Händlerbund study: Even smaller enterprises can handle large volumes of orders


• 80% of retailers rely on DHL as their shipping service provider
• Reliable shipping is the most important criterion for 9 out of 10 respondents
• Nearly a quarter of retailers ship more than 100 parcels per day

The success of an online-retailer’s business relies on the smooth dispatch to the customer. The challenges posed by increased order volumes are presented in the newly released Händlerbund Logistics Study 2018. More than 500 online retailers, most of them small enterprises, handle considerable quantities of shipments and place more emphasis on reliability than on costs.

DHL remains the leading shipping service provider

The study reaffirms DHL’s position as the leading shipping service provider among online retailers by a wide margin and with 80% of the respondents claiming to use their services. Deutsche Post, the Group‘s sister company, ranks second with 4%. DPD ranks third with 28%, ahead of Hermes with 17%. A look at the 2016 logistics study sheds a special light on the newest developments: in the two years, DHL has increased its share by 20 percentage points. The increase at Deutsche Post is even more pronounced, at 32%. Their gains come at the cost of Hermes, who lost 12 percentage points in that time.

Even individual entrepreneurs are processing large quantities of orders

Almost three quarters of respondents (72%) have their parcels picked up by their service providers at least once a day. 5% of the respondents do so even more frequently – unsurprising, considering the volumes.
A quarter of retailers even ship out more than 100 parcels a day. These quantities are especially considerable, as 78% of the participating enterprises employ less than ten people. Meanwhile, 61% of shipping interfaces or shipping service providers can be supported to connect several shipping service providers to their shop simultaneously.

Reliability more important than cost

As demonstrated by the 2016 study, reliability continues to be the single most important criterion for online retailers (80%, 2016: 90%). Shipment tracking and short delivery times with 70% and 69% respectively, are also considered to be very important. Surprisingly, less than two-thirds (63%) rate a solid price/performance ratio as very important. Some 50% of the participants also consider the selection of different delivery options to be rather unimportant.

About the study

The study was conducted with a focus group of 513 online retailers, most of whom employ fewer than ten people. One third of those surveyed work in the Hobby & Leisure industry, one in five in the Home & Garden sector and electronics and fashion retailers are each represented with 15%.

This is a guest article provided by  Ecommerce Europe German national association   Händlerbund. National   associations  and Ecommerce Europe members  can   have their articles and reports regularly  published  in our website. For more information, please contact   lauracontin@ecommerce-europe.eu .