Though the 4-year-old merchant expanded globally last month, Buchanan said that it is critical that companies understand exactly what they’re getting into when it comes to online international trade.
“We’ve spent countless hours consulting with other companies that have succeeded overseas, as well as those who have failed, and our team feels it understands why certain things work and why some don’t work,” Buchanan said. “Thankfully, we have come at a time where there’s enormous room to build on others before us who have expanded their services. As this model continues to succeed, it’s only a matter of time until this becomes the norm.”
Buchanan said Vitamin Boat is starting slow with cross-border ecommerce, selling its two top-selling brands first (Movexa and Availyn), and will then debut others shortly thereafter. Buchanan said this will help Vitamin Boat immediately see what the different needs are, and prepare a strategy to ensure that its new customers are getting exactly what they want.
By 2016, Vitamin Boat expects to have international campaigns for all of its brands.
Vitamin Boat GM Chris Cousino says recent overseas success online is thanks in part to sales on marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon, which enforce secure shipping policies that have enabled them to ship abroad confidently. They also provide Vitamin Boat a large community of qualified buyers.
“In the past, shipping overseas was full of unexpected regulations and buying patterns,” Cousino said. “Not having to worry about this part of trade anymore gives us the time to see who our customers are and provide an easy-to-use website catered to the individual, no matter which part of the world they live in. And each new area represents a fresh approach to show people what Vitamin Boat is all about.”
Vitamin Boat is currently exploring an additional fulfillment center in Ireland. This center would be used to distribute some of their top-selling brands throughout Europe.
“Vitamin Boat is committed to manufacturing only in the U.S.,” Cousino states. “This is one of our rules at Vitamin Boat. Having a fulfillment center in Ireland simply provides our customers with faster shipping.”
Vitamin Boat offers a selection of name-brand supplements and natural foods. Most commonly known for Movexa and Availyn, Vitamin Boat also carries over 500 natural products.