Sarah Edmonds Illustration – Fulfilment Warehouse Tour

Sarah Edmonds Illustration – Fulfilment Warehouse Tour

Hear from Sarah and Matt from Sarah Edmonds Illustration about how GFS Fulfilment helped them adapt to the rapid growth of their business, and enabled them to sell into new suppliers and customers across the world!

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2022-07-01T11:01:23+00:00June 27th, 2022|

Avoiding the pitfalls of international eCommerce shipping

Avoiding the pitfalls of international eCommerce shipping

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Selling internationally can help you reach more customers and achieve worldwide business growth. Retail eCommerce sales across the world amounted to £3.9 trillion in 2021 and its estimated to almost double over the next four years, reaching £6 trillion by 2025! But, it’s easy to feel intimidated by the operational complexities of international eCommerce shipping. So how can you avoid the pitfalls of cross-border delivery and returns to maximise your global growth opportunity?

Deciphering Duties and Taxes…

47% of customers are put off from buying from international sellers due to lack of transparency over custom charges, and as every country has its own duty and tax requirements, tax compliance is one of the biggest challenges of global eCommerce shipping.

You can’t bury your head in the sand when it comes to Duties & Taxes. Don’t pay the correct amount or submit the correct documents, and your parcel could either be held at customs or the costs will revert to your customer – which will only annoy and frustrate them if they’re not expecting it.

There are a number of tools and services that can make it easier to manage Duties & Taxes. For example, shipping with IOSS (to the EU) or DTP (Duties & Taxes Paid) and having a Duty Deferment account can help manage compliancy, as well as cash flow, so you can ship to customers worldwide without tax complexities impacting your customer.

Get all the facts on international eCommerce across the world

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International eCommerce delivery in a multi-market world

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Will Delivery Make or Break Your Customer Experience

A recent survey found that 36% will switch to another retailer after a negative delivery experience, but what makes a great experience in the UK, might not be the same in the USA, China or Brazil.

Offering a wide range of delivery options, for customers both at home and abroad, will help customers choose the best delivery for them. Whether they want to pay a bit extra for an express service, or would prefer to Click & Collect, offering choice puts the onus on the customer to make a decision around what suits them best, making them far more likely to feel satisfied with their delivery and overall shopping experience.

Not sure where to start with international delivery options? GFS International eCommerce Services can do the leg work for you.

Find out about GFS International eCommerce Services

Cracking Global Returns

Returns are already a real bugbear for most eCommerce businesses and this feeling is only amplified when it comes to cross-border returns. Longer transit times, higher costs and lack of parcel visibility can make cross-border returns time-consuming and costly. But returns are unavoidable and customers expectations are increasingly becoming more demanding – and these can vary from country to country.

Paperless returns can help you offer dynamic returns options to customers, so they can choose the best method for them, delivering a smooth and seamless omnichannel shopping experience no matter where they are in the world. From an operational perspective, taking returns online creates a singular view of all inbound inventory and returns data, offering greater visibility and control of cross-border returns for retailers.

Intrigued? Why not see if paperless returns could work for you? Watch our demo of GFS Global Returns Pro!

600% increase in parcel volumes in 8 years

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Taking pressure off internal operations

There is no one single carrier that can do it all. Some carriers are limited by the countries they delivery to, and some may be more costly in certain countries than others. For this reason, working with multiple carriers is essential. However, working with multiple carriers does come with its own challenges, from managing different contracts, to comparing costs to ensure you are getting the best value. Working with multiple carriers also means having multiple IT integrations specific for each carrier, but this can lead to hidden costs and complexities.

Working with a multi-carrier global partner like GFS gives you access to a wide range of international freight solutions at competitive rates, without having to manage the relationships and contracts. All with just one technology integration that allows you to offer different delivery and returns options, transparency and compliance with duties and taxes, track and trace, and a customer service team. Check it out below!

GFS International eCommerce Services explained

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Talk to us about International eCommerce Delivery

Giving customers a seamless delivery and returns experience is vital for successful international selling Once you have the right mix of technology and expertise, you can crack the global eCommerce shipping challenge with a full loop service that is simple and easy, even across borders.

References: Statista, 2022, Sendcloud, 2021, RetailX eCommerce Delivery Report, 2021
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2022-06-21T13:58:50+00:00June 16th, 2022|

The Challenges of Trading into Europe from the UK – GFS & Infinity Nation Podcast

The Challenges of Trading into Europe from the UK – GFS & Infinity Nation Podcast

Bobbie Ttooulis from GFS talks to Al Keck from Infinity Nation to discuss the complexities of trading into Europe and UK eCommerce. Find out ways to overcome these challenges and reboot your sales into Europe.

