The UK vs. Germany: top retailers comparison

Differences between UK and Germany on online delivery experience

The UK vs. Germany: top retailers comparison. Source:

Many top retailers in the United Kingdom and Germany have a long way to go when it comes to customer centricity, Ecommerce News reports. A lot of major e-commerce companies in these European countries don’t meet the expectation of online shoppers, something which could damage loyalty and revenues.

That’s what ParcelLab concluded after it carried out an in-depth study to compare the top 100 largest online retailers in both the United Kingdom and Germany. One of the findings is that many retailers in these countries (27% in the UK, 53% in Germany) don’t provide the customer with any communication during delivery. And those who do, rarely do it themselves: 91% of UK top retailers let the carrier update their customer, while in Germany it’s 85%.

In order to come up with these results, ParcelLab placed orders with all 100 online shops in both countries. Then it documented the services offered before and after checkout. Among the things, this comparison shows is that in the area of shipping, the UK outperformed Germany, with 65% of UK online retailers offering free shipping, compared with only 38% in Germany. And express delivery was offered by 72% of UK retailers, while only 40% of German stores did. The in-store collection was also more popular in the UK.

Germany performed better in other regions. For example, the popularity of parcel shops and lockers is much higher in this country: 69% of retailers offered such collection methods, while only 20% of retailers in the UK did.

Germany also scores better with regards to the transparency and selection of carriers. Most online retailers in Germany show their partnered carriers on the website, while only 38 of the 100 retailers in the UK do this. And in Germany, it’s more common practice (21%) for consumers to choose their preferred carrier than it is in the UK (7%).

Another major difference between the two big e-commerce markets, is that in the UK’s it’s very common (79%) to let customers return the items they bought online in-store, while in Germany, only one in ten stores offer this service. But on the other hand, German shops are more likely (90%) to offer free returns, in comparison to 61 percent in the UK.

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