Supported by wnDirect.
Germany has been one of the leading markets in Europe for consumer deliveries, where expectations have changed significantly in the last decade. In the fast-moving consumer world, expectation management plays a vital role in the success of any distribution channel. Suppliers need to deliver as promised and ensure that the consumer is kept properly informed. The rise of social media and mobile phone technology enables each individual to communicate directly with the supplier and / or carrier. This communication is one of the major changes in the last few years. It enables the supplier to be closer to the market and take a more individual approach to satisfying the needs of the end-customer.
The German market consists of consumers with high demands for low-cost shipping, fast delivery times and multiple delivery options with the ability to intervene in the delivery process in order to trigger alternative delivery locations or timeframe. The use of social media puts pressure on the carrier’s performance and quality of service.
Retailers in Germany see in 79% of orders a positive impact on customer satisfaction or loyalty when offering multiple delivery options.
Specific areas within Germany that encounter regular problems are in the south east of the country. Most logistics sites are located in the Rhine / Ruhr area. The pressure to provide the latest possible cut-off time means that the largest areas suffer from an unstable delivery performance since they often do not connect in time. Due to the geographical size of Germany, carrier line hauls need six to eight hours to connect their most remote delivery depots. From the Rhine / Ruhr metropolitan area this would be the north / east and south / east of the country.
Returning goods is a key component of any eCommerce offer. It is a mandatory service and an intrinsic part of distance-selling in Germany. Some international service providers, like arvato, offer cross-border return networks to make returns as comfortable as possible for the end-customer.
German consumers have high expectations about returns and returns rates are relatively high compared with other markets, potentially reaching 40%. Nearly three quarters of German shoppers report to regularly returning goods and over a third have made online orders knowing that they are likely to return them.
German consumers usually expect that returns are free of charge and that the process of refunding does not take too long. In terms of the return process, most online shops rely on return labels in their packages to let customers send back the package right away and to collect the reason for the return.