MyUS is an international shipping site designed to make online shopping in America as easy as possible for those living abroad. The company was founded in 1997 as a way for American ex-pats to shop from their favorite brands back in their home country. MyUS allowed the customers to consolidate multiple online and catalog orders from America into a single shipping container, making international shipping cheaper and easier.
Ramesh Bulusu has been the CEO of the company for just over 4 months. He originally joined MyUS as the chief marketing officer, following a career based in online marketing and ecommerce that has seen him work for the likes of Interline Brands, Starcom MediaVest and Orbitz Worldwide.
Ramesh sat down with Hot Topics to discuss the international shipping comparny’s longevity in a fluid online marketplace, and how MyUS has remained so successful throughout the dotcom boom.
A seemingly crowded international shipping space
One of the first questions that springs to mind about MyUS is: why does it exist at all? With FedEx and UPS already offering global services, where was the gap in the market that allowed MyUS to flourish? Ramesh explains:
“A typical customer of ours buys from multiple retail websites in the US. So say if a customer has four packages from different retailers to be shipped abroad, if the sellers were to ship directly to the customer’s door, delivering those four boxes would be very expensive.
“If you compare our rates with what FedEx charges, we are substantially cheaper. That’s because we are a very large customer for FedEx and DHL worldwide, and we get good rates from them. That allows us to pass on the savings to the customers.”
“When we ship to the customer, we discard any extra boxes and then we pack the orders carefully into a single shipment container which is very efficient. That way, customers can save significant money versus direct shipping from the retailer.”
“As well as that, not all retailers would want to ship all of their products to all of the countries in the world. Despite ecommerce being a growing phenomenon, retailers are not in the business of exporting; we are in the business of exporting.”
Truly international shipping
One of the biggest selling points of MyUs is that they deliver to almost any country in the world. Ramesh explains how this is possible, and the challenges that arise from such a vast international shipping network:
“We help drive US exports and that is a core competency for us. We work with 14 government departments in the US, so we are very familiar with our export laws. And we are very familiar with what can and cannot be shipped to a number of countries in the world.”
“We can provide international shipping across almost any product category to almost any country in the world. In any given month we ship to over 200 countries, which is unheard of.”
“We also know how to ship what you might call ‘dangerous goods’ which can be something as small as a lithium ion battery: how you pack it, how you label it, we go to extreme lengths to ensure the safety of the products that we ship from our warehouses.”
“Although one thing that people often forget, is that they are obligated to pay duty and taxes to the country that they live in. There’s no way going around that with international shipping, so we do our best to educate customers and make them aware of it.”
Leveraging social media
Since MyUS was founded in 1997, the internet has exploded with social media and other online potential to expand a business. Ramesh talks about how MyUS engages with social media to improve their customer relations:
“First and foremost we use social media as a proactive customer service channel.”
“We also communicate on social media to tell customers about offers and useful information for when they are using our services. We haven’t used social media yet as a customer acquisition channel. That’s mostly because we’ve been using more traditional online methods.”
With global consumers buying products online from more countries than America, do MyUS have any plans to expand their operations abroad?
“We certainly don’t rule it out, but our core focus is to be able help global consumers to be able to shop from the US and we believe there is plenty of opportunity to do so. While we’ve thought about expanding into other countries, there’s enough to do for now by just exporting from the US.”