Five facts to help hit delivery deadlines and avoid returns

06 April, 2017

E-Commerce Returns

Timely delivery is crucial. Being able to track an order’s progress and electronic notification of delivery is equally important. Shoppers prefer to receive their parcels by national post as it’s the most convenient way, says Asendia product manager Dominik Schaller.


Fred is not happy. 6 days ago, he bought his wife a necklace as a birthday gift from an online jewellery company, selecting the five-day delivery option. Today is her birthday. As Fred wasn’t at home at the time of the delivery, he received a courier’s note saying it’s ready for collection at a depot 40 miles away. Fred can’t get there. So he’s in the doghouse. He’s shared a scathing review on the retailer’s website and social media. Now he wants a refund.

Online reviews matter.

Fifty-five per cent of consumers are likely to be influenced by reviews online, according to online behavioural analysts Kissmetrics. And shipping and delivery of goods is crucial: 40% of consumers have had negative online shopping experiences, a survey by Trusted Shops found – 20% cited late delivery as the problem.


Asendia Tip: Five facts to help hit delivery deadlines and avoid returns

  • Timely delivery is crucial. A 2016 IPC survey found that delivery within a defined period is important to 82% of consumers. Being able to track an order’s progress and electronic notification of delivery is equally important.
  • Half of consumers would willingly pay for postal insurance or other services, such as fully traceable deliveries, to ensure goods are received on time, the Trusted Shops survey found.
  • Seventy six per cent of online shoppers prefer home delivery [IPC]. The trouble is, we’re all spending less time at home and more time at work.
  • The office isn’t the most popular delivery location after the home. It’s the post office (say 8% of consumers) compared with 5% consumers citing their place of work [IPC].
  • Cross-border e-commerce is booming. Sixteen per cent of EU online transactions were from overseas in 2015, up from 12% in 2013. The vast majority (81%) of cross-border deliveries were goods that weighed less than 2kg [E-commerce Europe].


Why is Fred’s story significant?

Fred’s experience does reflect certain crucial trends in cross-border delivery. The jewellery retailer is based in Belgium. Fred lives in London. Along with Germany, English shoppers buy more goods online from overseas than any other European nationality (only the Chinese and the Americans have more goods bought online shipped cross-border).

Of course, Fred hasn’t only told the world about how the shop ruined his wife’s birthday; he’ll also be returning the necklace when he finally gets hold of it. He’s part of a growing number of shoppers who are returning goods overseas to sender. In 2015, just 4% of goods shipped cross-border were returned, says IPC. In the following year, that number jumped to 6%.

It’s still a relatively small percentage, but the rate at which it has jumped is crucial for everybody shipping goods cross-border.


Tracking is as crucial to the shopper as the seller

The seller needs to be able to reply to customer requests and know that an order has been delivered. The shopper has paid for the order, so wants to know where it is and when it will be delivered. Even if the exact delivery date is not known, tracking updates provide reassurance that a delivery is coming after the item enters your country.

Tracking becomes even more important when goods are being shipped across borders, as we know that dispatch, arrival in country of delivery and actual delivery are the three key stages that consumers want to know about.

Imagine the jewellery online shop had used a service that combines the security, reach and knowledge of national postal services with cost-effective, full traceability. Asendia’s Fully-tracked Goods Service does just that, guaranteeing delivery because the service is governed by the universal service obligations of national postal operators, not private companies.


Offer your customers a flexible and reliable cross-border service with Fully-tracked Goods

  • Perfect for a wide range of goods under 2kg
  • Delivered by the national postal operator, who have long-term knowledge of private household addresses
  • The parcels can usually be delivered at first attempt
  • Convenience delivery options, with or without signature
  • Free Asendia Shipping Tool - preparing items for dispatch
  • Free email notifications for your customers


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