E-Commerce Shipping Study 2020 and 2021 - the comparison

E-Commerce Shipping Study 2020 and 2021 - the comparison
Published on: Mar 17, 2021
Updated: Aug 18, 2022

Back in 2019/2020, we conducted a e-commerce shipping study and now wanted to know what has happened in terms of operations experience since then. To this end, we again conducted test orders at the top 100 retailers in Germany at the end of last year and analyzed them.

The E-Commerce Shipping Study 2021

The parcelLab E-Commerce Shipping Study 2021 examines the performance of the German top 100 online stores in the areas of checkout, shipping and returns. Strengths, weaknesses and potentials of the companies were derived from this.


The study analyzed the following: What shipping options are available? Can customers order free of charge and do they offer express shipping and same-day delivery?


Do online retailers communicate with their customers during shipping and if so how? Also, do customers receive a confirmation once they have received the package?


How are returns handled? Does the customer have to print out the return label himself or is it already in the package? We also analyzed how long a refund takes.

E-commerce Shipping Study 2020 vs. 2021 - the Result

The comparison of the E-Commerce Shipping Study 2020 and the E-commerce Shipping Study 2021 shows: The desire for more customer experience has increased. But can online stores really meet this demand?

When it comes to sustainability, things are looking good. Instead of 50 retailers in 2019, this year there are only 25 stores that do not take any precautions. Our study E-commerce from the customer's perspective also shows that the topic is becoming increasingly important for customers. According to the study, 42 percent of customers prefer to have their order shipped in an environmentally friendly recycled box.

Furthermore, the range of express deliveries has increased. While only 25 made this offer in the test orders in 2019, the number has already risen to 41 in the next year.

But there are not only positive changes. The stores that generally offer free shipping have dropped from 22 to 14.

The comparison at a glance




The results of the two studies compared (p. 47)


Although some things have changed for the better in the shipping process over the past year and despite the Corona pandemic, there is still room for improvement when it comes to Operations Experience. If you want to offer your customers an optimal operations experience, you should take a closer look at your logistics processes. What does it mean? The customer journey doesn't stop after the order is sent. Unfortunately, retailers forget this far too often and hand over their customers directly to the shipping service provider instead of communicating with them themselves and using valuable contact points.

Want to learn more insights from the E-Commerce Shipping Study 2021? Download the study directly here:

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