
Repeated moments in shipping that hurt one client, tend to cause a ripple effect that increasingly affects a business’s reputation, especially through digital platforms. Time spent building a businesses reputation shouldn’t be discounted because of a few bad reviews. Bolster your brand by ensuring that your shipping partner cares as much about the customer experience as you do. Your reputation will remain spotless and you can rest easier knowing there is one less thing to worry about.
10. Feeling Small
In the midst of shipping and providing for your customers, especially with international challenges, it’s easy to give into the mindset that shipping certain ways can be too challenging and it may not be worth it for your business. With the right partner, shipping can be made into a turnkey experience, no matter how big or small your shipment is. Your business deserves to benefit in every way possible and we are here to help you in that process.
Below is an excerpt from the sponsored special report “Delivering the Goods,” a feature in Internet Retailer Magazine covering technologies that can improve e-retailers’ fulfillment and delivery options. Internet Retailer is an objective provider of information regarding the market trends, technology, competitive practices and people that are shaping the e-commerce industry.
Christian Bruns, CEO of Estafeta USA, a provider of freight, express shipping and parcel delivery services in Mexico.
With e-commerce sales in Mexico projected to reach $6.7 billion in 2019, up from $2.8 billion in 2014, according to Forrester Research Inc., Mexico can represent a potentially attractive sales opportunity for U.S. e-retailers. Many U.S. e-retailers, however, don’t ship south of the border because they consider the administrative, regulatory and logistical issues too big a headache to make it worthwhile.
Frequently cited speed bumps when shipping to Mexico include filling out the paperwork to clear customs, uneven delivery coverage across the country and regulations preventing packages from being left on doorsteps when consumers are not home.
“A lot of U.S. retailers don’t fully understand how to ship to Mexico, so they don’t do it,” says Christian Bruns, CEO of Estafeta USA, a provider of freight, express shipping and parcel delivery services in Mexico. “Consequently, Mexican consumers that want to buy products from U.S. retailers either can’t or have to make their own arrangements to have a purchase shipped to Mexico, which can be costly.”
E-retailers wanting to ship to Mexico can send an order placed by a Mexican consumer directly to Estafeta’s warehouse in Laredo, Texas. Once the order arrives at the Laredo facility, Estafeta clears the package through customs, prepays all duty and delivery charges then delivers the item to the customer in Mexico.
Alternatively, if an e-retailer does not want to deal with customs, duty and delivery in Mexico, it can refer a customer to Estafeta’s website where she can open a pre-ship U.S. delivery address at Estafeta’s Laredo facility. Customers that have set up a pre-ship U.S. address provide it to the retailer at checkout. In this instance, the customer is responsible for paying all duty and delivery charges. Duty is typically paid upon receipt of the package.
Estafeta will deliver anywhere in Mexico through its nationwide delivery fleet of more 1,500 vehicles.
“It’s a simplified process that removes the barriers to shipping to Mexico for retailers in the U.S.,” Bruns says.
Customers not home at the time of delivery are left a notice of the delivery attempt. If the customer does not expect to be home during the next scheduled delivery, she can arrange to have the item delivered to one of Estafeta’s 1,150 branded retail stores where she can pick it up at her convenience. Estafeta reaches 98% of the Mexican population, giving it the broadest delivery network in Mexico, Bruns says.
“While there are U.S. parcel carriers that service Mexico, what sets Estafeta apart is that we offer a variety of delivery options for e-retailers to have their products shipped to Mexico and delivered anywhere in the country,” Bruns says. “We turn delivery to Mexico into a competitive advantage.”
Read the entire special report “Delivering the Goods.”
Mexico offers a wealth of business opportunities for companies in the United States. The country’s strategic location makes the market easily accessible, and free trade agreements (NAFTA) simplify the complexities that come with doing business in another country. Additionally, Mexico’s low cost of labor provides U.S. companies with a cost-effective way to manufacture and export goods.
Increasingly, companies within the United States are taking notice of the advantages presented by Mexico. One of the largest industry sectors currently moving into the market is the U.S. auto industry. Leading car manufacturers across the United States have been taking an interest in Mexico; last year, Honda and Mazda began production at plants in Mexico, and General Motors pledged to invest almost $700 million in their Mexico facilities. In 2014 alone, Nissan, Kia, and BMW pledged to invest $1 billion each to build auto-assembly plants in the country, and in April 2015 Toyota announced a $1 billion plant to be built in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato.
With the biggest car manufactures in the country moving their manufacturing operations south of the border, Mexico is on track to overtake Japan and Canada as the United States’ number one source of imported cars by the end of 2015. On Friday, Ford Motor Corporation joined the growing list of U.S. auto manufacturers moving in to Mexico, with the announcement of a $2.5 billion investment to build two new plants for developing fuel-efficient engines and transmissions in Chihuahua and Guanajuato, respectively.
“Ford is making a significant commitment to our business in Mexico with investment in two new facilities, while aiming to make our vehicles even more fuel-efficient with a new generation of engines and transmissions our team in Mexico will build,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s President of The Americas, said in a statement. “These new engines and transmissions will help deliver even better driving experiences and fuel economy gains for customers around the world.”
Ford will allocate $1.1 billion to the new engine facility, which is being built within Ford’s existing Chihuahua Engine Plant, an expansion which is projected to create 1,300 new jobs. Additionally, a $200 million investment, as well as the creation of 500 jobs, will be allocated to the expansion of Ford’s current I-4 and Diesel engines production in Chihuahua. The remaining $1.2 billion will go towards the building of a new transmission within the premises of transmission supplier and longtime partner Getrag, in the State of Guanajuato.
“Today’s announcement is an important milestone in Ford’s 90-year history in Mexico,” said Gabriel Lopez, Ford of Mexico’s president and CEO. “Currently within Ford, Mexico is the fourth vehicle producer, the fourth largest engine producer and is the second largest nation supplying Ford’s global manufacturing facilities. We look forward to delivering even more great products, including new engines and now transmissions, to serve Ford customers around the world.”
Estafeta USA offers several logistics solutions tailored to the auto industry which aims to increase the efficiency of the supply chain process. Contact a cross-border logistics consultant today to learn more about how Estafeta USA can tailor their logistics services to meet your manufacturing needs.