EDI-Soft, a software developer and provider from the Nordics, is planning to become market leader in digitizing delivery and shipping in China. Because shipments of parcels are still largely treated manually in China, EDI-Soft thinks now is the right time for them to make an entry into the Chinese market.
No ecommerce without logistics. Because whenever a consumer orders something online, that product has to be shipped from one place (a warehouse or fulfilment centre) to another (the consumer’s house, a pick-up point, et cetera). So logistics play a very important role in the whole ecommerce process. In order to achieve success in the online retail industry, one has to have a very solid logistics plan in place.
Free shipping is often used as a marketing tool to lure consumers into buying at that particular store. But when an online store offers free shipping, online shoppers often have less delivery alternatives to choose from. And, says Steffen Pasgaard of EDI-Soft, online retailers lose both customers and revenue when they offer free shipping.
There are very different preferences amongst consumers in the United Kingdom, France and Germany when it comes to the delivery of their packages. For example, the majority of online shoppers in the UK have been using click and collect in the last 12 months, while French consumers like to pick up their goods at a local store.
As ecommerce keeps on growing in Europe, investments in logistics property are also booming. Investors pumped 19.8 billion euros into properties such as warehousing and distribution hubs last year. This is a growth of 34% compared to the amount of money invested in logistics properties in 2013.
In an attempt to satisfy customers, logistics companies are increasingly improving the service of delivering parcels. One way to achieve this, is by letting customers see how long it will take to get the order delivered at their homes and to show them on a map where the parcel courier is. But does this service really adds value or is just a gimmick?
DHL has launched DHL Parcel in Belgium. With this service, the parcel company wants to mature its B2C network in Belgium. The goal is to have a network of about 1,600 pick up points in stores all over the country and to compete with Bpost, Belgiums biggest parcel company.
German consumers seem to have chosen their clothing and accessories more carefully during Christmas 2014, as less clothes have returned to the online merchants compared to the annual average. The return rate of typical Christmas gifts like hats, scarfs, shirts, ties and sweaters was around 28%. According to industry estimates it’s usually about 40% or more and in women’s fashion it’s even higher with 70%.
UPS has opened three new logistic facility centers in Europe. The facilities are located in Germany and the Netherlands. With the inauguration of these centers, about 20,000 square meter is added to UPS’s area of operations in Europe. UPS now has 596 supply chain facilities worldwide with a total area of more than 3 million square meter.
The number of click and collect locations in Europe will reach half a million this year, Deloitte predicts. This would be a twenty percent increase on the previous year. The professional services firm think that click and collect will likely become an increasingly fundament part of the ecommerce offer. But it also has a few cautionary comments to make on this trend.
Osell, the B2B subsidiary of major Chinese cross-border sales platform DinoDirect.com, has acquired TDPRO at the end of last year. TDPRO is a Russian company that provides logistics, warehousing and supply chain management services. With the acquisition, Osell is going to build the first Chinese products experience center in Moscow.
Posti, Finland’s national postal service, said it delivered 9% more packages in December 2014 than it did the same month in 2013. The postal service delivered more than 1 million parcels a week during the busiest periods in December, which is a new record for the Finnish postal delivery service.
GeoPost, the express subsidiary of La Poste, is experimenting with drones. The unmanned helicopters are able to deliver a 4-kilogram package up to 20 kilometers away. In a video it’s shown how a postal worker attaches the package to a small drone, which then drops it at the recipient’s home and flies off, back to the postal company.
Dutch pick up service De Buren (“The Neighbors”) has closed deals with DHL Parcel and TNT, as a result of which these parcel delivery companies have 50 extra unmanned pick up locations throughout the country. DHL Parcel was only just starting with placing their own locker systems, following Parcel4Me and market leader PostNL.
DtGV, the German Association for Consumer Studies, has tested 9 German parcel delivery services and looked at their prices, service and quality of shipping. GLS was the overall winner and also had the best delivery time. Hermes was rewarded with offering the best service, while DHL had the best prices and highest quality of shipping.
TopDelivery, which offers several integrated delivery services for online retail in Russia, has raised investments from Impulse VC. With this money, TopDelivery wants to further improve its logistics, customer services and IT system. TopDelivery also wants to expand its delivery area, which now covers the whole territory of Russia.