Guide to shipping communication - What online retailers should pay attention to now

Guide to shipping communication - What online retailers should pay attention to now
Published on: Jul 6, 2018
Updated: Aug 18, 2022

Munich, June 06, 2018 - What is still allowed in customer communications under the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)? The Munich-based start-up parcelLab GmbH, together with the law firm SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte, has created a whitepaper to provide online retailers with a guide and bring clarity to questions regarding customer communication. The focus is particularly on shipping communication. Because this is particularly important for the customer experience, for every single e-commerce order.

Transaction-based customer communication holds great potential

"Communication during shipping can not only save a lot of hassle in the event of delivery problems, it also holds great potential to inspire customers with information or motivate them to make another purchase with advertising. With our whitepaper, we want to provide retailers with a guideline that they can use to fully exploit this potential even after the GDPR comes into force," explains Tobias Buxhoidt, founder and CEO of parcelLab.

The whitepaper by parcelLab and SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte provides an overview of the new GDPR, briefly explains once again what exactly is meant by "personal data" and lists the "5 commandments in data protection". Finally, the main section revolves around the three types of transaction-based customer communication and uses examples to show what kind of additional information merchants are allowed to include and whether customers have to give their consent beforehand. It also revisits in detail the different types of information that online retailers may want to provide to their customers: Product information, advertising, links to social networks and rating prompts. What is allowed? Why do you need the prior opt-in? Where do you have to be careful?

Shipping communication as part of customer service


Basically, the following applies: messages may be sent if they are either directly required for the fulfillment of the contract or are (necessarily) connected with it, even without directly serving the fulfillment of the main service. In other words, transaction-based customer communications are permitted even if there is no explicit customer consent. Strictly speaking, therefore, dispatch messages are part of customer service - and not advertising. However, as soon as the messages are no longer related to order processing, the customer must explicitly consent to the communication.

"The permissibility of transactional emails always depends on whether they are to be classified as advertising. In this guide, together with parcelLab, we have summarized the things that online retailers should look out for in relation to the integration of advertising," says Stefan Schicker, lawyer at SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte.

The whitepaper is available for download at the following link:

The press release can be downloaded here as Word document or as PDF.

About parcelLab:

parcelLab provides online stores with efficient technology and implementation for successful post-purchase communication. The goal is to provide shoppers with interesting information throughout the entire shipping process and thus create an optimal shopping experience. Important delivery events or deviations are identified and sent individualized as an email, SMS, message via Facebook or within the retailer app. In this way, companies strengthen customer loyalty and can exploit further upselling potential by directing online shoppers back into the store via specific messages.

The Munich-based start-up was founded in 2014 by Anton Eder, Tobias Buxhoidt and Julian Krenge. Today, over 25 employees work for more than 300 international retailers in 32 countries and 18 languages.

About SKW Schwarz Attorneys at Law:

In a world that is spinning faster and faster, we stand for a

constant that combines future and tradition. Because we are already tackling the relevant legal issues of tomorrow today. Digital change, disruptive technologies and innovative business models can not only transform markets and change entire industries or even entire societies. They also often raise completely new legal issues when the technically feasible challenges the legal status quo. This is where we come in. It is one of our strengths to accompany such issues quickly, successfully and sustainably with a holistic and innovation-oriented view.

SKW Schwarz is one of the leading independent commercial law firms - with five offices and over 120 lawyers in Germany and internationally networked partner law firms worldwide. We advise companies in all areas of national and international commercial law. Due to our professional know-how, we are able to master challenging mandates and solve tasks of any degree of complexity.

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Create new reasons for people to love your brand. Build standout post-sales experiences tailored to your customers. Deliver personalized touch points that grab attention and spark loyalty.

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