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The perfect shipping communication - this is how it works


Published on: Sep 12, 2019

Shipping is one of the most emotional parts of the customer journey and the key to customer loyalty. But unfortunately, many online retailers forget this and simply hand the customer over to the shipping service provider after the order is submitted. But they shouldn’t! Shipping communication is of great importance. Those who communicate with their customers even after the order confirmation will be rewarded.

###Performance of the 100 largest German online stores

Why is shipping communication so important?

Waiting for the package is the most exciting and emotional part for the customer. That’s why the latter also wants to know exactly where his package is and when it will reach him. Especially in the event of delivery delays or a failed delivery, online retailers should inform their customers proactively and reliably. No news at all is worse for customers than bad news.

Sounds good in theory, but unfortunately this is still insufficiently implemented in practice. The parcelLab E-Commerce Shipping Study 2018 shows that more than half of the top 100 online retailers in Germany do not communicate during shipping. There is a need to catch up here!

There is still room for improvement when it comes to shipping communication.

What does perfect shipping communication look like?

This is a question online retailers should definitely ask themselves before they start handling shipping communications. What makes a good shipping message? What content is important or even essential? From language style to content to design, there are a few basic things to consider here.

1. choose the appropriate subject

The subject is the first thing that catches the customer’s eye and is therefore of great importance. It essentially determines whether the customer opens the message at all or not. So what should be considered here? Retailers should provide their customers with the elementary information in a short and concise manner. The use of emojis that match the topic can also be helpful here – depending on the industry and company, of course. In addition, mistakes that cause the message to end up in the spam folder should be avoided. This ranges from too many special characters, capitalization of entire words, as well as the use of specific phrases, such as “win” or “offer” in the subject line.

2. Pay attention to corporate language


The language and wording of the shipping message should always match the company’s branding and values. Hip and modern companies should use “duden” to their customers, traditional companies should possibly resort to “Sie”. In any case, it makes sense to communicate continuously throughout – both in promotional and dispatch emails.

IKEA also communicates in their corporate language when shipping.

3. Adhere to post-purchase values

There are certain attributes that a shipping message should have. The four most important attributes represent conciseness, proactivity, personalization and relevance. On the one hand, this means that retailers should inform their customers about changes as early as possible. In addition, it is important not to send them empty phrases without useful content. To convey appreciation for the customer, it makes sense to communicate with them personally and individually. On the other hand, a shipping message should always be short and concise. Customers must be able to see at a glance what the essential content of the message is. If you keep reminding yourself of these attributes, you are definitely on the right track.

###Experience shipping messages in action!

What are the benefits of good shipping communications?

So now those who communicate with their customers in a personalized and individualized way will also be rewarded. And one thing is certain: good post-purchase communication pays off! Not only does it improve the customer experience and offer customers the best possible shopping experience – it also results in a number of advantages for the retailer.

1. More sales

Online retailers can use newly acquired customer touchpoints for cross- and up-selling. In addition, customers are brought back to the store through their own Track & Trace page.

Lidl is leading the way!

2. Reducing customer service inquiries

Questions such as “When will my package arrive?” or “Where is my package?” then become a thing of the past. Customer service is thus enormously relieved and employees can fill their time with other important tasks.

Sams is leading the way!

3. Happy customers and an improved customer experience

The customer feels completely taken care of and not let down. Satisfied customers also come back and recommend the online store to others.

Hugo Boss leads the way!

4. Fewer returns

The issue of returns is one of the biggest enemies of online retail. Through proactive returns alerts, retailers can remind their customers, for example, to pick up their package at the post office before they send it back to the retailer. In addition, the customer always knows where their return is and when they can expect to be refunded.

Weltbild is leading the way!


One thing should now be clear: good shipping communication is an absolute must and should not be underestimated. After all, shipping is extremely important for customers and contributes significantly to a good customer experience. That’s why online retailers should always take this into their own hands.

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