A sporting chance for e-commerce – Future of E-Commerce – by DHL eCommerce

You might expect online shopping to dip during worldwide sporting events like the FIFA World Cup or Wimbledon but the opposite is true. It seems whether fans are happy after a win, or biting their nails during a tough match, there’s nothing better than a little retail therapy. Just how much do global sporting events affect people’s shopping habits? Charles Brewer takes a look.

By Charles Brewer, CEO DHL eCommerce.

Outside of those lucky enough to gain tickets to the actual event, the rest of us have been glued to screens as sporting history is made in front of our eyes at this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia. Millions of us have been cheering on our favorite teams on TV screens where advertising is at a premium, and the world’s brands are fighting for a share of voice. Others have been going online and checking social media, where more and more companies are executing their multi-channel marketing campaigns. So what can e-tailers learn from this sport-related marketing frenzy?

Sports kick-start sales

Worldwide sporting events like the World Cup give consumer spending a real boost. In 2014 there was a spike in e-commerce purchases seven months before the start of the World Cup in Brazil. E-commerce sales in the country saw a 27 percent increase, contributing an estimated US$16.6 billion to the Brazilian economy. In the UK it’s estimated that up to £500m was added to the UK retail industry in extra sales over the course of this year’s World Cup, and each successive England win boosted the economy by a further £100m. A study from the Centre for Retail Research has found every goal in England’s match against Sweden was worth £165.3 million to England’s retailers and an extra £33.2 million to pubs, hotels and restaurants. One way to tap into this potential boom is to increase omnichannel offerings to reach viewers across a number of different channels – and they don’t even have to be sports-related.

Reaching billions of potential viewers

This year, the World Cup is expected to reach a potential audience of well over 3.2 billion viewers. With such a massive potential audience, e-tailers can’t afford to miss out on opportunities like this. But if TV budgets are too big for smaller players, there are many other ways to jump on the bandwagon, with event-related promotions and products. Zenith projected the World Cup 2018 would drive an increase of US$2.4 billion in ad spending worldwide, and as mobile becomes an increasingly important part of the World Cup experience, in-app advertising could also see a surge in user conversions.

Do believe the hype

Worldwide sporting events like the World Cup give consumer spending a real boost.

At the start of this year’s World Cup, the Adidas Telstar 18 ball flew off shelves as soon as it became available. But no one expected a waistcoat to become a world-wide sensation. Inspired by England coach Gareth Southgate, who wears a smart shirt and waistcoat on the sidelines, department store Marks and Spencer experienced a run on waistcoats on the eve of the England vs Croatia match, a phenomenon dubbed #WaistcoatWednesday. Even Russia’s Moscow branch of M&S ran out of most sizes on the day. Another surprise ‘must-have’ World Cup item was team Nigeria’s Nike-designed football strip – people were literally queuing around the block to buy the green and white strip in London’s Oxford Street. Online, it sold out globally on the day it was released and three million people pre-ordered the replica shirts, according to the Nigeria Football Federation. You might not have a giant like Nike behind you, but there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t make use of a sporting association to boost your sales.

You don’t have to be in it to win it

It’s not just competing countries that are seeing a boost in sales this year. In India, sales of team jerseys as well as footballs and other football-related items spiked on a number of e-commerce platforms with merchandise for Argentina, Germany and Brazil proving to be the most popular. In fact, it’s not just sport-related goods that are booming. In China, beer sales soared. Popular Chinese food delivery app Meituan experienced a 40% increase in beer orders 15 minutes before the start of the opening World Cup match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Another food delivery service,, received beer orders from 150,000 users on the first night of the World Cup, up 167 percent compared with the same period last year. If you have a product that compliments sports viewing, be prepared for a peak in sales.

Watching on the go is on the up

Although most sports fans will readily admit to preferring to watch on a big screen, sports viewing has well and truly gone mobile, which is no surprise considering how fast mobile user rates have shot up in the past decade. During the Germany vs. Brazil game in 2014, mobile traffic volume to sports network ESPN was 20 times higher than usual. People will happily watch on a mobile app if they can’t get to a TV and this encourages social media interaction, which could be a great way to make use of video retargeting. It’s also worth noting that in 2014, 70 percent of World Cup content was consumed on desktops. This year, with mobile accounting for 73 percent of internet consumption, mobile is where e-tailers are most likely to reach potential customers. E-tailers should consider making use of marketplace features offered by major social media players such as Instagram’s shopping tags.

