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The UK is one of the leading e-commerce markets in the world. In 2015, cross border turnover of e-commerce goods and services in the UK were estimated at GBP 26 billion. Key to successful cross border sales is to think global, but to act local, says Mark. With 1.13 billion online shoppers worldwide there is a huge market potential for any online retailer. But whether your customer lives in your home country or in a small village in Italy they want to be sure that they will receive their order. Online retailers can save time and money by understanding local delivery options and consumer preferences.
Mark continues; "Delivery starts at the check out when the consumer has to complete their address details. Ensuring that international address formats are accurately filled in will ensure deliveries can be made at the right address and on time. In Germany, address details have to correspond exactly to the name written on the mailbox otherwise the parcel cannot be delivered. And in China, it is very common to add the district into the address details."
When it comes to actual delivery, it is key that you work with delivery partners that know the local market, and offer delivery services accordingly. For instance, in the Netherlands neighbour delivery is standard practice when your customer is not at home. The Dutch mailmen just leaves a small note to tell you which neighbour has your parcel. However, just 200 kilometers south of Amsterdam and you are in Belgium where neighbour delivery isn’t common practice. Their parcels are dropped off at the post office or local pick up points. In Scandinavia it is already common to have your orders delivered to so-called locker boxes – something new and under development in the UK.
For online retailers it can be complex to select the right partner in each of the foreign markets it sells to. Sometimes it might be best to work with the national postal provider. Other times it might be better to partner up with a local courier. It depends on the size and value of the package, and the service level online retailers want to provide to their customers. "By working together with local postal and partner providers we help online retailers in selecting the best solution per country. It might be that for deliveries to Italy we connect with two different delivery partners, the Italian Post for all deliveries above 2 kilograms and our own PostNL company Nexive for small packages up to 2 kilograms. Mark concludes: It’s all about helping the online retailer to provide a seamless customer experience for its customers. No matter where they are located."