Today’s consumers are increasingly demanding when it comes to their e-commerce experience. Amazon sellers have to be fast, offer free shipping and provide real-time visibility!
A core part of any e-commerce transaction is the final delivery to the doorstep. It is critical to the customer experience, and when it goes well it can drive customer loyalty and repeat transactions. When it goes poorly, however, it can drive consumers to shop elsewhere.
Amazon sellers should keep the following three elements of last-mile delivery in mind in order to contribute to a good customer experience:
- Visibility:Simply knowing where a package is in the delivery process is vital to both the merchant and the customer. Consumers want this information at their fingertips, whether it’s through a link provided at checkout or push notifications to a mobile device.
- Speed: The tolerance of U.S. consumers to wait for a package shrinks every year. Just a few years ago, consumers would wait on average well over 5 days for a package to arrive. Today, this is no longer an acceptable standard. Big brands are pushing for 3 days or better in their delivery experience. Amazon made 2-day shipping a standard with its Amazon Prime program, and now the rest of the market is fighting to catch up. Another big problem: Speed costs money, and many Amazon sellers struggle to absorb these costs.
- Predictability: E-commerce customers are no longer satisfied with broad delivery ranges that can span up to 8 days. They want to know the precise day their package is expected to arrive. This promise is typically offered at the time of checkout, and consumers will hold the merchant accountable. Uncertainty creates anxiety in the consumer, and simply knowing when a package is set to arrive improves satisfaction considerably.
In the U.S., USPS Workshare products have been among the most effective and affordable ways to distribute goods to consumers. The Workshare program involves a third party picking up packages from the merchant, sorting them and transporting the goods deep into the postal network for final-mile delivery by the USPS. Amazon, DHL, FedEx and UPS all have USPS Workshare products, and they represent a huge chunk of the total B2C parcel market share.
Unfortunately, the Workshare program is at times challenged to meet the increasingly important elements of a strong consumer experience described above. Workshare shipping products are still typically range-definite, and don’t always meet the speed and predictability expectations that customers have for some of the brands and merchants at the leading edge of the industry. Upgrading to a “premium” shipping option such as UPS Ground or FedEx Express Saver – which offer 3-day shipping and day-certain delivery – can drive up delivery costs by as much as 50-100%!
DHL eCommerce – Taking Workshare to the MAX!
DHL eCommerce already prides itself on driving speed into the Workshare business model with our DHL SmartMail Parcel Expedited product, which offers 2-5 day delivery. To keep pace with the changing needs of the market, however, we are offering a premium service level called DHL SmartMail Parcel Expedited Max that offers a 2 or 3 day-definite delivery to the vast majority of U.S. ZIP Codes. This type of speed and predictability is not typically seen with Workshare products, and Expedited Max is able to deliver that level of performance at a much more affordable price than premium alternatives. Our new service level strikes a balance between speed, predictability and cost that will be a differentiator in the market. This is Workshare on steroids, and DHL eCommerce is proud to be at the leading edge of the industry!
Additional benefits of Expedited Max include:
- Front-of-line processing throughout the network; additional quality assurance focus
- Piece-to-container scanning for additional accountability and visibility
- Additional air lanes and upgraded air freight for better reliability
- The broadest same-day USPS DDU delivery network in the market
- USPS upgrades to assure 1 day from manifest performance across all ZIP Codes
- Ounce-based pricing for pieces under 1 lb, and available up to 25 lbs.
- End-to-end delivery scans and delivery event reporting through DHL eCommerce’s best-in-class Customer Web Portal
- Proactive daily performance management
DHL eCommerce offers innovative products and solutions for the e-commerce industry. We provide unmatched solutions for domestic and international B2C shipping to over 220 countries and territories, as well as services which enable capabilities throughout the entire supply chain – such as fulfillment, returns, day-definite delivery and more. We are your e-commerce logistics specialist, connecting sellers to buyers across the globe. To learn more about DHL eCommerce and our shipping and fulfillment solutions, visit http://www.dhl-usa.com/ecommerce.
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