Social’s going loco

As an avid Arsenal and England fan, I’m unlikely to be distracted by social media when there’s a game on, but there are situations where social media can really enhance an event. According to CNN, England won the social media game in this World Cup as delighted fans turned to social media to churn out memes and share their disbelief in their national side’s success. In 2014, 74.2 percent of football fans were browsing on social media during a game, while 43.4 percent were posting on Facebook about the World Cup and their favorite ads. The #WorldCup hashtag was shared millions of times, along with specific hashtags for countries and players. Instagram and Facebook proved to be the most popular platforms for football fans and it’s here that mobile usage peaked during commercials. In 2014 some 350 million people created a total of 3 billion interactions with World Cup content on Facebook alone. Social media channels are a great, fun way to promote your products in connection to sporting events, but bear in mind organizations like FIFA and the Olympics’ strict guidelines on the use of specific trademarks and logos – you don’t want to get in trouble!

This year, with mobile accounting for 73 percent of internet consumption, mobile is where e-tailers are most likely to reach potential customers.

Passing the time by shopping

According to researchers at the University of Lancashire there are three types of World Cup consumers. The hardcore fans who follow the whole tournament avidly will organize social events and invest in things like home entertainment systems to boost their viewing experience. Fans who become more interested as their team moves closer to the Final are likely to join the hardcore fans in pubs, bars and public viewing events. People with a low interest in sporting events are a great potential audience for e-tailers. Bored of waiting for games to finish, they’re highly likely to indulge in online retail therapy to keep themselves entertained. In the UK, according to the Independent, that could mean as many as four million Brits shopping on their smartphones while watching the World Cup. There’s also the gender divide to bear in mind. Men are less likely to spend time chatting on social media during a match, which I can relate to, whereas women – with their well-known multi-tasking capabilities – are very likely to be available for conversions during actual game hours.

So how are you planning to jump on the sports bandwagon this summer? At DHL we have a long history of supporting world class sporting events. We’re the Official Logistics Partner for Formula 1, Formula E, MotoGP, Manchester United, FC Bayern Munich, Rugby World Cup and many more. Our most recent sponsorship with ESL One is bringing us to a whole new audience of GenZ and millennial gamers, reaching a potential worldwide audience of hundreds of millions worldwide. We understand the value of sport, not only as a useful way to promote our brand, but also as a way to transport emotion and share ‘moments that deliver’. You can find out all about our sports partnership activity on our InMotion website.

So, what are you waiting for? The World Cup final may be over but there’s still the India versus England cricket test series, the US Open tennis championships, and the Tour de France up ahead – not to mention golf, baseball and rowing events. These all provide ample opportunity to get your products in front of a massive potential audience of avid sports fans, as well as a huge number of people with time on their hands to shop while they wait for the games to end.

The biggest online stores in Switzerland in 2018

What are the top-selling online shops in Switzerland this year? Which Swiss ecommerce companies generated the highest turnover? Consulting firm Carpathia analyzed figures of the largest online retailers in Switzerland and came up with a top 50.

It’s for the second time in a row that Carpathia made a poster of the biggest online stores in Switzerland. The rankings are based on the achieved or estimated sales in Switzerland, grouped by top 30 B2C, top 15 B2B and top 10 travel, tickets and horizontal platforms.

Top 50 of Swiss online stores

The top 50 list shows the net revenue generated online and through mobile, in Swiss francs for the fiscal year 2017, excluding VAT, adjusted for returns and cancellations. The top three of biggest online stores in Switzerland consists of Digitec (514 million euros), Zalando (456 million euros) and (406 million euros).

China is on the rise

Online retail platforms from China are increasingly popular among Swiss consumers. This is not only shown by the number of parcels that reach Switzerland every day, but also because Swiss retailers are reluctant to compete with Chinese retailers, as the latter operate under competition-distorting conditions.

Carpathia says: “It’s hardly surprising that the two most popular Chinese platforms in Switzerland were able to rise so strong in the ranking: both AliExpress and Wish more than doubled their estimated sales in Switzerland last year.”

The biggest online stores in Switzerland in 2018.
The biggest online stores in Switzerland in 2018.


