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%.
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.
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.
Amazon has joined forces with Royal Mail, so its customers now can get their items delivered to post offices for collection. A remarkable partnership, because earlier this month Royal Mail said that rivals, including Amazon, are hitting the postal service company’s parcel delivery business.