Offer your customers what they want, when they want it

Offer your customers
what they want,
when they want it
Offer your customers what they want, when they want it I December 2014
E-commerce gaining
in importance
E-commerce gaining
in importance 2
What does the online
consumer want?
Meeting customer
Choosing the time
of delivery
Successful examples 6
Opting for diverse delivery locations
Solutions from
bpost International
The revenue generated from e-commerce worldwide increases
year over year. More than half of the world’s Internet users buy
online.1 In 2014, 1.2 billion online shoppers will have spent 1.15
trillion euro on online purchases. And at an average global rate of
growth of 20% per year, the rise of e-commerce shows no signs of
stopping. eMarketer predicts that the rate of growth in China and
India will reach 43.3% and 30.3% respectively in 2015.2 There is also
an enormous potential for the growth of cross-border e-commerce.
The global revenues generated by cross-border e-commerce stand
to increase from 64 billion euro in 2014 to somewhere between
200 and 280 billion euro in 2025. In Asia, cross-border e-commerce
already accounts for 40% of e-commerce revenues. In Europe, one in
four online consumers already shops across national borders, while
in the U.S. the figure is one in five. For companies active in B2C
e-commerce, it is becoming more important than ever to have an
online presence, both within and beyond their country’s borders.3
Percentage of cross-border revenues:
ercentage of cross-border in total e-commerce revenues.
percentage of cross-border e-shoppers.
Offer your customers what they want, when they want it I December 2014
What does the online consumer want?
If an e-tailer seeks to be successful, it is important to know the online consumer.
Why do people shop online? Research shows that the primary reasons to buy online in one’s own country
are lower prices and convenience.4 As many as one in four Australian online consumers claim to be
less inclined to shop in a physical store.5 For 73% of Swedish consumers, shopping online is seen as the
simplest way to shop.6 If we look at online shopping internationally, other factors become apparent.
For four out of five shoppers, price is also important, but just as many people shop across borders in
order to have a more varied choice of products. For example, exclusivity is the primary motivation for
58% of Singaporean e-shoppers and 72% of Canadian e-shoppers to purchase from foreign sites. Asian
e-shoppers purchase from foreign sites to ensure they are not getting counterfeit goods.7
When shopping online, delivery becomes part of the overall customer experience. Whereas customers
once had no option but to purchase from retail outlets, customers today like to take matters into
their own hands. This goes for different aspects of the delivery, such as the delivery time and location.
Flexibility is crucial for the online consumer. An Econsultancy8 study showed that half of online shoppers
abandon the ordering process before it is complete because they are not satisfied with the delivery
options available to them. That customers seek ever more flexible delivery options has also been
confirmed by research carried out by AMR9 with Australian consumers. The research shows that when
buying online, delivery options are a more important factor than even product reviews.
In order to be able to offer online consumers convenience and flexibility, many e-tailers are now seeking
efficient logistical solutions.
The ‘last mile’ is a complex aspect of physical distribution. Postal networks offer a clear solution in this
regard, given that their historical background affords them a well-developed and extensive distribution
network.10 The postmen pass by every doorsteps, every day.
The first-time hit rate is also of critical importance. In the U.K., 12% of parcels cannot be delivered on
the first delivery attempt.11 And yet first-time delivery is a main contributor to customer satisfaction.
A good first-time hit rate can be achieved by allowing the customer to choose the time and location of
the delivery and to communicate clearly with respect to this throughout the entire delivery process.12
Lower prices
Not getting
Varied choice
of products
Offer your customers what they want, when they want it I December 2014
Meeting customer expectations
The digitization of our society is proceeding at a rapid pace. These days, consumers are always connected.
The ease of access to information via the Internet makes a consumer that is always connected a critical
and demanding customer. Research by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that efficient and reliable delivery
leads to an increase of more than 10% in the online shopping budget for each purchase.13
Expectations with regard to delivery time vary from country to country. On average, customers
expect to receive their order within 2 to 5 days.14 While in Russia, online shoppers expect to receive
their purchases after 7 to 10 days, in the U.S. and Germany same-day delivery is becoming increasingly
important. A third of online shoppers in France choose online retailers based on their delivery speed, as
well as 20% of the online consumers in Japan. In France, there is even a growing demand for one-hour
delivery. The same tendency can be observed in the U.K. In the Middle East and South Africa, “free
delivery” and “same-day delivery” were the two most important delivery options for online customers
in 2013.
Not only the nationality of online consumers, but also their age and place of residence are key determining factors concerning their expectations of delivery time. Consumers below the age of 45 and city
dwellers attach more importance to ’fast’ delivery.
Expectations also depend on the nature of the order. Consumers have more patience when it comes
to international deliveries. If there is a clear advantage to ordering the product from abroad, the
consumer is prepared to wait longer for the order to arrive.16
Efficient and reliable delivery leads to
an increase of more than 10% in the online
shopping budget for each purchase.
Offer your customers what they want, when they want it I December 2014
Choosing the time of delivery
More and more customers value reliability and want to choose the order gets delivered themselves.
Most online consumers in Japan, for example, like to choose the date and time of delivery.17 European
online consumers even see time-specific delivery as being more important than fast delivery.18 In a
global survey conducted by Econsultancy19, 31% of online consumers stated that they would sooner
order online if they could specify a fixed delivery date. The same research showed that 13% favor a
timeslot of two hours.
European online
consumers even see
time-specific delivery as
being more important
than quick delivery.
Offer your customers what they want, when they want it I December 2014
Successful examples
One e-tailer that succeeds in responding to the demand for
both efficient and time-specific delivery is Coolblue. Coolblue
offers free, next-day delivery as standard in Belgium and the
Netherlands as long as the order is placed before midnight,
or before 8pm on Sundays. Coolblue delivers 6 out of 7 orders
through their partnership with bpost group. Shoppers also
have the option to pick up their orders at no cost from
Coolblue’s physical stores or from bpost collection points.
