Surveys show that cross-border consumers want to have full transparency over all costs of the delivery upon purchase, including customs duties. They also demand a transparent, hassle-free and reliable cross-border delivery of goods purchased online and want access to the same options for domestic delivery, with which they are familiar.
How does it work?
IPC’s Dynamic Merchant Platform is a highly modular suite of in-cart solutions to improve the online shopping experience. The platform has two objectives:
- To embed postal delivery solutions within the shopping carts of leading global e-retailers.
- To offer the cross-border features of an integrated express network, for the price of postal delivery.
The Dynamic Merchant Platform is an integrated shopping solution, which embraces all the key steps of the shopping process, from the product selection and the calculation of costs (including customs), the selection of the delivery option and full tracking, as well as streamlined customs clearance and easy returns.
The solutions offered include: a landed cost calculator, regulatory compliance plugins, a document management solution to streamline customs processes, a delivery choice solution, a notification service, tracking services, a harmonised labelling solution and an easy returns solution for both consumer and e-retailer.
The platform is modular, which means that each of the solutions can be easily integrated as APIs into e-retailer websites and can be marketed and implemented independently, allowing for optimal flexibility.
For postal operators:
• Enhanced relationship with e-retailers and the opportunity to compete with express operators while discussing improved end-customer experience rather than purely looking at rates
• Increased revenue potential through higher market share of e-commerce delivery
• Streamlined customs clearance and reduced cost with document solution
• Opportunity to reduce operating costs
- Enhanced interactive e-commerce experience, providing the same experience internationally as domestically
- Potential for higher cross-border sales, tapping into a global e-commerce market
- Greater convenience on delivery experience for customers
- Reliable and centralised end-to-end tracking and notifications
The platform currently consists of the solutions listed below. The intention is to extend the scope of the platform with more features such as Delivery Duty Paid (DDP).
- Landed cost engine: as e-commerce volumes increase, more and more business is shifting to customer-centric companies that can provide a full consumer experience. This includes full visibility of landed costs ensuring that the consumers aren’t surprised by extra delivery, customs or tax charges. A third-party landed cost calculator – sourced and integrated by IPC – gives the total cost of an item up front, ensuring full transparency and improving the cross-border e-commerce experience.
- Regulatory compliance: international shipping has to comply with certain restrictions. Through third-party compliance plug-ins integrated by IPC, the e-retailer commodity range would be pre-screened, enabling the e-retailer to know if restrictions or even prohibitions exist at either export, transport or import. Details of the restriction or prohibition can also be shown when the customer is researching items to purchase.
- Delivery choice: the shopper gets access to a wide range of cross-border delivery options, in line with those available domestically. These options are enabled by the IPC Delivery Choice Service. They include pick-up from parcel lockers, postal retail centres as well as shops and commercial centres. The Delivery Choice Service immediately shows the address and the opening hours, offering shoppers the best convenience to pick up their purchases.
- Document solution: Through the IPC Customs Document Solution, invoices and proof of payment can be automatically shared with customs authorities and inbound posts, to ensure a smooth customs clearance process.
- Global tracking: as the item passes through the pipeline, certain events are captured by IPC Tracking Services. On the website a tracking API developed by IPC provides a reliable status update of the shipment.
- Delivery notifications: the shopper can receive notifications of these tracking events through the Notification Service. The solution allows consumers to be notified – either by e-mail or text message and in the language of their choice – of the different steps throughout the delivery process.
- Harmonised labels: for cross-border e-commerce to truly grow, the harmonisation of labels has become a key component in an efficient delivery process. Once the order has been confirmed, the retailer can easily generate standard labels which have been standardised and ensure a smooth cross-border delivery process.
- Easy returns: posts can offer e-retailers an easy return solution through a standardised, automatically generated return label to be either included in the parcel or requested by the customer.
To find out more about IPC's Dynamic Merchant Platform, contact us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.