Logistics and package delivery in the DACH region

Many online retailers choose to sell in neighboring countries or those that are most similar to their local market in terms of language and culture. The DACH region is a perfect example of that, especially due to its long tradition in regional trade. Basically, in the case of German-speaking countries, there is no need for e-retailers to adjust their online stores too much.

Efficient logistics systems and networks are a key success factor when it comes to selling online and delivering products purchased in a given country.

In addition to expanding their logistics networks, carriers are also striving to improve their services and handle growing e-commerce volumes by investing in infrastructure facilities. This includes investments in the modernization of existing facilities, as well as the construction of new sorting and delivery centers.

For example, in recent years, Deutsche Post DHL has invested more than €750 million in expanding the capacity of its parcel delivery network in Germany alone and has been investing in new hubs and depots in Austria and Switzerland, among others.

In the meantime, however, many carriers have also extended their delivery days and delivery times to overnight, including GLS and DHL in Germany and DPD in Austria.

All these constant improvements may be the reason why the countries of the DACH region are among the best-performing delivery markets in the EU and the top countries with the highest logistics performance index in the world.

With the LPI, the World Bank aims to rank 160 countries in terms of trade logistics performance. Germany was named leader three times (2014, 2016 and 2018), while Austria rose from 22nd to 4th in just a few years. Switzerland, on the other hand, ranks 11th. 

It’s no wonder that consumers in Germany receive more packages per year (24 shipments to be exact) than any other citizen in Europe. However, the number of parcels in Austria and Switzerland is still relatively low: only 14 and 9 shipments per year per capita, respectively.

Payment preferences are one of the central elements of electronic commerce. It is crucial to note that they can vary significantly between different countries. 

Open invoices

The German e-commerce market prefers open invoices. This option is convenient for the buyer, since he does not need to pay in advance. First, the order is delivered and the customer can test it. They can then return the merchandise or pay within a pre-agreed timeframe, typically 2-4 weeks.

PayPal and electronic wallets

Used by one in three people, PayPal is the third favorite payment method in the DACH region. E-wallet solutions like PayPal are expected to eventually surpass bank transfers.

Germany is the third largest e-commerce market in Europe. The use of smartphones, along with electronic wallets such as PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, is growing rapidly.

In general, the law of electronic commerce requires the fulfillment of specific duties by the company towards its customers. These requirements may vary under German law depending on whether the contract is concluded with business customers or consumers.

Some duties may include:

The company must acknowledge receipt of the order and provide confirmation of the conclusion of the contract.

The offer must include the necessary steps to conclude the agreement and the technical means to review and correct the order by the customer.

The seller must provide the consumer with all information on a durable medium at the latest at the time of delivery; this is normally done via email.

The offer must include certain information, such as the main characteristics of the product or service, prices with all taxes included, delivery time, contact details of the sellers, accepted means of payment, applicable guarantees, as well as the conditions and terms and procedures. 

Efficient logistics systems and networks are a key success factor when it comes to selling online and delivering products purchased in a given country