The title ‘Best Webshop of the Year’ has already been won by
Coolblue numerous times in the Netherlands and Belgium and
its yearly turnover doubles each year.20 In this example, it has
clearly paid to have a flexible delivery approach.
Another success story is that of Vente-Exclusive. In 2014,
Vente-Exclusive was voted ‘Best Webshop in Belgium’ and
was also crowned ‘Logistic Webshop of the Year 2014’ in the
Netherlands. Vente-Exclusive was awarded by the jury for its
choice not to focus on fast delivery but on an efficient and
sustainable process. This allows the organization to give its
customers bigger discounts. The business model adopted by
Vente-Exclusive is based on offering brand-name products
at rock-bottom prices. The logistic side of things is of prime
importance as this is the visible part of the service. VenteExclusive works with a delivery time of 12 days on average and
charges its customers for delivery, but this cost is compensated
by reliably delivering quality products at low prices.21
Offer your customers what they want, when they want it I December 2014
Opting for diverse delivery locations
In Europe, home delivery is generally the most chosen option. But this is not a purely European pheno­
menon. In Argentina, more than half of online shoppers have their goods delivered to their homes, and it
is also the most popular option in South Korea and Turkey. In Sweden, by contrast, online goods are often
picked up at the local post office. Generally speaking, delivery to the post office is the second-most
popular delivery option in European countries. In the Ukraine, most shoppers opt to pick up their goods
from the shop or the post office. In Germany, on the other hand, the click-and-collect method is hardly
used, 87% of consumers opting for home delivery. France has a ‘point relais’ option. This allows consumers
to pick up ordered goods at a local business. Around 58% of French online consumers avail of this service.22
Although home delivery is still the method of choice in most countries, more and more alternative
delivery locations are appearing. In a study conducted by Capgemini, 11% of online retailers worldwide
state that they are considering the option of allowing goods to be picked up from automated booths for
self-service collection.23 A bpost survey revealed that 48% of Belgians see such parcels lockers as a good
solution. In order to avoid parcels being delivered when the consumer is not at home many e-tailers also
offer the option to deliver to a retail outlet.
The number of such alternative delivery locations will increase in the coming years. U.K. supermarket
ASDA, for example, offers their London-based customers the service to have orders made online before
noon delivered to their car in a London underground car park after 4pm. ASDA saw online orders sharply
increase following this move.24
Pick up points
Post office
Parcels lockers
Offer your customers what they want, when they want it I December 2014
Solutions from bpost International
In the digital age, the customer is becoming more and more powerful and expects to have choice.
If e-tailers want satisfied customers, they have to offer sufficient delivery options. This is where bpost
International comes in.
bpost International is the international division of the Belgian postal operator, bpost. From its hub in
Brussels — strategically located in the heart of Europe — the organization is seamlessly connected
to all the major air freight operators. This makes it possible to guarantee last-mile delivery within 48
hours to most European countries. bpost International also has hubs in the U.K., multiple locations in
the U.S., Canada, China (including in Hong Kong) , Singapore and Sydney and has a presence in four
continents through its more than 800 collaborators. Each year, the organization ensures that more than
340 million units reach their destinations in an efficient and safe manner.
bpost International takes the local preferences of international customers into account, which, needless
to say, can only be of benefit to customer satisfaction. With its network of local postal operators and
alternative local delivery providers, the company remains close to its customers. By providing solutions
for B2C parcels, business mail, marketing mail and press distribution, the organization is an ideal partner
for post and e-commerce deliveries.
50%+ opt for home
75% of Canadian online
shoppers rated tracking
as an important part of
their satisfaction with
their online retailer
58% avail of the
‘point relais’ delivery
48% think parcels lockers
are a good solution
South Africa
Free delivery and sameday delivery are the two
most important delivery
Home delivery is
the most popular
delivery option
87% opt for home
Delivery to local post
offices is the most
popular delivery option
25% are less inclined
to make purchases at a
physical store
South Korea
Home delivery is
the most popular
delivery option
Average delivery
time of 7 to 10 days
20% find quick delivery to
be a decisive factor when
choosing an e-tailer
Offer your customers what they want, when they want it I December 2014
R.E. : Dave Mays, bpost, Centre Monnaie, 1000 Brussels
‘When digital becomeshuman’, Steven Van Belleghem, oktober 2014
Cross-Border E-Commerce Makes the World Flatter, The Boston Consulting Group, September 2014.
Cross-Border E-Commerce Report, The Paypers, 2014.
EconsultancyMultichannelRetail Survey 2013
AMR Interactive E-Tailing Survey, 2010
Evaluation of innovations in B2C last mile, B2C reverse &wastelogistics, Roel Gevaers, 2014
E-commerce and Delivery, an IPC Strategic Perspective, 2013
PwC, Demystifying the online shopper, 2013
2013 Global Consumer Report, GT Nexus, december 2013
Global B2C E-Commerce Delivery 2014, ystatsoktober 2014 &
E-commerce and delivery, EU, CopenhagenEconomics, juli 2013
Global B2C E-Commerce Delivery 2014, ystatsoktober 2014 &
E-commerce and delivery, EU, CopenhagenEconomics, juli 2013
EconsultancyMultichannelRetail Survey 2013
E-commerce op dreef, Value Chain Management, juni 2013
Global B2C E-Commerce Delivery 2014, ystatsoktober 2014. (2013 Global
Consumer Report, GT Nexus, December 2013) (E-commerce and delivery, EU, CopenhagenEconomics, juli 2013
2015 19 th AnnualThird-Party LogisticsStudy, Capgemini
[email protected]
+ 32 (0)2 278 50 90