The growth of Australia's eCommerce market has been the most remarkable and promising in the Asia-Pacific region. 63% of Australians are likely to shop overseas and this number continues to increase. Last year alone, Australians made online purchases worth $41.3 million, spending their hard-earned cash in shops based in the US, UK, and China. 

All of this makes Australia a good target market for eCommerce sellers. Before you begin your marketing campaign to the land down under, it's best to keep the following in mind.

Things to consider before shipping to Australia

  • Ensure your customs documents are complete and that all details are accurate, as Australian customs is very strict. Furthermore, make sure the description and value of the package match your invoice to avoid a customs delay.
  • As of July 1, 2018, imported goods with a customs value of $1000AUD or less may be applicable for GST. Learn more. 
  • If you're shipping from overseas, you will NOT be able to ship to PO boxes or lockers. 
  • Make sure that you know what you're allowed to ship. For example, it is very difficult to ship cosmetics, pencils and painting equipment, and chewing tobacco to Australia unless you have a proper license. Additionally, there are things you can never send, like meat and fruits. If you sell any items that are possibly prohibited, you should make sure this is noted on your store's product pages before your Australian customers place an order. 
  • Logistics-wise, it is prohibited to import cargo if it transits through certain countries such as Egypt or Bangladesh. If you plan utilizing freight shipping to Australia, make sure you use a logistics provider who is aware of such restrictions. 
  • Australian customs will destroy your shipment if clearance is not acquired within 3o days, so it is important that you resolve any outstanding issues within this time frame. 

How long does it take to ship to Australia?

Let's face it - Australia is a pretty remote continent.

Generally, it takes about 5-10 working days for a shipment to reach Australia from the US by air freight. Shipments sent by sea freight will take approximately 2-3 weeks depending on which of the US state you are shipping from.

Consignments from China, UK, and other European countries can take about 3-4 weeks if sent by sea freight; if sent via air, you can expect about 5 working days on average. 

What is the best way to ship to Australia?

Like the rest of the western world, Australians hate paying for shipping - more so than Americans. According to eCommerce Worldwide, 70% of online carts were abandoned by Australians due to the high cost of shipping, versus 63% by Americans. But unfortunately, it can be pricey to ship to Australia. How do you meet them halfway?

To start, 62% of Australian retailers saw a reduction in cart abandonment when the number of shipping options increased, so ensuring that you have a dynamic checkout that offers multiple shipping options can help. You can also consider marking up your products to cover your shipping costs so you can offer "free" or reduced shipping.

Australians are also used to standard shipping (5-7 days) as it is a very common option offered by Australian retailers. Don't be shy to offer a cheap shipping option at checkout, in addition to an express option. Offering a shipping solution that delivers on weekends or after hours could also be useful, as 75% of Australian consumers have expressed wanting this type of delivery.   

Conclusion

Shipping to Australia can be as simple as shipping anywhere else, as long as you are aware of what Australian customs expects from you, and you make an effort to manage expectations for your Australian customers.

It's best to be honest and upfront about any additional fees and shipping charges your customers may incur, and provide plenty of flexible shipping options for a positive customer experience. 

If you're looking for more information about shipping internationally, you may find this guide useful.

To offer the best shipping options to Australia at your store checkout, consider installing our Rates at Checkout for your online store! Learn more.

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