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Friction-Free Shipping to the EU

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2022-05-19T11:56:41+00:00May 19th, 2022|

IOSS: 5 Myths on Post-Brexit Trade with the EU

IOSS: 5 Myths on Post-Brexit Trade with the EU

Is your business one of the 47% UK businesses whose sales and revenue have been impacted due to reduced or complete halt to trading with the EU?

Despite EU being the biggest trading partner for the UK, the value of UK goods exported to the EU fell by 45% between December ‘20 and January ‘21.

GFS has partnered with SimplyVAT to debunk some of the biggest myths and misconceptions that are standing in the way of qualified businesses rebooting sales with the EU and widening their market share.

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Multi-carrier delivery and fulfilment from the EU

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Selling to the EU just got easier and cheaper…

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2022-05-11T09:51:01+00:00May 4th, 2022|

How a returns management portal could help you save and make money with returns

Returns are hugely important to consumers and make a key part of the decision-making process. The key is to get the balance right between investing in the customer experience and managing the operational cost of returns. So, how can you SAVE money but MAKE money with returns, at the same time? It IS possible, and we’re going to show you how…

Discover how a returns management portal could help you save and make money with returns:

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2021-11-25T15:15:24+00:00November 22nd, 2021|

The ultimate guide to eCommerce delivery management during peak

Take the stress out of peak deliveries this year with our expert advice on getting predictive, contingency planning and optimising the customer experience.

Download your Ultimate Guide to Delivery During Peak:

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2021-12-09T16:20:04+00:00September 27th, 2021|

Your post-Brexit eCommerce delivery survival guide

Post-Brexit Survival Guide – Where are we now?

Download your Post-Brexit Survival Guide to find out about:

  • The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement
  • EU customs requirements
  • New EU VAT rules being introduced on 1st July…
  • How the new Import One Stop Shop can help
  • Shipping to Northern Ireland
  • What you need to do for EU returns
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2021-12-09T16:20:30+00:00May 27th, 2021|

How can eCommerce delivery technology help you achieve your business goals?

How can eCommerce delivery technology help you achieve your business goals?

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There is much more to delivery technology than just printing labels and tracking parcels. Choosing the right delivery technology can actually help you save time, cut costs and increase productivity.

So how do you know what you should be looking for? We’ve put together the 5 big questions to ask yourself when sourcing new delivery technology to see if it will support your long-term business goals.

1. Can you multi-task and manage the entire customer journey?

You probably already know that consumer expectations are impossibly demanding! But delivery doesn’t just start at despatch and end at the doorstep. You need an eCommerce delivery solution that can simplify and unify the customer experience at every touchpoint – starting at the checkout, moving to parcel despatch, all the way through the delivery journey and finally returns. Traditionally this has required multiple eCommerce delivery solutions; perhaps different eCommerce and marketplace integrations, various carrier labelling platforms and printers and then maybe a separate returns portal. But this only creates complex and disjointed view of your delivery operation. An end-to-end enterprise carrier management platform can increase visibility, accuracy and consistency throughout the customer journey resulting in greater service levels and lower operational costs.

What does multi-carrier technology look like?

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2. Will it save time and free up resource?

Automation is essential for increasing efficiency and decreasing complexity especially as more channels, countries and carriers are added to the shipping mix. The level of automation you need will depend on your parcel volumes, but there are some key workflows and processes that can be simplified for retailers big and small. For example, by automating address validation, you can ensure that data entered by a customer is correct, which prevents parcels from getting lost or delayed. Automated labelling will speed up despatch and free staff from manually processing shipments. You can even automatically calculate Duties & Taxes and electronic customs documentation to help international parcels whizz through customs. At the end of the day, your eCommerce shipping solutions should make your life easy, so you can put more time and effort into selling and growing your business!

3. Can your delivery technology adapt to change?

If we’ve learnt anything it’s that you never know what’s round the corner, so your eCommerce delivery needs to be able to keep up with the rapid pace of eCommerce and potential market changes. And that means it needs to be scalable and flexible. Can new carriers be added quickly and easily? Can new channels and marketplaces be supported? Can you ship abroad with ease? Don’t just think about today’s challenges but tomorrow’s opportunities. By future-proofing your choice of delivery technology, you’ll be able to maximise your return of investment and your ability to adapt.

