It takes something special to impress today’s ecommerce customers. So how do you provide them with an exceptional experience that is both fast and cost-effective?
It’s been estimated that the pandemic has accelerated the shift to ecommerce by five years, with consumers around Europe relying more than ever before on online shopping. And with so much competition, the customer experience has become increasingly important.
The biggest players in online retail have had many years to set a high bar for customer experience, and it’s those expectations that must be met in today’s fiercely competitive market.
The question is ‘how’ to be on a level playing field with the ecommerce giants? The answer is by being able to meet three key expectations:
1. Next day delivery at a reasonable cost
Perhaps the biggest customer experience challenge is speed of delivery. It can be costly failing – research has found 65% of online baskets are abandoned if the potential customer finds the delivery timescale too slow or expensive.
The ecommerce giants have set the standard when it comes to delivery speed, and that’s largely because of the scale of their networks. As a result, consumers have come to expect that if they order an item one day, they can generally receive it the next.
However, for other businesses that serve customers in more than one European country, next day delivery is almost impossible if they only operate from a single distribution centre.
2. End-to-end visibility
If a business can have visibility of where a delivery is at any time, it can provide the end customer with tracking details, monitor how quickly deliveries take place, and intervene if there are any issues with the process.
3. Ability to return goods quickly and efficiently
Around 26% of all retailers – and 37% of fashion retailers – say the number of returns they receive has risen over the last two years. In the UK alone, the cost of returns is estimated to be at a massive £7 billion annually, with £2.4billion of that resulting from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Fast, efficient handling of returns is essential.
Even before the pandemic, ecommerce had been stretching companies’ resources and forcing them to consider significant new investments. Week-to-week demand can be volatile, pushing human resources to breaking point and impacting the customer experience. Ecommerce fulfillment must be able to both flex with short-term fluctuations and scale with sustained growth. Few supply chains can meet both those requirements.
However, the European Fulfillment Network (EFN) from DHL can.
Benefit from the EFN’s distributed footprint
The EFN can help you meet all three of today’s key expectations.
It is able to provide Next Day delivery to ecommerce customers in all key European markets due to its ideal locations. With our core business as warehousing, we operate a huge network of sites around the world and offer over 30 sites for European ecommerce distribution. We decide together with you, based on your requirements, which site(s) to start with and are happy to recommend where to start. As you grow your business, we grow with you and can easily add you to more of our fulfillment nodes to ensure the ideal set-up for you and your customers.
As for transport, either you can stay with your existing carrier or DHL can manage the last mile distribution for you, with the services and destination countries that you choose.
Because we provide the infrastructure of warehousing and transport, we enable you to compete on customer experience and delivery speed with the ecommerce giants. With access to our distributed network, you can bring your products closer to your customers, and make next day deliveries with higher reliability.
The EFN also leverages DHL’s investment in technology and digitalization to provide full transparency and visibility. This makes the order status visible from when the customer clicks, to when the delivery arrives at their doorstep.
Those customers can return their goods quickly as the fulfillment centre is not far away. Upon receipt, returned items are screened using the inspection and grading capabilities that we have at all sites and, if possible – depending on the customers’ specifications – put back into stock in the warehouse.
To set-up a fulfillment contract with DHL Supply Chain, we need to learn about your requirements so that we can make you a compelling offer. Simply provide us with some basic details about your business and one of our experts will contact you within 24 hours. After contract signature we’ll work closely with you to get you started via our tried and tested PrestaShop module.