Packets by the pint – international deliveries made easy
By Thomas Hauck
I travel to the UK a lot for business. If you’ve ever been there, you’ve likely experienced the country’s world-famous pub culture. A pint down at the neighborhood pub is a common way to relax and socialize after a hard day’s work. In fact, the word pub comes from "public house" – the collective term people used for alehouses, inns, and taverns back in the Middle Ages.
On a recent trip, it occurred to me that the pub culture was such an integral part of British life that you don’t even think about. You walk in, order a drink at the bar, sit down and enjoy some time with friends. Because I’m in the mail business, I couldn’t help making the correlation to mailing a letter at your local post office. You walk in, drop off your letter, and then relax because you know that it’s safely on its way. Ok, I’ll admit it’s not quite as satisfying, but simple all the same.
Mail made easy
I’ve talked to enough logistics managers at e-commerce companies around Europe to know that when faced with mailing hundreds or even thousands of packages, they certainly wish the process was as easy ordering a pint. With complex customs regulations that vary from country to country, the world of international logistics is oftentimes confusing and costly.
But it doesn’t have to be, especially for e-commerce businesses selling small and lightweight items, like smartphone accessories, clothing, or sporting goods, to name only a few. Orders that weight in at less than two kilograms can be delivered via international mail. By tapping into worldwide postal services, you benefit from an established network with standardized processes – the same network that reliably delivers millions of letters around the world every day. You don’t have to struggle through complicated customs clearance procedures or deal with multiple labels, reducing your prep time to little more than licking the envelope.
A packet of possibilities
The industry term is ‘international packet’, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Whether envelopes, small boxes, or packaging tubes – international packets have a combined length, height, and width measuring less than 90 centimeters, with no one side exceeding 60 centimeters. That gives you lots of options for your lightweight merchandise.
Packets are also packed with many value adding services. Like letters, you can send items registered or insured when needed. You can track your orders and receive delivery confirmations. And if you’re shipping to Germany, you can give your customers the option to have their orders delivered to one of the country’s 2,700 popular ‘packstations’, automated lockers where they can pick up their orders whenever they like – a unique and unrivalled service for Deutsche Post customers.
Returns processing is also available, and in select countries you can even take advantage of services that give your packets a ‘local look’ – an added touch that can make a lasting impression and increase trust.
Like any pub owner, you want to make your customers happy and keep them coming back. You want to provide service that is so commonplace and convenient, they take it for granted. It’s simply a part of life, just like the postal service.
That’s the way I see international packets – a way for e-commerce companies to make their order processing as easy as sealing and sending a letter. If you make it that simple, your customers are almost certain to stick around and order another round.