The prerequisites for high-quality e-commerce delivery are made below the surface. A functioning entity is created from a deep customer understanding, well-thought-out technology solutions and transport partners - specifically in the plural - that fit the needs.

As a consumer, DB Schenker's eCom Sales Manager Valeri Minkenen demands one thing from the transport of his online shopping.

– Operational reliability. If I have ordered a product to home, I don't want it to go to R-kioski. On the other hand, if I have ordered a product to R-kioski, I don't want it to go to K-kauppa.

Minkenen is not alone in his opinion: operational reliability is the most important measure of transport quality for Finnish online shopping customers. As an expert in the field, he urges online retailers to be prepared for situations where delivery fails for one reason or another.

- It's not worth thinking "what should be done if something goes wrong?", but "what will I do when something goes wrong?".

The prerequisites for high-quality e-commerce delivery are created beneath the surface

E-commerce delivery starts with a visit to the online store. How well is the purchasing pipeline planned, where does the customer find the delivery terms, and how easily can he choose the supplier he likes?

Matters that support delivery security largely take place in the background: the transport company must receive the order information, the consumer's information and the delivery address correctly in an electronically processed format.

- High-quality data processing and movement create the conditions for high-quality transport, Minkenen says.

The simplest definition of transport quality is that packages go to the right place at the right time.

When approaching the end point of the delivery, high-quality transport means that the recipient is aware of the progress of the delivery.

- The consumer must not get the feeling of who, why and when. And even if there are surprises, he must be aware of them too.

High-quality transport does not end when the customer has received the order.

- Aftercare is also important. We ask the customer how the delivery went and tell him how he can make a return, Minkenen reminds.

Stylish handling of error situations requires advance work

Valeri Minkenen follows trends related to online shopping and transportation for his work. He knows that consumers take good service for granted. So it is not so much a competitive advantage as a prerequisite.

- The consumer is king. He doesn't understand, and he shouldn't have to understand, what's going on in the background. The service must work in such a way that the consumer does not have to open it.

However, packages are handled by people, so mistakes will happen even in the best planned process.

- That's why the terms of delivery must be in order and adapted to your own needs, and not just the obligatory parts copied from elsewhere.

The online retailer should go through all possible error situations in advance and find out the facts related to them, so that he can inform the consumer about the alternatives.

- Even if the fault is the transport company's, the disappointment in the eyes of the consumer is often associated with the online store, and therefore preparation benefits the business.

The responsibility of the transport industry is a broader issue than fuel consumption

Responsibility is something that comes up in all of Valeri Minkenen's customer conversations. The bigger the online store, the bigger the topic gets.

- I want to tip my hat to all the companies that don't make their choices with only money in mind.

He himself influences the realisation of responsibility by consulting; offering all of his expertise to his customers. There is a need for it because the topic is broad.

Along with fuel and the driving arrangement that affects consumption, Minkenen wants to highlight the support functions.

- What equipment and vehicles are used inside the terminal, how the building is lit and how the energy used there is produced, he lists as examples.

Fully electric Last Mile distribution in big cities is a reality of the near future

The hot potato in the transport industry at the moment is Last Mile delivery, i.e. the last bit when goods travel from the warehouse or terminal to the customer. The topic is discussed from both the service and responsibility perspectives.

One example of renewal is the delivery robots that have appeared on the streets of the capital region. DB Schenker's Vantaa terminal, on the other hand, has an electric truck for parcel distribution. In Tampere, all distribution in the city centre by DB Schenker will be powered by electricity within two years.

The plan is to expand the method to all major cities in Finland. The decision is significant, as 50% of the packages will be distributed specifically to these concentrations.

- Regarding final distribution, I see and trust that electronic Last Mile will be the thing in the near future.

Minkenen hopes that consumers will have more say in the manufacturing, packaging and transportation of products in the future.

Transportation solutions must be thought about even before setting up an online store

Valeri Minkenen regrettably often hears stories where the choice made about transport does not practically fit in with one's own e-commerce business and the wishes of the customers.

- Personally, I would like to be able to join the discussions when the customer is just planning to set up an online store.

The wish is rooted in the meaning of the whole: which platform is the merchant going to choose, what kind of integration possibilities does it have, is there an idea to go international and what conditions does the product being sold place on the transport time in relation to the customer's expectations?

- By looking at the whole, the online retailer can make sure that the critical elements below the surface are in order. In addition to the process, customer understanding is of great importance.

In Sweden, online shopping customers have many transport options. In Finland, people think more carefully, even if there is no reason to. Minkenen always urges his customers to have more than one partner.

- The more the online store offers options for delivery times suitable for different life situations or responsibility that fits the buyer's values, the better.

However, in the end, an online store is only a business when the product reaches its buyer - preferably at the agreed time and in the agreed place.


This blog post is part of the Crasman Insight, where we delve deeper into e-commerce processes, from purchasing to storage and transportation.

Crasman Insight is a publication about e-commerce phenomena, trends and insightful experts. Crasman Insight is published twice a year.



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