Export Knowhow

Cross-border e-commerce: Tips and tricks for logistics

If you would like to conquer the foreign market with your products, it makes sense to set your sights on Europe to begin with. This is for very simple reasons: geographical proximity, cultural similarities and low language barriers facilitate export. In the following article, you will find tips and tricks for logistics in cross-border e-commerce.

Person browsing an online shop

What makes Europe particularly attractive is that, as a whole, it represents a huge sales market for retailers and registration in one country is enough to serve the entire European market. One big mistake that most cross-border beginners make is to think that setting up a webshop gives them the world at their feet. This may be true in theory, but as a retailer you must always bear in mind that every destination has its own individual rules.

Logistical relationships have an effect on the satisfaction of your customers

The logistics process is crucial when it comes to customer perception in the online shopping experience. Customer-friendly processing is a decisive factor when it comes to customers buying again and recommending the provider to others. Hence it pays to give logistics special attention, in order to ensure that your company can impress with its customer friendliness and high level of service. 

Shipping by post can save you a lot of money 

Fast and cost-effective delivery is an extremely relevant factor for customers. This aspect is a particular sticking point when exporting abroad, because shipping costs vary depending on volume and/or weight and recipient country. If your consignments weigh less than 2 kg and are smaller than the maximum dimensions (length+width+height) of 90 cm, then sending them abroad by post can be an attractive solution.

Price transparency increases conversion rate

Today's customers are spoilt for choice: The international product selection is huge, and the demands as regards the shopping experience are correspondingly high. Customer satisfaction is therefore the number one priority. It goes without saying that retailers should indicate the total landed costs. This means that you not only indicate the value of the product at the checkout, but also all additional costs such as shipping, VAT or customs duties, etc. This absolute price transparency is important to your international customer base, as they want to avoid any nasty surprises upon delivery. This transparency increases the conversion rate in international eCommerce.

DDP logistics massively increases customer satisfaction

When you offer your shipments duty paid, you significantly increase customer satisfaction. If you don’t do this, it can happen that consignments get stuck at customs in the EU. This is a negative buying experience for international buyers and therefore bad for you as a retailer! This article explains what is contained in DDP logistics If you ship goods duty paid, for your customers this means that:

  • They only have to pay once at the webshop checkout.
  • Their transaction costs are minimized as there is no additional expense or charge to receive the goods.
  • They don't have to waste time picking up the goods at a logistics branch or customs office.

Shipment tracking is a hygiene factor for international shipments 

These days, shipment tracking is state of the art and customers expect to be able to track their order online at any time. A reliable and transparently communicated delivery time is the be-all and end-all. Customers want to know how soon they can expect delivery and who will deliver it. With a well tracked DDP customs solution, you can specify a processing time of one to two days based on standardized customs processes (this varies depending on the country of delivery).

Local returns – a conversion and recommendation booster

You probably know this from experience: If the ordered goods cannot be returned locally, the potential customer cancels the buying process (= conversion killer). If the customer does make a purchase and then finds out that they still have to deal with customs clearance to return the goods to Switzerland, they certainly won’t recommend you as a retailer. Customers want the option of returning their order to an online shop if they don't like it – ideally free of charge. Simple local returns handling with returns labels is therefore a must.

About Asendia

In the field of e-commerce, we draw on the expertise of experts in selected areas. The author of this article, Fabian Baumberger, is responsible for E-Commerce Solutions at Asendia. Asendia is a joint venture between the French La Poste and the Swiss Post; it offers standard and custom shipping solutions for advertising mail, business correspondence, small goods and newspapers.

Internationalization with e-commerce: Would you like to know more?

As the first port of call when it comes to internationalization, S-GE works on behalf of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO to support Swiss firms, particularly SMEs, in identifying and tapping into new business potential worldwide. Our consultant Alexandra Schiller will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have in the area of e-commerce.

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