Lufthansa Cargo to offer spot market capacity on digital platform

Lufthansa Cargo will begin offering spot market capacity through online platform as it pushes its digital offering to forwarders.

The German cargo carrier has signed a co-operation contract with allow customers to book available capacity for its express service td.Flash and its standard service td.Pro “completely digitally and in real time across the entire available route grid”.

Lufthansa Cargo chairman of the board Peter Gerber said: “Digitisation allows information to be distributed around the globe in fractions of a second.

“This has given rise to new expectations with which both carriers and freight forwarders are confronted. We are therefore now offering our customers the opportunity to exchange prices and capacities even faster and to book services even easier.

“Booking platforms such as will in future support forwarders in meeting their customers’ needs even better. This is the next logical step in the digitisation of our industry.” founder Oliver Neumann added: “Many solutions on the market promise digital bookability. The reality is that in most cases the rates offered do not give access to capacity.

“In particular at times of high demand, our solution offers airfreight forwarders a quick and easy access to capacities with immediate confirmation at live spot rates.”

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DHL eCommerce offering same-day delivery in Bangkok | Post&Parcel

DHL eCommerce has launched the DHL Parcel Metro service in Greater Bangkok – allowing Thai online retailers to offer their customers same-day delivery, real-time tracking and flexible rescheduling of deliveries.

“Megacities around the world are seeing rapid urbanization and strong growth in e-commerce,”  commented Charles Brewer, CEO, DHL eCommerce.

“The resulting surge in parcel deliveries and the growing urban consumer’s demands for same-day and instant gratification calls for innovative solutions – like DHL Parcel Metro – to enable faster and smarter deliveries, and relieve last mile pressures faced by retailers.”

Record high for UK next-day deliveries | Post&Parcel

Online retail parcel delivery order volumes in the UK were up 14.8% year-on-year in May, according to the latest data from the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index.

In a statement issued today (29 June), IMRG added: “The shift over toward faster fulfilment was evident in May, when use of next-day / specified-day services hit a record high for this time of the year – at 37% of UK-delivered orders – as retailers look to use quality of experience, such as the delivery offer, to win and retain customers in what has proved to be an increasingly difficult and complex overall retail environment in 2018.”

On the downside, the ever-rising tide of parcel volumes and more consumers taking advantage of the faster options have led to more late deliveries.

According to IMRG: “While the percentage of orders using fast fulfilment options reached a high in May, that pressure, combined with strong volume growth, is likely to be a chief cause of a drop in on-time delivery performance, which reached its lowest May level in the history of the Index (88%). This is also the first time the percentage of deliveries arriving on-time has dipped beneath 90% in May.”

Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director, IMRG, added: “IMRG have carried out shopper surveys every year for the past nine years and what’s interesting about the move toward faster fulfilment is that customers haven’t really been asking for it – these studies have consistently found that two days is still perfectly acceptable. As technology and processes have evolved however, industry has come to view it as a potential differentiator in acquiring and retaining customers and their expectations are changing in line with that over time.”

This is a revealing observation, and it chimes with the findings of Triangle’s UK Domestic B2B and B2C Express Parcels Distribution Surveys.

Writing on Post&Parcel earlier this month, Triangle Research’s Agustin Maril suggested that the need for speed was coming not such from the online shoppers but from the retailers, who see fast delivery as a way to get ahead of the pack.

Maril added: “More consumers are using next day or even same day delivery – and often they are doing this simply because the service is on offer and they want to get their money’s worth.”

Ecommerce in Switzerland increasingly influenced by foreign retailers

Ecommerce in Switzerland gets more and more influenced by foreign online retailers. Last year, the total order value at foreign ecommerce websites in Switzerland has grown over twice as much as the value of domestic retailers.

This is one of the key conclusions from the ‘E-Commerce Report Schweiz‘, by Datatrans and FHNW University. “As a small country, Switzerland has a rather independent retailers landscape, compared to other countries”, the report writes. “But since 2011, international retailers have also been single-mindedly focused on the high profit margins in Switzerland, and with success!”

Foreign ecommerce players focus on Switzerland

It seems to have started with German fashion retailer Zalando, that launched a dedicated ecommerce website in Switzerland in 2011. Since then, many more international retailers have opened online stores dedicated to Swiss consumers, putting local retailers under serious pressure.

