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E-Commerce Shipping Study 2021: Learning from the Best


Published on: Apr 18, 2021


Our parcelLab E-Commerce Shipping Study 2021 analyzes the top 100 German online stores in the areas of checkout, shipping and returns. How exactly does that work? We conducted test orders at the most successful German online retailers at the end of last year for this purpose. Which companies are the best in terms of operations experience?


Most major online retailers have significantly improved the customer experience in recent years. However, there is still room for improvement when it comes to shipping and returns services. Some online retailers are already setting the bar pretty high when it comes to checkout, shipping, delivery and returns. Almost every store operator can learn something from these best practice cases.

Best in checkout: s.Oliver

s.Oliver came out on top as the best in checkout in the 2021 e-commerce shipping study. Reasons for this: At s.Oliver, customers can choose their preferred logistics provider themselves. Furthermore, the store can score points with alternative delivery offers and express deliveries. Another big plus point for the store is the fact that all information is summarized again in the checkout as an overview.

Best in Shipping Process: IKEA

In the shipping process IKEA can convince, because here customer loyalty is capitalized. By integrating an item list into the shipping notification, the company can offer its customers an outstanding shopping experience. The appreciation for the customer is also expressed through personalized communication that is adapted to the customer’s needs. The track & trace page is also very clear and designed in the branding of the store.

Best in Delivery: flaconi

flaconi can secure the title of winner in delivery. The packaging in the branding of the online store is particularly convincing and thus improves the brand image of the company. However, flaconi also keeps the aspect of sustainability in mind and does not use any filling material made of plastic. The company thus focuses on a positive unpacking experience. This is rounded off by the inclusion of discount codes and coupons.

Best-in-return: H&M

H&M makes the running when it comes to returns. Here, for example, a collection of the return is possible. Furthermore, the return of items at H&M is always free and easy, because the return label is already sent directly in the package. The customer is also informed at any time about the status of the return. The refund is also fast and hassle-free.

Overall winner: MediaMarktSaturn

MediaMarktSaturn emerges from the study as the overall winner. The company offers its customers an outstanding shopping experience and has its operations experience under control. All important information is made available to the customer at all times – both by e-mail and in the customer account. MediaMarktSaturn is also optimizing its mobile ordering processes in the retailer app: all processes, from checkout to shipping and returns, have been adapted for mobile use and offer customers a positive user experience.

How-to: Improve Operations Experience

Not only customer satisfaction, but also efficient processes on the retailer side stand or fall with operational order processing, the Operations Experience (OX). This starts with service and winds its way through warehouse processing to shipping and returns. Yet companies still have little visibility and little to no control over the OX, as the E-Commerce Shipping Study 2020 shows. Many retailers still leave important contact points to the logistics service provider. A big mistake that results in not only insightful consumer data but also upselling opportunities being lost. Customers, in turn, receive only cryptic messages that keep them groping in the dark about their order status.

It is therefore elementary that retailers control all relevant process steps in fullfilment themselves. Only in this way can problems be identified and circumvented at an early stage and the customer proactively informed at all times. This is ultimately reflected in renewed store visits and an increase in sales. We offer workflow control at all relevant points in the process as well as individual, personalized customer communication. If a delivery is delayed, customers are automatically informed. At the same time, additional relevant content can be used to guide shoppers back into the store and encourage them to make a new purchase.

This benefits all sides: companies ensure a consistent brand experience and maximize cross-selling potential – not least because of the outstanding customer experience.

Sounds interesting, but you need help implementing your Operations Experience? No problem! We’re happy to help. Contact us!

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