Insight / Blog

How to shift consumer expectations of delivery

Posted on 13th May 2021

This blog article is part of our Germany market insight series, exploring opportunities for parcel carriers and offering insight and comparison to other parcel markets around the world. Download your free copy of our Germany market report here.

German consumers are some of the most demanding in the world. That goes beyond any of the considerations of delivery convenience already discussed. Major purchases tend not to be impulse buys, but the result of careful consideration and comparison.

Quality matters to the German shopper. This is hardly surprising – the country manufactures goods that are famed for their durability and many German brand names are synonymous with quality: Audi, Bosch, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Siemens, Thyssenkrupp and more.

In short, there are many reasons why German shoppers aren’t prepared to accept second best. An estimated 60% of them will keep buying a particular brand once they are satisfied they are receiving quality goods and services.

Germans also have a high degree of social and environmental awareness, which influences many of their purchasing decisions. Whether it’s organic products, vegan food, energy consumption, or recycling, there is a maturity in the country’s attitude to the needs of wider society.

High expectations

More than half (53%) of 18-34s in Germany shop online at least once per week, according to the Spectos eCommerce Monitor 2021. They are also part of a demographic more likely to gravitate toward environmentally friendly, sustainable products and services. One of the questions carriers and retailers will have to come to terms with is how to continue to support the growth in online sales in sustainable ways.

Currently though, shoppers in Europe’s most important economy are pampered by the routine nature of home deliveries, where some carriers will try to avoid inconveniencing the customer to the point of attempting delivery 4 times. That will be a challenging mindset to shift.

Conscientious consumers offer a route for change

Putting the climate first is second nature in Germany. The country’s people cycle and recycle in great numbers as they strive to limit car use and reduce waste. It’s an ethos that could respond warmly to the right service from the right provider, packaged with the right messaging. Part of that messaging should be focused on the pro-climate benefits that alternatives to home delivery offer.

Sending 200 parcels to 200 homes uses a good deal more resources than sending 200 parcels to a single PUDO point. So, the potential for cleaner, greener ecommerce should be a big motivator for sustainability-conscious consumers to adopt out-of-home deliveries.

It is a shift that will still need to be highly configured around customer convenience, however, if it is to appeal to the mass market of online shoppers. But many of the components for a successful disruption of the ecommerce delivery sector are already in place. There is a high degree of smartphone use, for example, and there is no need to build an extensive PUDO network as it is already in place in large parts of the country.

Innovative customer experience and communication developments, taking advantage of the widespread use of apps and smartphones, could play an important part here as well. Home delivery is always likely to exist, and its convenience is undeniable. But there is no reason it has to be the default. PUDO should feel as easy as possible, with notifications and flexible options helping the customer feel in control via their phone, no matter where they are.

To find out how Doddle can help you to offer a great out-of-home delivery and returns proposition and guide your consumer behaviour strategy, get in touch today.

Business Development Manager

Jack has been with Doddle since 2015, developing Doddle’s relationships with parcel carriers, merchants and 3PLs globally and focusing on the challenges they face in an increasingly digital world.

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