Solution of export, DDP logistics for international traders
About MaKe weBo: We are an e-commerce pure player, mainly specialising in exports. MaKe WeBo is the parent company of several Swedish goods brands. Our products include gifts, food, sweets, coffee, snuff and magazines.
Our aim is to make Swedish products available to people outside the Swedish border. We have customers in most countries around the world, and the Swiss market is one of the most important due to its high purchasing power. The company was founded in 2004 and has grown since then. Today we are one of the leading suppliers on the market.
"Our biggest challenges for successful export to Switzerland were import restrictions, cost-efficient processes and functioning DDP logistics."
As is the case in business development, when opening up a new market you are constantly confronted with new challenges at the beginning. This is particularly true in cross-border e-commerce and especially when selling products subject to local import restrictions.
Import restrictions can be cushioned with the right customs clearance solution
As a cross-border e-commerce merchant, it can be difficult to sell products in Switzerland that are subject to an import limit (maximum weight). In our case, the Swiss customs authorities do not allow the import of commercial quantities of our product.
With classic collective customs clearance, you quickly reach your limits. Here the total weight of all orders is used as a reference for the customs duties due. However, Swiss Post was able to offer us a legally compliant solution with individual customs clearance.
In the case of individual customs clearance, all shipments are cleared separately. This way you stay below the import limits for each import. Our customers can still order a quantity of our product that is customary for their own use.
Logistics - The heart of every competitive Cross Border E-Commerce merchant
At Makewebo, we place a very high value on logistics - it is the heart of our operation. In cross-border e-commerce in particular, it can take time to piece together the supposedly optimal setup. Transporting goods to Switzerland at an attractive time and cost is one thing, but finding a seamless solution for the last mile is another.
Here there are sometimes large deviations in service level, speed and, above all, in costs. Swiss Post has been able to offer us an innovative product here. Mailbox Plus is THE fusion of the mail and parcel channel. These two logistically separate networks are brought together in the Value Added Service Center (VAS) near Zurich.
Mailbox Plus is ideal for MaKe WeBo, as we can send the majority of our items in the inexpensive international Maxi letter (H+W+L<=90cm; up to 2 kg), but also have the parcel format available for bulk orders (up to 30 kg). The advantage of this solution for us as a retailer is that, despite both channels, we only have one process and do not have to sort anything.
Thanks to the well-coordinated transport to Switzerland and the Priority Service, we achieve a delivery time of 48 hours from Northern Europe to the whole of Switzerland, making Mailbox Plus very attractive.
DDP Logistics - The Number One Pain Reliever in Switzerland
We knew about the unpleasant consequences of a DAP (Delivery At Place) or postal customs clearance thanks to the Swiss shopping experience at our existing shops. All our customers with an order value of over 65 CHF had to undergo the "Cash On Delivery" (COD) procedure. This meant that customs duties, value added tax and the customs clearance fee of 16 CHF were due on delivery at the front door.
Apart from the high additional costs, the model of postal customs clearance was surprising and less attractive for first-time customers - because the postman took the items back with him when the recipient was not present or when the costs incurred could not be paid then and there. The goods were then notified for collection.
Swiss Post's Mailbox Plus was also able to help us with this service challenge. The individual customs clearance mentioned at the beginning is a commercial clearance. As an importer, we take over the customs duties and VAT and include them in the total cost at the checkout. The customs clearance costs are already included in the delivery price of Mailbox Plus and amount to only a fraction of the 16 CHF for postal customs clearance. This is called Delivered Duty Paid (DDP).
For our customers it feels as if they have ordered in a Swiss shop. They don't have to worry about customs clearance problems and cash on delivery. Our customers are informed at the usual touchpoints on our site (homepage, checkout, terms & conditions etc.) that we deliver DDP.
Although we have not yet produced any dedicated analyses, we are certain that KPIs such as conversion, recommendation and repurchase rates have been positively influenced by DDP logistics. Our Customer Service also assures us that the number of complaints has decreased significantly since we invested in DDP logistics
After the changeover, customers even wrote to us to tell us that the new delivery service is great.
"Swiss Post is the right partner for Switzerland"
Our journey together began in Switzerland in 2017. I sought contact with Swiss Post and, despite the early stage of our business development, I was given very personal and warm support for this solution.
Above all, the meetings in the Value Added Service Center were very positive. Ingo Peters, head of the VAS, explained all processes for Mailbox Plus to me in detail. In addition, I was able to clarify with him, as a logistics and customs expert, customs-related issues.
Swiss Posts e-commerce team was also on hand to provide advice and assistance. Initial questions and logistical challenges were solved quick and efficiently by local experts. In addition, we were also very closely supported by the local Account Manager Daniel Klinge (Senior Sales Executive at Asendia Nordics).
The global support approach, as well as the corresponding infrastructure, makes Swiss Post the first point of contact for us for future projects.
I and the whole MaKe WeBo team can warmly recommend Swiss Post to other retailers who want to conquer the Swiss market.