Preparing for 2019 Friendship Day shipping to Latin America is important for e-commerce businesses selling to the region. Unlike in the United States, Friendship Day is an important retail holiday in Latin America, so it’s a good idea to plan for it just like any other holiday.
Friendship Day is like Valentine’s Day in Latin America, and in some places around the world the two occur on the same day. It’s a time to celebrate the important people in your life and shower them with cards, gifts, food, and attention. Here are some Friendship Day international shipping tips to best serve your customers in Latin America.
The History of Friendship Day
A formal day celebrating friendship is a relatively recent idea. Some people criticize smaller holidays like Friendship Day and Valentine’s Day as being driven by the greeting card industry. The irony of Friendship Day is that the first recorded celebration of Friendship Day in 1930 was created by Joyce Hall, the founder of Hallmark Cards, Inc. The holiday never really caught on in the United States, but it’s popular internationally, especially in Asia and Latin America.
For decades, Dr. Artemio Bracho from Paraguay lobbied for an official, international Day of Friendship through his World Friendship Crusade. The United Nations eventually recognized July 30 as an annual International Day of Friendship in 2011.
Today, Friendship Day (also known as World Friendship Day) is celebrated on different days from country to country. For example:
Argentina: July 20
Belize: July 30
Brazil: July 20
Chile: July 30
Colombia: Third Saturday of September
Mexico: February 14
Panama: February 14
Paraguay: July 30
Peru: First Saturday of July
United States: February 15
In nations where it shares the holiday with Valentine’s Day, like in Mexico, the joint day is known as “El Día del Amor y la Amistad.” It’s common for people to send cards for Friendship Day and go out to restaurants or make home-cooked meals for each other.
Small gifts are also given, including candy, toys, and personalized trinkets. It’s an important holiday for many retailers in the region, and e-commerce retailers should make sure they’re prepared for international shipping on Friendship Day.
Friendship Day Shipping to Latin America for 2019
In order to ship your goods to people celebrating Friendship Day in Latin America, it’s important to sell them first. As Latin Americans become increasingly connected to the internet and social media, they’re tapping those platforms for ideas and purchases.
In Colombia, for example, Friendship Day and Valentine’s Day are providing increasingly higher returns for both online and in-store retailers. According to a study by Ofertia, 40% of Colombians use the internet and 31.5% use social media to find offers and make purchases for Friendship Day and Valentine’s Day.
Once you’ve made the sale, it’s time to prepare for the rush of international shipping. Here are a few tips.
Know How to Handle Customs
Each Latin American country has its own trade agreements with the United States and its own rules for what can enter the country. Make sure you and your logistics provider know how to handle the customs process for each country you’re shipping to.
Some commonly gifted goods on Friendship Day are cosmetics, clothing, and trinkets like fashion jewelry or accessories. These may require special labeling or be subject to special inspections as they enter another country.
Always Declare the Right Value and Description
According to the United States Department of Commerce, a few of the top reasons for packages being denied at customs include misclassification of goods or insufficient duty paid before entry. Always ensure you’re providing the right description and paying the appropriate taxes. Misrepresenting the value of a product to avoid taxes may be more trouble than it’s worth.
Prep Your Team for International Logistics on Friendship Day
If you’re making a marketing push around Friendship Day in Latin America, it’s important to have your logistics team stock enough product.
If you’re expecting orders in Latin America for the first time, ask whether your logistics partner has fulfillment centers closer to that country—perhaps in Florida or Panama. That way, you reduce your costs and shipping times, which could make your goods more competitive with local businesses.
Make SkyPostal Your Logistics Best Friend
If you follow these 2019 Friendship Day shipping tips you’re ahead of the game, but you’ll need a good logistics provider who can ensure a smooth operation. With decades of experience managing the logistics experience for companies shipping to and across Latin America, SkyPostal can help your company succeed at every holiday rush this year.
Contact us today to see how we can help you manage your new or existing logistics operations for shipping to Latin America on Friendship Day 2019.