When shopping online cross-border, e-commerce customers have the same expectations as for domestic e-commerce, although operationally it is significantly more complex.

Why?

When shopping online cross-border, e-commerce customers have the same expectations as for domestic e-commerce, although operationally it is significantly more complex. Multiple cross-border services exist and are mostly delivery-focused. In order to offer an up-to-date consumer experience on e2e visibility and service standards need to be provided. 

How does it work?

INTERCONNECT™ is a unique undertaking of 31 postal operators in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, joining forces to offer e-retailers, SMEs and consumers a reliable end-to-end cross-border e-commerce delivery service. Through INTERCONNECT, participating posts are committed to receive and deliver items from each other, leveraging postal networks and products, according to jointly agreed standards for three service levels: Premium, Standard and Economy.

INTERCONNECT™ covers cross-border packets up to 2 kg as well as parcels up to 30kg. INTERCONNECT™ aims at enabling posts to increase their volumes and share of e-commerce delivery. 

INTERCONNECT™ solutions enable e-retailers to offer their customers the same delivery experience for cross-border orders as for domestic e-commerce purchases, specifically: reliable end-to-end delivery times, track and trace, easy-to-use return solutions, delivery choice, and improved customer service processes. 
To be able to offer an end-to-end service, INTERCONNECT™ relies on standards agreed upon by the participating posts, on specific customer-oriented features and on a central IT platform to ensure data capture and exchange throughout the delivery process.

INTERCONNECT™ delivery rates are negotiated multi-laterally or bi-laterally.

Benefits for e-retailers and e-customers

With INTERCONNECT™, e-retailers will be able to rely on the posts to offer their customers a cross-border delivery service in line with their expectations:

  • Reliable and competitive transit times, depending on delivery service
  • Access to a range of delivery options available in country of destination and easy-to-use return solutions based on a pre-paid label sent with the parcel or accessible through the internet
  • For Premium and Standard, track and trace during the transit process, from sending to delivery, with up to ten scanning events per item
  • A rapid resolution of cross-border customer queries (through the IPC Global Customer Service System)
  • Signature for proof of delivery for Premium service

Benefits for posts

With INTERCONNECT™, posts will be in a position to grow their share of e-commerce volume and traffic by offering a service which corresponds to e-retailers and e-consumers’ expectations. INTERCONNECT™ will also allow posts to gain in efficiency and save costs thanks to the INTERCONNECT features:  

  • High level of end-to-end transit reliability (not simply destination country delivery)
  • Full front-end data capture to enable reliability (e.g. customs clearance, where applicable) and operational process efficiency
  • Enhanced operational performance through harmonised labels being machine readable
  • Quality performance management through access to business intelligence monitoring tools and reports

The INTERCONNECT™ process 

The INTERCONNECT™ solutions are based on data capture and exchange throughout the entire e-commerce delivery process, allowing for a greater integration of networks. The IPC Central Data Store is the engine and the backbone of all e-commerce features included in INTERCONNECT. The platform connects all stakeholders involved from sending to delivery, allowing for full visibility throughout the entire delivery process.

 

 

More information

To find out more about INTERCONNECT™, contact us via e-mail at marco.gruttgen@ipc.be.