Merchants looking to expand their online consumer base will now have access to 600 million Latin American customers, through a new partnership between Shipstation and Mercado Libre. The e-commerce shipping solution Shipstation can now offer its customers the ability to scale international operations and ship product throughout the region.
As the largest online commerce and payments ecosystem in Latin America, Mercado Libre maintains a presence in 18 countries throughout the area, including Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina. The platform is also the fourth-largest marketplace in the world, when ranked by visits per month, making it a valuable resource for merchants looking to establish an international audience.
This partnership announcement comes as many independent retailers have recently launched online offerings, while some brands have launched new DTC channels. While current circumstances have caused complications for both supply chain and final sales, this could be a good time for the footwear industry to invest in growing its consumer base.
“Although COVID-19 has put many short-term demands on retailers and brands, the long-term value of selling internationally is to market your product to billions of potential buyers,” said Krish Iyer, head of industry relations at ShipStation. “Customers are [also] more likely to be forgiving of the initial problems associated with selling internationally right now. Using this time to experiment and get the process right will pay dividends down the road.”
International sales can prove difficult, due to the need to navigate surcharge and local customs regulations. By partnering with an established e-commerce network, Shipstation is aiming to streamline the product shipment process and provide access to an existing network of buyers, thus making it easier for U.S. brands to find a foothold in a growing market.
“During the pandemic, a merchant wanting to sell internationally might be able to create more brand loyalty long-term by being in the market before their competitors,” said Iyer. “While increased shipping costs and surcharges have made selling internationally more costly, a brand doing so now will establish a customer who is less price sensitive and willing to pay a premium for a product that they might not be able to get otherwise.”
Shipstation’s customers will be able to leverage tools such as centralized seller accounts, simplified end-to-end shipping solutions and the ability to finance in installments through Mercado Libre. There is also the option to use integrated self-service advertising solutions, to boost regional performance.
This builds on Shipstation’s existing international shipping partnerships, with companies such as the Royal Mail, Canada Post, Alibaba.com and Australia Post.