E-Commerce Shipping Study: adidas, Breuninger, dm, Ikea and Otto are Operations Experience Champions 2020

E-Commerce Shipping Study: adidas, Breuninger, dm, Ikea and Otto are Operations Experience Champions 2020
Published on: Aug 7, 2020
Updated: Aug 18, 2022

  • parcelLab has analyzed for the second time the shipping services of the 100 largest German online stores (according to EHI) in the areas of checkout, shipping and returns
  • Particularly convincing were adidas (overall impression), Breuninger (package design), dm (checkout), Ikea (shipping communication) and Otto (returns handling)

Munich, July 06, 2020 - Most online retailers still have potential for optimization when it comes to operations experience, the "E-Commerce Shipping Study 2020" by Munich-based operations experience specialist parcelLab showed. But exceptions prove the rule, as we all know. In analyzing the shipping processes of the 100 largest German online retailers, parcelLab came across five retailers and brands that are absolutely customer-focused in terms of checkout, package design, shipping, delivery and returns and thus set the benchmark for the competition.

adidas makes the best overall impression

adidas provides exemplary detailed information: In the customer account, consumers can see all important information about the order process at a glance. For each order placed, the date, price, receipt of return and refund are displayed. Buttons for important information, such as exchange, delivery address, item list, feedback form or FAQ, are placed in a clearly visible position. In addition, the sporting goods company informs its customers about the successful delivery of their order and cleverly combines this information with a request for feedback and product recommendations that might fit the last order. 

dm can checkout

In contrast, retailers can learn from dm how to optimize their checkout - including mobile. The drugstore chain digitally replicates the payment process in its stores in four simple steps in an extremely customer-oriented way. For example, after entering contact data, coupon codes are first presented in order to optimize the shopping cart at the last moment. Also very user-friendly is the fact that consumers have a range of options when it comes to delivery location. Not only can they have goods delivered to their own address, but alternatively to a different delivery address, to a dm store, to a DHL Packstation or to a Hermes PaketShop. Express pickup at dm stores has also been possible since recently. In addition, customers can choose between two different logistics providers, DHL and Hermes. Shortly before the customer actually pulls out their wallet, they are shown a few interesting offers, which are usually located next to the checkout belt in the store. Customers are then asked for their Payback number and can then pay the bill. 

Ikea has really thought of everything in the shipping process


The winner in the "shipping process" category was Ikea. The very nicely and clearly prepared shipping confirmation email offers customers maximum transparency about the current status of the delivery via the "Track shipment" button. If it turns out that the specified delivery date is inconvenient, it can be changed via self-service or a hold authorization can be created without further ado. Once the delivery has been made, the customer receives a second e-mail that not only lists which products should be in the package, but also contains suitable assembly and installation aids. That is maximum customer orientation. In each mail, the customer is also addressed personally and in typical Ikea language. This increases recognition and has a positive impact on the brand experience.

Breuninger inspires in delivery

The fashion and lifestyle company Breuninger has succeeded in transferring the exclusive shopping experience of its stores into the parcel design. The parcel box not only looks very high-quality from the outside, but also stands out positively from the competition on the inside. Customers are greeted with an individual card and a returns label is also included with the parcel. This makes unpacking a real pleasure.

Otto is returns champion

Last but not least, the Hamburg-based mail-order company Otto stood out positively in the test - especially when it came to returns processing. The fact that the returns period of 30 days is longer than required by law and returns can generally be sent back free of charge is only the beginning of the returns experience. A truly unique selling point, however, is that customers can have their returns package picked up by Hermes via a free callback service. Once the return has arrived at the store, the customer is informed of this by e-mail, as is the fact that the purchase price has been refunded. A positive aspect is that the deadline for the refund is above average at two days after receipt of the return. Those who do not know exactly how to return goods at Otto are informed about all the important steps by an explanatory video. This almost inevitably leads the customer to think, "Otto, I like it!"

"It's often just small details that make a big difference in the shipping process and excite customers," says Anton Eder, co-founder of Munich-based operations experience specialist, parcelLab. "Anyone who tries to think from the customer's perspective here has a good chance of converting one-time buyers into regular customers."

Editors can obtain the detailed study results, including all charts, free of charge by calling 01783421567 or sending an e-mail to parcelLab@saskiamueller.com.

About parcelLab GmbH

With the Operations Experience (OX) platform parcelLab, companies optimize the customer experience during order processing. Large companies in all industries can use the unique cloud platform (SaaS) to control all relevant process steps in fullfilment themselves in real time, identify any problems at an early stage and thus react proactively.

Via fully configurable and automated workflows, companies can communicate directly and in a highly personalized manner with the customer at all relevant points in the process and no longer have to hand over this valuable point of contact to third parties such as DHL & Co. In this way, companies ensure a consistent brand experience, proactive customer service and maximized cross-selling potential.

parcelLab customers include over 500 well-known companies in 45 countries and 32 languages, including IKEA, Lidl and MediaMarktSaturn. The company was founded in 2014 and today employs over 80 people at locations in Munich, London, Paris and Los Angeles.

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