#10things to make sure you choose the right ecommerce delivery partner

Retailers need to offer a variety of delivery methods to meet lifestyle and location needs, says Pargo co-founder and CEO, Lars Veul.

The value of offering a variety of retail delivery methods to meet consumer expectations, can literally make or break a business. Retailers need to offer a variety of delivery methods to meet lifestyle and location needs – but choosing the right delivery partner is key. In fact, keeping customers happy in the online retail space requires ecommerce businesses to be at the top of their game, says Lars Veul, co-founder and CEO of Pargo, a smart logistics platform.

1. Destination delivery: Seamlessly integrating is the golden nugget, amongst several other factors worth considering. Where traditionally a customer would visit a physical store, buy an item, and hopefully go away feeling satisfied with their purchase, online retailers not only have to ensure their goods are of high quality – but also that purchases reach their destination as favourably as possible.

2. Shopping convenience: With so many more South Africans buying online – World Wide Worx reported a 66% growth in the ecommerce sales space between 2018 and 2022 – the focus has shifted to shopping convenience as people make their purchases at home, from the office, or even while they’re on holiday in a different part of the country.

3. Customer expectations: What it means is that ecommerce offerings must have the right delivery and courier partners in place if they want to meet consumer expectations. Some people want their items delivered at home; while others may prefer to get them from a designated pickup point, as per the highly effective Click & Collect model. Research shows that one of the first things online shoppers check when buying online, is the returns policy.

4. Seamless integration of technology: South African retailers like Cape Union Mart, TFG, Clicks, and OneDayOnly, all offer a variety of delivery options to accommodate a variety of customers with different needs, reports Veul. “They‘re proving effective because they have integrated their systems with their delivery partners so seamlessly.”

5. Last-mile delivery ecosystem: All integration options give customers access to the same last-mile delivery suite. The integration choice is dependent on the technology used by the customer’s website. Courier partners need to offer a complete ecosystem of last-mile solutions.

6. Exceptional returns solution: Customers look out for a returns policy when shopping online. This is traditionally a very cumbersome and manual experience for retailers which need to arrange collections directly with couriers. If the returns solution is customer-centric and simple to complete, it will help retailers retain consumers.

7. Courier tracking: This is huge. Knowing exactly where your parcel is so you can relay this information to customers creates a trusting relationship that enhances a business’s reputation. There’s nothing worse than a customer having to repeatedly call in to check where their item is.

8. Study that track record: The known courier companies have stayed the journey because they’ve built a reputation for being reliable. But even the top companies have their weaknesses, so it’s important that businesses do their homework. Partnering with an unreliable, tardy courier company can cost you a lot of money, but even worse, lose you customers. It’s no secret that online shoppers can quickly become unforgiving.

9. Packaging and safety: All manner of items are ordered online these days, many of them fragile. That means parcels need to be packaged properly and safely. If the item needs extra cushioning, the courier needs to go that extra mile.

10. Protect your brand: Importantly, you need to ensure that your delivery partner offers packaging that is backed by studies and is also presentable. After all, the packaging represents your brand; as do your delivery partners.


Main image credit: Supplied.


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