Shop the World!: DHL Sketches the International E-Commerce Customer Journey

– International study reveals consumer insights from 20 markets

– Asia Pacific region to be the future driver of e-commerce industry

– Results support Deutsche Post DHL’s Strategy 2020 approach

SINGAPORE, Sept. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Consumers first and foremost do their research online, choose retailers primarily because of attractive prices and free delivery, place their order via computer, pay with their credit card, and want their purchases delivered fast. Those are the key global findings of ‘Shop the World!’, a consumer survey on international distance selling across 20 countries carried out by DHL eCommerce. The study, however, also identifies significant differences between individual countries, for example in the acceptance of payment options. The survey sketches the status quo of the customer journey online and home shoppers preferably take, and provides a better understanding of specific market characteristics.

"Over the next five years, the global distance selling sector is expected to grow by more than 10 percent per annum. This development affects almost every industry sector," said Jurgen Gerdes, CEO Post – eCommerce – Parcel at Deutsche Post DHL.

Asia Pacific has taken center stage in the global e-commerce market. Next to the existence of mature e-commerce markets such as Japan, this has largely been driven by increased internet access, by traditional retailers and start-ups embracing the opportunities of offering their goods online in shops and market places, and by a burgeoning middle class in emerging markets across the region. These factors have caused strong e-commerce growth in recent years with Japan, South Korea, Australia, India and China seeing growth rates ranging between 5 and 42 percent in 2013.

More than 90 percent of people having online access in China, Japan and South Korea are distance selling customers — they are predominantly young, highly educated and from urban areas. Consumer electronics, books, clothing & apparel and food are the online products most purchased in Asia Pacific. However, when it comes to paying, preferences are differing across the region: While credit cards are the favorite payment method in Japan and South Korea, online shoppers prefer to pay by online payment systems in China and Australia and cash on delivery is widely used in India. Generally, delivery in Asia Pacific is expected to be faster than the global average. E-commerce customers also demand free home delivery, specifically in Japan and India. The computer is the number one ordering channel, followed by mobile devices with China, South Korea and Australia having the highest shares in mCommerce.

"A key result of this study is that enterprises have to understand consumers’ decision making process and align their business accordingly. Being aware of cultural and structural differences is a key success factor, particularly for cross-border e-commerce," said Thomas Kipp, CEO, DHL eCommerce.

The consistent comparison of 20 markets reveals local characteristics: It shows that, for example, British and German consumers use distance selling the most (94 percent) while consumers in India or Mexico are more reluctant to order from home and online. European consumers also place more orders per year (29 in UK, 18 in Germany) than their counterparts in emerging markets (e.g. nine in India or six in Brazil). However, the survey also shows that emerging markets offer the highest growth potential as consumers intend to increase their distance shopping activities at a greater level than those in more mature markets.

"Asia Pacific offers a huge potential to the e-commerce industry in future. The demanding customers, its competitive markets and multi-channel retailing all have major implications for logistics," highlighted Malcolm Monteiro, CEO, DHL eCommerce Asia Pacific. "DHL offers integrated services to help its customers meet the challenging market environment both domestically and internationally, optimizing retailers’ market standing."

Following Deutsche Post DHL’s recently issued scenario study "Global E-Tailing 2025", this report provides current empirical data on the distance shopping customer journey from consumers across 20 countries. Each of the country profiles offers insights on media use, an overview on the domestic distance selling market as well as the customer journey including attitudes towards advertising, ordering, payment process, delivery and returns.

Additionally, the drivers and barriers for distance selling, attitudes towards cross-border e-commerce and dialog marketing are presented. The study covers countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. More than 11,000 people completed the online panel survey and every country is represented by five percent of the sample size.

Deutsche Post DHL recently launched its "Strategy 2020: Focus.Connect.Grow." in which the Group outlined its growth aspirations in the e-commerce sector. Building on a leading position in e-commerce logistics in Germany, Europe and beyond, the new Post – eCommerce – Parcel division will increasingly focus on expanding the products and services offered for the dynamic e-commerce market. Deutsche Post DHL wants to establish itself as the number one provider of cross-border e-commerce services on the most important international trade lanes and in selected countries.  

The results of the new survey confirm the huge growth potential of e-commerce and are proof of the future direction of the company.

The study is available at www.dhl.com/shop-the-world

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DHL is the global market leader in the logistics and CEP industry and "The logistics company for the world". DHL commits its expertise in international express, national and international parcel delivery, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation as well as contract and e-commerce related solutions along the entire supply chain. A global network composed of more than 220 countries and territories and around 315,000 employees worldwide offers customers superior service quality and local knowledge to satisfy their supply chain requirements. DHL accepts its social responsibility by supporting environmental protection, disaster management and education.

DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL. The Group generated revenues of more than 55 billion euros in 2013.

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