Tuesday October 15, 2019

E-retailers would like to offer delivery time options at checkout

DPD Precise offers e-shoppers <p>delivery time options at checkout
DPD Precise offers e-shoppers

delivery time options at checkout

Delivery time options for e-shoppers when making an online purchase would be welcomed by many e-retailers, including for France where cross-border buying is surging, according to participants at last week’s Deliver 2019 event.

About two thirds (65%) of retailers present at a DPDgroup workshop said in an informal vote that they would like to offer customers the option of selecting a preferred delivery time at the checkout stage of an online purchase.

In response, Jean-Claude Sonet, DPDgroup’s marketing director, said that in the UK and France the DPD Precise service already enabled customers to select their preferred one-hour delivery slot on the day of their choosing before closing their order. However, he pointed out that “only a few retailers are ready to pay 10% more to carriers to offer a delivery time at checkout”.

There was also keen interest in the idea of consolidated deliveries, prompting Sonet to tell retailers that DPD was looking into providing shoppers with an overview of their planned deliveries, including the option of selecting a consolidated single delivery of different items.

In another vote, 74% of retailers described a failed delivery as their “biggest delivery pain”, far more than damaged parcels, a lack of delivery options or other issues.

International retailers selling to French consumers would also be interested in a checkout delivery time option, according to a similar informal vote at a separate workshop held by Colissimo, La Poste’s B2C parcels delivery business. About 56% said such an option would be an attractive offer, ahead of ‘value for money’ delivery (33%) or ‘fast’ delivery (13%).

However, workshop moderator John Acton commented that such a ‘day-definite’ or ‘time-definite’ delivery option at checkout would be “an ideal offer” but was very difficult for carriers to provide for operational reasons.

Colissimo’s international sales director Stuart Foster told the workshop audience of mostly European retailers that cross-border purchases by French consumers soared by 56% last year, while the overall French B2C e-commerce market grew by 13%. Fashion, shoes, beauty and health products topped the cross-border shopping list, according to researchers.

“The French won’t hesitate to buy cross-border if the website is translated (into French) and in the same currency (euros),” he explained.

Colissimo itself delivered 335 million parcels across France last year, with about 83% to home addresses and 17% to alternative delivery points, including post offices, parcel shops and some 500 lockers.

One retailer called for many more lockers in France, describing them as “PUDOs on steroids”.

Foster commented: “Lockers are pretty new, they work well in cities, for example with millennials. But home delivery is still the first delivery option in France.”

One important factor is that 75% of the French population has letterboxes that are big enough to take deliveries of small parcels, for example containing shoes, he pointed out.

This also meant that customers could leave returns in their home letterboxes for collection by parcel carriers. Colissimo’s ‘home letterbox returns service’, launched with Zalando and ASOS three years ago, had been “a huge success”, Foster said.


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