E-tailers told: not so fast but more control over where, when and how you deliver

10 / 10 / 2016

Online customers are more concerned about where, when and how they receive their ordered goods rather than the speed of delivery, a new e-commerce survey has found.

The study, conducted by DHL, suggests that e-tailers will remain competitive only if they give customers greater control over their deliveries.

“Speed isn’t everything,” said Charles Brewer, chief executive of DHL e-commerce.

Brewer added: “Through the survey of more than 1,000 online shoppers in Germany, we found out that 78% of e-commerce customers wish to specify the time for their deliveries, while 68% want control over the date when their orders arrive.

“Online shoppers also gain satisfaction from a greater choice of delivery location as 94% of respondents said they were very happy when they could specify parcel lockers like DHL’s pack stations as alternative delivery addresses, while one in every two said they would like the option to deliver to their trusted neighbours in their absence.”

Drawing similarities with the trends in Asia Pacific, Malcolm Monteiro, chief executive of, DHL e-commerce Asia Pacific, noted: “In a region where fast deliveries have become the norm, Asian e-tailers can no longer differentiate themselves on speed alone.

“We’ve also seen a growing number of e-tailers in Asia seek greater customization and flexibility in the range of delivery options we offer to their customers.”

DHL said that control over delivery time and location appear to matter more than how quickly a parcel arrives ─ only 66% of e-commerce shoppers in the study said quick deliveries were important to them.

Monteiro added: “A successful delivery is no longer solely determined by the speed of the last mile: it requires a whole new level of digital infrastructure from real-time fleet tracking to SMS alerts and mobile apps.

“Providing that level of visibility determines how much trust customers will put in any e-commerce brand.”

The e-commerce market in Thailand is expected to more than triple in size to €3.6bn between now and 2020, triggered especially by a high smartphone penetration rate of 49%.

Kiattichai Pitpreecha, managing director of DHL e-commerce Thailand, noted: “Even in Thailand, e-tailers can no longer win over customers based on delivery speed alone. We have seen Thai consumers and e-tailers seeking tailored e-commerce delivery services at a far higher rate than ever before.”

Kiattichai also highlighted the increasing trends where both consumers and merchants have been asking for “seamless and simple e-commerce logistics services” that keep up with extremely rapid changes in consumers’ expectations, while providing high operational excellence.

“This makes the need for a tailored e-commerce delivery service greater than ever before ─ so that merchants can focus on their core business and grow faster based on a high performing logistical backbone,” he added.

The survey also found that 88% of online shoppers interviewed want direct access to shipment tracking, while 84% want to know the name of the company making the delivery. 

Some 85% of the consumers involved also said direct links to shipment tracking portals were an essential part of the e-commerce experience.

“E-tailers in Thailand need end-to-end solutions that not only provide superior delivery speed, but give consumers the delivery options and visibility that suit their unique lifestyle requirements,” said Kiattichai.

“While offering a higher degree of choice and control may sound daunting, the right service provider will manage them as a seamless whole ─ allowing Thai e-commerce merchants to focus on their core business and value propositions instead.”