3 things you need to know about cross-border e-commerce

Close up of hand holding credit card and using laptop for online business. shopping or online payment concept.

Did you know that the value of cross-border and domestic e-commerce is forecasted to be worth a whopping $3.4 trillion in 2020? This was revealed in a recent webinar with Charles Brewer, CEO of DHL eCommerce and Kris Kosmala, General Manager APAC at DELMIA Quintiq. I’ve condensed some of the best bits into three highlights below.

#1 Last-mile begins closer to home

Delivery is indeed the new battleground.

During the webinar, a question was asked about where last-mile delivery begins in cross-border e-commerce. For example, would it begin at the customs clearing point?

According to Brewer: “From the customer’s perspective, last mile begins the moment they click ‘Buy’.” From this point, carriers need to race against the clock to ensure deliveries are made on time.

The good news? Dynamic route optimization technology enables carriers to optimize deliveries overnight and in real-time — a benefit that equates to at least 30% of improvement in productivity. So is optimization technology a significant differentiator for express delivery providers? The answer is yes!

#2 Real-time visibility is necessary – but predictability is crucial

Imagine this: You’re at the airport, waiting for your Uber driver to arrive. Looking at the Uber app, you see the black car icon moving closer to your position on the map. Suddenly, the ETA refreshes to show that it would take another 10 minutes. The icon stops moving and you start wondering if the driver would reach in 10 minutes — or get held up in traffic again.

While giving your customers real-time visibility of your deliveries is great, it’s more important to be predictable. A customer shouldn’t have to sit at home for hours, staring at a screen to see where his purchased item is as it travels across the globe.

Predictability is about delivering on time, every time. It’s about living up to the customer’s expectations. According to Accenture, 86% of consumers consider delivery to be part of their online shopping experience. A negative delivery experience will deter consumers from coming back.

#3 Trust is earned

Research has shown that around 86% of consumers abandon their cart due to factors such as lack of delivery options, complex returns policy, lack of payment options, and security concerns. Strengthening trust with consumers is still an issue in different parts of Asia. By offering increased convenience, choice and control, paired with visibility in the delivery process, brands and e-retailers can gain the advantage in the cross-border e-commerce game.

The points above are just some of the highlights from the webinar. Before the world gets buzzing with delivery drones, I recommend you watch the webinar recording and listen out for these interesting soundbites:

  • The rise of postal companies in e-commerce delivery
  • Why optimization technology is no longer optional
  • How DHL competes against courier express companies in China