Executive Briefings

European Retailers Invest in More Flexible Multi-carrier Delivery Options to Drive Ecommerce Growth

European retailers are increasingly adopting multi-carrier delivery strategies in response to the growing importance of delivery as the final and most critical mile in the consumer journey, according to a Forrester Research survey conducted for MetaPack Group, which provides ecommerce and multichannel delivery technology to retailers.

The majority of European and UK retailers (UK – 91 percent, Germany –  91 percent, France –  74 percent) work with multiple carriers to provide more flexible delivery options.

European retailers are also becoming increasingly aware that providing a more convenient and personalised service to customers is key to improving customer loyalty. According to the research, 85 percent of UK retailers reported measurable improvement of customer satisfaction as a result of offering multiple delivery options, followed by 79 percent of respondents in Germany and 76 percent in France.

This trend is driving further investment in multi-carrier delivery services in Europe. UK retailers currently invest most in delivery capabilities, with nearly three quarters of respondents (74 percent) saying that they invest more than 5 percent of their online revenue in improving delivery services. By comparison, only half of French (50 percent) and German (55 percent) retailers are allocating more than 5 percent of their ecommerce budget to delivery services. However, a larger percentage of French (76 percent) and German retailers (76 percent) expect investment in delivery processes to increase in the coming years, compared to only 65 percent of UK retailers.

The increased focus on developing advanced multi-carrier capabilities reflects the stronger international competition among retailers as they are expecting more ecommerce traffic from outside their native markets. Not surprisingly, organisations across all three markets increasingly view retailers in other countries as direct competitors, particularly in France where 59 percent of the surveyed organisations share this view, followed by the UK (47 percent) and Germany (36 percent).

While international sales are adding to the complexity of fulfillment operations, consumers' demand for more choice and convenience in domestic markets is driving the adoption of alternative delivery services, with some interesting variations across countries.

For example, UK retailers are allocating double the funding for delivery to remote locker locations (68 percent) and alternative collection points (56 percent), compared to France (32 percent and 35 percent) and Germany (27 percent and 24 percent). These differences indicate different levels of maturity of ecommerce delivery services across European markets. For instance, in Germany delivery locker networks are more advanced compared to other countries in Europe.

Another big investment priority for all surveyed countries is driving speed of service. A significant proportion of retailers across France (88 percent), the UK (70 percent) and Germany (67 percent) agree that next-day home delivery drives repeat purchase and increases customer lifetime value. What's more, 66 percent of UK retailers are currently piloting same-day home delivery services, followed by 55 percent in France and 39 percent in Germany.

Forrester Consulting surveyed more than 100 retailers in the UK, France and Germany who are responsible for the fulfillment of online orders. The survey data was supplemented by in-depth interviews with senior decision-makers at 10 retailer organisations across the same markets.

Source: MetaPack Group

The majority of European and UK retailers (UK – 91 percent, Germany –  91 percent, France –  74 percent) work with multiple carriers to provide more flexible delivery options.

European retailers are also becoming increasingly aware that providing a more convenient and personalised service to customers is key to improving customer loyalty. According to the research, 85 percent of UK retailers reported measurable improvement of customer satisfaction as a result of offering multiple delivery options, followed by 79 percent of respondents in Germany and 76 percent in France.

This trend is driving further investment in multi-carrier delivery services in Europe. UK retailers currently invest most in delivery capabilities, with nearly three quarters of respondents (74 percent) saying that they invest more than 5 percent of their online revenue in improving delivery services. By comparison, only half of French (50 percent) and German (55 percent) retailers are allocating more than 5 percent of their ecommerce budget to delivery services. However, a larger percentage of French (76 percent) and German retailers (76 percent) expect investment in delivery processes to increase in the coming years, compared to only 65 percent of UK retailers.

The increased focus on developing advanced multi-carrier capabilities reflects the stronger international competition among retailers as they are expecting more ecommerce traffic from outside their native markets. Not surprisingly, organisations across all three markets increasingly view retailers in other countries as direct competitors, particularly in France where 59 percent of the surveyed organisations share this view, followed by the UK (47 percent) and Germany (36 percent).

While international sales are adding to the complexity of fulfillment operations, consumers' demand for more choice and convenience in domestic markets is driving the adoption of alternative delivery services, with some interesting variations across countries.

For example, UK retailers are allocating double the funding for delivery to remote locker locations (68 percent) and alternative collection points (56 percent), compared to France (32 percent and 35 percent) and Germany (27 percent and 24 percent). These differences indicate different levels of maturity of ecommerce delivery services across European markets. For instance, in Germany delivery locker networks are more advanced compared to other countries in Europe.

Another big investment priority for all surveyed countries is driving speed of service. A significant proportion of retailers across France (88 percent), the UK (70 percent) and Germany (67 percent) agree that next-day home delivery drives repeat purchase and increases customer lifetime value. What's more, 66 percent of UK retailers are currently piloting same-day home delivery services, followed by 55 percent in France and 39 percent in Germany.

Forrester Consulting surveyed more than 100 retailers in the UK, France and Germany who are responsible for the fulfillment of online orders. The survey data was supplemented by in-depth interviews with senior decision-makers at 10 retailer organisations across the same markets.

Source: MetaPack Group