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Delivery worries hamper cross-border purchases

More than half (57%) of shoppers have made a cross-border purchase in the last 12 months but late delivery, unexpected costs and the challenge of returns all remain as significant bugbears for customers, according to new research.

The survey of online shoppers in the US, UK, Germany and Australia by Logistyx Technologies showed that 66% believe goods will arrive later than promised and 47% believed they would be damaged in transit. 59% think they’ll be hit with unexpected fees or duties and 73% feel returning products will be a challenge.

The research showed that tackling these challenges would better help persuade customers to make international purchases. Customers wanted free product returns (72%); making it easy for shoppers to track their orders online (71%); and being transparent about any additional duties or taxes that need to be paid (70%).

Clothing and footwear was the most sector were customers were most likely to order internationally (56%), following by sport, hobbies and leisure goods (44%) and health and beauty (42%).

“People are definitely becoming more open to shopping on ecommerce sites based in other countries, which is great news for online retail businesses,” said Geoffrey Finlay, CEO of Logistyx. “But if you want to win and retain international customers, you need to address the key concerns around shipping and delivery highlighted by our research. While you can mitigate some of these issues by implementing the right supply chain systems, you also need to select the right carriers for each country or region both in terms of service level and costs. It’s essential to work with carriers that can provide visibility over the end-to-end parcel delivery journey – ideally in real time, and you should be sure to leverage carrier performance data to identify opportunities to improve processes.”

“Returns appear to be a major pain point. While making them free may not always be feasible given the cost and complexity of international shipping, it’s important to make the process as easy and hassle-free as possible. Be clear about returns policies, provide returns packaging and labels with the original parcel, make booking a return quick and painless, and ensure the refund is initiated as soon as the return is collected from the customer.”

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