“The power of the competitors comes from advantages in the currency and the customers, but also from greater determination in the focus on customer value”, the authors say. “Swiss retailers need to mobilize their full potential if they don’t want to fall behind on the competition.”

Plenty of strong and innovative local retailers

But thanks to the fact the Swiss ecommerce market could develop the first years without any real influence by foreign retailers, there are currently a couple of strong and innovative ecommerce players that also stand out internationally. “For example, there’s market leader Digitic Galaxus, coop@home with its delivery of fresh food, SBB with its success in mobile ticketing, with its ability to use its own core competencies in a variety of collaborations, Beliani with its international expansion through a dual sales strategy and Nespresso with its power of customer loyalty and consistent service.”

“The Swiss ecommerce market with its open-minded and demanding customers has produced efficient national providers”, explains study author Wölfle. “However, the momentum in ecommerce remains high and nobody can rest on his laurels.”

Ecommerce in Switzerland: 7.8 billion euros in 2017

Last year, Swiss consumers ordered goods online for almost 9 billion Swiss francs, which corresponds to 7.8 billion euros. As a result, ecommerce in Switzerland accounts for about 10 percent of the total retail industry in this country.

Ecommerce in Switzerland has increased by 10 percent compared to the previous year. The order value of foreign retailers has grown over twice as much as that of domestic ones. The foreign share online is now somewhere around 20 percent, which is twice as high as for stationary purchases.


Carrefour partners with Google for online groceries

Google entered a deal with Carrefour to sell groceries online in France. Next year, shoppers in this European country will be able to buy Carrefour’s products through Google’s platforms such as Google Home, Google Assistant and Google Shopping.

Carrefour says it’s the first retailer partnering with Google in France on a new grocery shopping service. Items ordered through Home, Assistant or a new experience on the Google Shopping website in France can be delivered to the customer’s home or picked up in-store.

Carrefour first partner of Google on grocery ecommerce in Europe

“This alliance makes Carrefour the first partner of Google on grocery ecommerce in Europe, creating a strong bond between the two companies. It also marks an important step in the new story written by Carrefour since the announcement of the Carrefour 2022 plan”, CEO Alexandre Bompard said. “It allows us to accelerate our digital evolution and get a head start in deploying the omni-channel approach we want to offer our customers.”

Partnership goes further than selling food online

As part of the partnership, Carrefour will also open an innovation lab in Paris, where its engineers will work side-by-side with Google Cloud AI experts to create new consumer experiences. And finally, the French supermarket chain will further transform digitally with the support of Google Cloud. The company will deploy Google Cloud’s G Suite productivity and collaboration solutions to over 160,000 Carrefour employees.


Australian Post Report: Online Shopping Tops $21.3b in 2017

Australians spent A$21.3 billion (US$16.3b) last year on online shopping – an 18.7% increase compared with 2016 – Australia Post said in its annual Inside Australian Online Shopping

While the online spending growth outstripped traditional retail by 16.2%, traditional retail sales excluding cafes and restaurants still accounted for A$267.4 billion spent in 2017.
When it comes to the number of purchases, the growth is even more pronounced. Purchases were up 19.2% in 2017, after an 11.5% rise in 2016. The report said that by 2020, one in 10 items will be
bought online.
Australia Post General Manager for Parcels & Express Services, Ben Franzi, said Australians shopped online to access greater value, choice and convenience, and a clear example of this was the
rise of online market places.

Australia Post is top supplier
“Marketplaces – such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy – are booming, growing 74.8% in the past year alone,” Mr Franzi said, adding that marketplaces – such as Alibaba’s Tmall Global and – were
also helping Australian retailers access the lucrative international market, the total online spend of which has increased 46.7% to US$1.57 trillion in the past two years.
According to the Australian Post executive, “Marketplaces make it easier for consumers in our key export markets – China, U.S., and India – to find Australian products and offer a more convenient
way for local businesses to start selling overseas. He estimated that by 2019, total online goods purchases from across the globe will reach US$2.16 trillion.
Fashion, health supplements and other wellbeing products, and cosmetics are among Australia’s most popular online exports. Domestically, fashion continues to be the top selling category,
increasing 27.2% in the past year. Health and beauty products are also popular, growing 13.2%, while home wares and appliances recorded 10.9% growth.
Australia Post delivers 80% of all parcels received across Australia. It has a network of 16,100 motorbikes, vans and trucks.

