Imagine you are searching for a product from a specific brand and cannot find anything on local ecommerce platforms that sell what you are looking for. You search marketplaces, online stores that sell import goods, and even C2C marketplace platforms and still cannot find your product.
You then search the web for stores in other countries and finally find your product. The problem? The store does not ship to your country. Your last resort is finding a friend that might be traveling anytime soon to bring you back what you have been looking for.
Many Brazilian consumers can relate to this. A number of popular, desired brands in the USA are inaccessible to Brazilian consumers because they do not ship to the country. This is where Planet Express comes in.
Planet Express is a package forwarding service that allows consumers from all around the world to shop online in the USA. This way, customers can purchase from any online retailer and have their packages shipped to their Planet Express address, then Planet Express consolidates the parcels and ships them to the consumer, using significant discounts from carriers.
Customizing strategies for Brazil
For Planet Express Product Manager, Peter Litavec, Brazil is one of the most important markets for the company. “We see strong growth of our consumer base in Brazil, which is why we started thinking about what we can improve and offer to our Brazilian customers, to be the #1 choice when they think about shipping from the USA to Brazil,” he explains.
With this in mind, Planet Express is working on several improvements to cater to consumers in the country, such as translating the website and offering Brazilian Portuguese customer support. In addition, the company now offers local payment methods provided by PagBrasil.
“We have amazing customers – the Planet Express family, as we usually say! They always give us great tips on what we should improve, and one of their suggestions was integrating with Boleto Flash and Online Banking Transfer. And I must say: they were correct! Boleto Flash and Online Banking Transfer are very popular in Brazil, and, to provide better customer experience, we decided to offer these payment methods to our customers,” adds Peter.
Both solutions offer flexible payment alternatives for consumers who do not own an international credit card or simply do not wish to compromise their limits. With Boleto Flash, Brazilian consumers can easily pay for their online purchases using their smartphones, by simply copying and pasting the barcode into their banking apps. They can also pay in cash at any bank or lottery agency in Brazil. In both scenarios, the payment is confirmed in less than one hour. With Online Banking Transfer, on the other hand, customers can transfer the amount from their bank accounts, enabling instant payment confirmation.
Challenges and opportunities in the Brazilian market
Like all markets, Brazil has its own particularities. “The biggest challenge for Brazilian customers is dealing with customs and taxes. For some reason, this process is complicated, compared to the rest of the world,” says Peter. For that matter, Planet Express is working on launching a Delivery Duty Paid (DDP) service, which will allow customers to pay taxes directly to the company, avoiding delays at Brazilian customs.
But even with its challenges, there are still plenty of opportunities when selling to Brazil. “Most products are way cheaper in the USA than in the rest of the world, and Brazil is no exception,” explains Peter.
In fact, lower prices are the main reason why eshoppers in the country order products from international retailers: more than four out of five ecommerce users in Brazil shopped on foreign websites in 2019 because they found the products were cheaper. In addition, over one third stated that the products purchased were not available in Brazil.
This explains how, even with the Covid-19 pandemic, the country still represents an opportunity for foreign businesses. According to Peter, Planet Express has seen no decrease in orders from Brazil. Because of the quarantine, online shopping has significantly increased. “Most ecommerce companies are growing, and Planet Express is no exception,” concludes Peter.