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From analytics to automation: what’s the outlook for delivery technology?

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4. Are you able to unlock customer and delivery data insights?

To keep improving and evolving, you need to be able to monitor and analyse what’s happening at every stage of the delivery operation. From pinpointing the bottlenecks to understanding peaks in demand, where you could improve the customer experience and where you could reduce costs, analytics are essential to driving greater efficiency and accuracy. When selecting a new eCommerce delivery solution, make sure it can aggregate data from multiple carriers and sources to provide that all-important 360-degree view.

5. Can you integrate other eCommerce platforms?

eCommerce platforms. Warehouse management systems. Barcode scanners. For seamless omni-channel order fulfilment, delivery solutions need to integrate with all your other processes and tools. And these integrations need to be established and updated easily to avoid expensive development effort. But that’s just the start of the integration challenge. Your delivery platform also needs to be able to connect with carriers’ systems and online marketplaces to enable real-time order updates. By investing in a solution that enables data sharing across internal and external systems, you will be able to provide a richer customer experience.

Selecting a new solution can be an overwhelming and time-consuming at the best of times – it’s a big responsibility!

But it gets even harder when the technology landscape is constantly evolving. By focusing on the business enablers rather than the system features, you’ll be able to stay focused on the needs of your users and your customers.

GFS Enterprise Carrier Management offers a complete technology toolkit that enhances every stage of the delivery journey, from delivery options at the checkout, to labelling, tracking and reporting – across all carriers, countries and sales channels – through one single integration. This gives you everything you need to streamline operational processes, boost productivity and scale as you grow. Click here to find out more.

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“GFS technology has helped us cut despatch time by 50%”

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2022-05-17T09:16:57+00:00May 17th, 2021|

Closing the Gap on Customer Delivery & Returns Experience

Closing the Gap on Customer Delivery & Returns Experience

In this webinar we talk through Top 5 latest insights on what consumers expect from delivery and returns, Best practice for delivery and returns, and practical and affordable ways to solve the problem.

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Global returns management made simple

GFS Global Returns Pro

1000+ Delivery Services in one place

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2021-09-27T11:31:06+00:00April 29th, 2021|

Life After Lockdown

Life After Lockdown: What Will Customers Want From Delivery – GFS

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What do your customers want from online delivery & returns?

It’s time to close the gap…

eCommerce growth is on the rise – in fact, it’s estimated that online shopping will account for 30% of all retail purchases by 2024*, and the recent Covid19 pandemic has only accelerated this growth.

But now is not the time to rest on your laurels. Yes, eCommerce is booming but as we continue to get back to some normality post-Freedom Day, competition will be fierce, and consumers will expect more flexibility and convenience as workers return to offices, children return to schools and busy lives return to normal.

Research shows time and again that, last-mile delivery and returns options directly influence consumers’ decisions to purchase – and purchase again.

According to our Consumer Home Delivery Review with IMRG, almost HALF of all consumers have abandoned a cart because the delivery options on offer weren’t convenient. When it comes to returns, the stakes are even higher with 73% of consumers stating in the recent survey by ZigZag that they would not buy again from a retailer after a bad returns experience.

Retailers who think a ‘one size fits all’ approach to delivery and returns is good enough, do so at their own peril as not only can it end the purchase before the customer has even clicked ‘add to basket’, but it will almost certainly diminish the likelihood of them buying again.

Furthermore, the consumer is not discerning whether they are buying online via your website or from a marketplace – they expect to have the same seamless delivery and returns experience every time, regardless of where they buy from.

It’s clear there is still a very big gap between what consumers expect and want from their online delivery and returns experience – and, what they actually experience.

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A Good Delivery Experience = Sales Success!

The convenience of online shopping has piled pressure on retailers to meet (and exceed) ever-more-demanding consumer expectations. Delivery and returns have become key to helping brands stand out and differentiate themselves against competitors – especially on online marketplaces where consumers will directly compare retailers on the same site.

It can feel like there’s a race to the finish line with delivery – it’s either got to be lightning fast or completely free. But you can offer customers something more and something better. What customers really want is convenience and choice. They are looking to have the flexibility to choose the delivery service that causes the least disruption in their day to day lives, whether this be next day, a specific time or day or click and collect at a range of price options – especially as post-Lockdown life will be much busier for consumers!

Offering a choice of delivery options at the checkout can be the difference between a customer completing a sale or abandoning it altogether as 45% of customers say they will abandon a purchase if there is a lack of convenient delivery options**.