Nol van Fenema

Plan for your organisation’s success in international e-commerce

Did you know that 1.6 billion shoppers worldwide are predicted to be online by the end of 2018? This stat alone could transform your small or mid-sized business.

With cross-border e-commerce growing at twice the rate of domestic online sales, your organisation needs a strong e-commerce strategy, and it should be global in scale. If you want to grow and succeed in a competitive, interconnected world, you need to reach your share of the billions of consumers who live beyond our borders.

Remember, your competitors are also global (or may soon be), and they may be based in countries around the world. You need to make sure you are operating on the same playing field, and there is more help available today than ever before to make it happen.

A recent webinar presented by DHL explores some of the ways that small and mid-sized companies can benefit from cross-border e-commerce, and how they can begin to plot a successful global course. The free webinar outlines the speed at which cross-border transactions are growing, and suggests the key elements that businesses need to have in place in order to meet the needs of global consumers.

Were you aware that, according to a MetaPack research report, 68% of millennials around the globe would choose an online retailer solely because of delivery options? Or that one out of every US$10 spent on cross-border e-commerce involves an express delivery option? As the DHL webinar shows, in addition to creating a website and marketing strategy that reflects the demands and cultural concerns of international audiences, you need to understand the kinds of shipping and delivery options that are essential to cross-border success.

Ultimately, to launch a global e-commerce plan, you must research the markets that will work best for your products; understand customs requirements and border clearance processes; communicate in a way that your international audiences will understand, including on social media; and offer the right international shipping and returns options that global consumers want.

Your shipping partner can help guide you, and may offer resources and digital tools to boost your efforts. At DHL a dedicated focus on international shipping and logistics has allowed us to compile a wealth of information for our customers.

Nemer Abohasen is vice president and GM of the Midwest US for DHL Express. This article was originally published on the DHL Expressed blog.

Mattress retailer Emma is fastest-growing startup in Europe

Emma, a German retailer that sells mattresses online, is the fastest-growing startup in Europe. Or at least in the countries The Next Web describes as the continent’s six hottest startup ecosystems: the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain and Sweden.

The number one ranking of Emma as Europe’s fastest-growing startup is the result of research by Adyen and The Next Web. To find out which startup in Europe grows the fastest, the tech blog reached out to hundreds of companies that are identified as fast-growing and asked them to sign up for the Tech 5 competition. All companies that did this were asked to confirm their growth rates by signing an affidavit.

Top 3 of fastest-growing startups

Emma from Germany saw its revenue increase by 14,315 percent, while bitcoin company Luno from the United Kingdom generated a 12,369 percent growth in revenue. In third place is insurance platform Wefox from Germany, with a 12,050 percent growth in revenue.

Many German startups are looking cross-border

Germany secured four spots in the top 10. “This is probably because eight out of ten German startup founders are eyeing global expansion”, The Next Web thinks. “German companies also have great funding with every 50th startup raising more than 50 million euros.”

Roelant Prins, CCO of Adyen, says it’s really exciting to see innovative startups thriving across Europe. “We have seen genuine world-leading companies in this year’s Tech5 competition, proving that Europe is great breeding ground for startups. I’m sure many of the companies in Tech5 will be on to bigger things in the near future.”

Company Growth Country
Emma Matratzen 14315% Germany
Luno 12369% UK
Wefox 12050% Germany
Bragi 8567% Germany
Tink GmbH  4900% Germany
Picnic 4777% Netherlands
Aircall 3900% France
Trouva 3332% UK
Back Market 3100% France 2900% France
Holidu 2865% Germany
Elder 2798% UK
Moteefe 2600% UK
Xceed 2450% Spain
Teemo 2404% France
Camptoo 2175% Netherlands
MisterFly 2165% France
Tappx 2151% Spain
Seedtag 1941% Spain
Wonderkind 1902% Netherlands
ReSnap 1556% Netherlands
Deliberry  1540% Spain
Papier 1450% UK
EclecticIQ 1250% Netherlands
SamyRoad 788% Spain
Mentimeter 577% Sweden
Winningtemp 547% Sweden
Funnel 504% Sweden
Flowbox 366% Sweden
Acast 334% Sweden