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Differences between UK and Germany on online delivery experience

Many top retailers in the United Kingdom and Germany have a long way to go when it comes to customer centricity. A lot of major ecommerce companies in these European countries don’t meet the expectation of online shoppers, something which could damage loyalty and revenues.

That’s what ParcelLab concluded after it carried out a in-depth study to compare the top 100 largest online retailers in both the United Kingdom and Germany. One of the findings is that many retailers in these countries (27 percent in the UK, 53 percent in Germany) don’t provide the customer with any communication during delivery. And those who do, rarely do it themselves: 91 percent of UK top retailers let the carrier update their customer, while in Germany it’s 85 percent.

UK offers better delivery experience

In order to come up with these results, ParcelLab placed orders with all 100 online shops in both countries. Then it documented the services offered before and after checkout. Among the things this comparison shows is that in the area of shipping, the UK outperformed Germany, with 65 percent of UK online retailers offering free shipping, compared with only 38 percent in Germany. And express delivery was offered by 72 percent of UK retailers, while only 40 percent of German stores did. In-store collection was also more popular in the UK.

Germany performed better in other regions. For example, the popularity of parcel shops and lockers is much higher in this country: 69 percent of retailers offered such collection methods, while only 20 percent of retailers in the UK did.

Germany offers better transparency and selection of carriers

Germany also scores better with regards to the transparency and selection of carriers. Most online retailers in Germany show their partnered carriers on the website, while only 38 of the 100 retailers in the UK do this. And in Germany, it’s more common practice (21 percent) for consumers to choose  their preferred carrier than it is in the UK (7 percent).

UK shops let online customers return in-store

Another major difference between the two big ecommerce markets, is that in the UK’s it’s very common (79 percent) to let customers return the items they bought online in-store, while in Germany, only one in ten stores offer this service. But on the other hand, German shops are more likely (90 percent) to offer free returns, in comparison to 61 percent in the UK.

Tobias Buxhoidt, founder and CEO of ParcelLab, thinks that retailers in both the United Kingdom and Germany don’t provide personalized post-purchase experiences for their customers. “This means they are potentially losing loyal customers as a result of sub-par aftersales support.”

‘Focus more on pust-purchase customer journey’

He contintues: “When you consider that 70 to 80 percent of shipping communications are opened, leaving communication of this part of the journey to the carrier is a missed opportunity for retailers from the UK and Germany. If these retailers want to stand out from their competitors, they need to focus more attention on the post-purchase customer journey.”

Comparison between the United Kingdom and Germany.
Comparison between the United Kingdom and Germany.

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