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E-commerce shipping study - 2018 vs. 2020


Published on: July 18, 2020

Updated: October 18, 2023

Past and future

Back in 2018, we conducted an E-Commerce Shipping Study and now wanted to know what has happened in terms of operations experience since then. To this end, we conducted and analyzed test orders at the top 100 retailers in Germany.

The E-Commerce Shipping Study 2020

The?parcelLab E-Commerce Shipping Study 2020?examines the performance of Germany’s top 100 online stores in the areas of checkout, shipping and returns. Strengths, weaknesses and potentials of the companies were derived from this.


The study analyzed the following: What shipping options are available? How high are the delivery costs and do the top 100 retailers communicate their delivery times?


Do online retailers communicate with their customers during shipping, and if so, how? There are some differences between the top 100 online stores here.


How are returns handled? Do customers have to print out the return label themselves or does the online retailer enclose it directly in the package? We also analyzed how long a refund takes. Here, too, there are differences between the online retailers analyzed.

E-commerce shipping study 2018 vs. 2020 – the result

The comparison of the E-Commerce Shipping Study 2018 and the E-Commerce Shipping Study 2020 shows: The desire for more customer experience has increased. But can online stores really fulfill it?

When it comes to Click & Collect, there was a drop from 41 to 33, meaning that eight of the 100 largest German online stores no longer offer their customers this option. According to a survey of the bevh and Boniversum, the two main reasons for Click & Collect are saving on shipping costs (55 percent) and the flexible collection of goods (48 percent). Furthermore, the online stores that offer their customers express delivery have dropped from 40 to 25.

But there are not only negative changes. The stores that also communicate directly with their customers during shipping and do not hand over this contact option to DHL, Hermes & Co. have increased from 15 to 34. Thereby, more than four emails are currently sent by the retailer during shipping. The number increased from 20 in 2018 to 32 in the 2020 shipping study. We also saw progress in the punctuality of deliveries. Instead of 48 stores, 65 now deliver their packages at the promised time.

If the possibility of Click & Collect has fallen, on the other hand, the return of the package in the store increases from 10 to 20.

The comparison at a glance – 2018 vs. 2020

The results of the e-commerce shipping study 2018 (left) vs. 2020 (right)


Although the shipping process has changed quite a bit for the better in the last two years, there is still room for improvement when it comes to operations experience. Whether on the topic of click & collect, express delivery or returns processing – anyone who wants to offer their customers an optimal operations experience should take a closer look at their logistics processes. What does it mean? The customer journey doesn’t stop after the order is sent. Unfortunately, retailers forget this far too often and hand over their customers directly to the shipping service provider instead of communicating with them themselves and using valuable contact points.

Want to learn more insights from the E-Commerce Shipping Study 2020? Download the study directly here:

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