2018 was another record-breaking year for cross-border shopping fueled by international shopping events including Amazon Prime Day and Single’s Day.  With sales at an all-time high, online shopping has placed a spotlight on an essential part of the customer experience, shipping. As we close out 2018, we look ahead to what retailers and their shipping partners are up against in the new year.  Point2Point Global Co-Founders Alec Stern, Gary Harnum and Mark Driscoll weigh in on the top three trends to watch for in 2019.

Online Shopping will Continue to Shatter Previous Records

More and more goods are being bought online around the world and previous record sales are being knocked down as higher ones take their place. Global online shopping has only increased as new retailers begin to offering their products in new markets around the world and as existing global e-commerce leaders launch international marketing campaigns to attract new customers from other countries.  According to a survey by Payvision and Juniper Research, over 80% of retail professionals worldwide agreed that cross-border e-commerce has been profitable.[1]

“Profit is the driving force for retailers making the decision to expand into foreign markets, so naturally US retailers are making cross-border commerce a growth initiative for their businesses in 2019.  Those who see the greatest profits are the ones who partner with the right companies that can help them build their presence and deliver value in new international markets.  Shipping providers are just one part of this eco-system, but a vital one as part of the customer experience with any brand.” Point2Point Global CEO and Co-Founder, Alec Stern

New Players Emerge Offering Lucrative Parcel Delivery Service Alternatives

2018 was no different than years prior as many parcel and mail delivery services saw disruptions in scheduled services due to labor disputes and significant rate increases across the board.  But both retailers’ and customers’ patience is wearing thin.  While many shipping companies are managing expectations and communicating delivery delays, customers are expecting items to arrive on-time, especially if they have paid a premium for expedited delivery services.  In addition, customers are looking for more shipping and delivery options that provide a balance between cost and speed.  So naturally, retailers are looking to work with new companies offering a shipping and delivery experience that is both in line with their customers’ expectations, and consistent with their brand instead of automatically relying on legacy shippers.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in demand for more reliable parcel shipping services with better management and tracking and user-friendly technology purpose-built for cross-border commerce.  The opportunity for new companies, like Point2Point Global, offering unique, custom services with a range of delivery options and price points is enormous.  These companies will provide stiff competition for the shipping business of B2C ecommerce retailers and B2B sellers as well.” – Point2Point Global President and Co-Founder, Gary Harnum

More Shipping and Delivery Options for E-commerce Retailers and Their Customers

For brand loyalists, reliable delivery of their purchases is one of the keys to keeping them coming back for more.  While retailers continue to offer basics like free domestic shipping or an international flat rate, retailers will begin to aggressively offer more choices.

Retailers will aim to offer comprehensive and tailored shipping options that include guaranteed delivery dates, a simplified return process, end-to-end tracking through dedicated dashboards and additional features unique to their brand that may not be available for those who select free shipping.

“The desire for a better customer experience is the same in any language. Worldwide consumers are demanding more shipping and delivery choices, reliable service and on-time delivery especially when paying a premium.  As a result, look for more creative shipping, delivery and returns options coming in 2019.” – Point2Point Global VP, Strategic Development and Co-Founder, Mark Driscoll

[1] https://retail.emarketer.com/article/many-retailers-lure-of-cross-border-ecommerce-profit/5ab9519debd4000ac0a8acba

Are you tired of the same old ship?

Talk to our international shipping experts today and gain the benefit of our team’s deep expertise in all aspects of global e-commerce including duties & taxes, customs, finance, carriers and more.  Email us: sales@point2pointglobal.com, or call us toll-free: 1-844-SHIP-YEA (744-7932).