It’s also important to give customers transparency as 70% of consumers said the ability to track orders was one of their top three considerations when buying a product online***.

Shine a light on any delivery blind spots by providing consistent notifications and live updates on the progress of their delivery, including if there are any anticipated delays. Letting your customer know in advance prevents the inconvenience of them having to contact you, which also cuts down on the number of inbound customer queries.

The delivery experience doesn’t just affect the first sale, but also repeat sales. 60% of customers would buy again from a retailer if they had a good delivery experience**, proving that getting delivery right can increase customer loyalty and help you grow your business.

Offer more delivery options at checkout

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Don’t Leave Returns Behind….

As many retailers focus on the importance of delivery, returns continue to be a bit of an afterthought. Yes, they are frustrating and costly but there is a common misconception that making returns too easy can lead to ‘serial returns’ behaviour. However, some 42% of shoppers have returned something in the last 6 months,* so there really is no getting away from returns.

If we think about this differently, a poor returns experience not only prevents future returns but future sales too. And with so many returns taking place on a daily basis, just think how many potential sales that could be if you make the returns process a great one.

78% of consumers consider the quality of a returns service when choosing where to shop and 85% of consumers have a preference of how they would like to make a return^.

Your returns policy can give customers confidence to buy for the first time, while a good returns experience gains trust, repeat purchases and long-term customer loyalty.

In fact, 92% of shoppers who have received a good returns experience make repeat purchases^.

But what are customers looking for when it comes to returns?

With more technology at their fingertips and less time to spare – consumers need returns to be speedy, convenient and simple. Prioritising returns in your day-to-day operations will help save time, money and effort in the long run. The more coherent, time efficient and flexible you can be for your consumers, the more confident they will be to make that repeat purchase.

80% of customers also want confirmation that their parcel has been received for transparency over when they will get their refund or new item^. Companies must adapt to this level of communication and upgrade their technology for consistent and reliable tracking.

How a returns management portal could help you save and make money with returns 

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How Can Retailers Provide A Seamless Delivery & Returns Experience?

Perfecting the delivery experience isn’t easy, especially during and after a pandemic when customer expectations can shift dramatically from one day to the next. That’s why it’s going to be important to provide the flexibility of a wide range of delivery options with accurate and consistent delivery updates and simple returns – all without additional cost.

Multi-carrier delivery really is at the heart of the solution. Having multiple carriers and delivery services at your fingertips gives you the breadth of service and flexibility to offer customers the choice and convenience they’ve come to expect – as well the contingency to switch services if you need to.

But managing multiple suppliers, and having multiple technologies, can create operational complexity.

At GFS, we take away this pressure by offering access to 1000+ carrier services, all in one place, which means one invoice, one technology platform and one single relationship. With access to the expertise and the technology you need to give your customers choice and transparency, you can perfect the final mile and give your customers the positive experience they’re searching for – now and in the future.

Single access to 1000+ services across 200+ destinations

Multi Carrier Delivery Services

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Sources:

* https://www.retail-insight-network.com/features/uk-online-shopping-growth/

** – GFS/IMRG Consumer Home Delivery Report 2019/20

*** – Global eCommerce Consumer Research Report, 2020

^ – ZigZag Global Returns Study, 2020

2022-03-24T10:12:27+00:00April 8th, 2021|

How to make delivery and returns to the EU friction-free

How to make delivery and returns to the EU friction-free

In this live demo we talk through how our eCommerce software can help you automatically calculate Duties & Taxes on all products, Display ‘Duties & Taxes Paid’ (DTP) or ‘Duty At Place’ (DAP) prices to consumers at checkout, generate electronic customs declarations on outbound shipments and produce customs codes and declarations for Duty relief on inbound returns.

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Multi-carrier delivery and fulfilment from the EU

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Selling to the EU just got easier and cheaper…

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2022-05-05T14:55:33+00:00March 24th, 2021|

See eCommerce Delivery Differently and Sell More

See eCommerce Delivery Differently and Sell More

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Did you know that according to IMRG, lack of choice of delivery is the 2nd highest reason for cart abandonment, after cost of purchase?

This just shows how many sales are lost because of delivery – but it’s an easy thing to put right!

There’s a common misconception in online retail that consumers want delivery that’s fast or free.

But in our experience, retailers that offer a wide choice of delivery see around 16% more basket conversions! It all comes down to convenience…

How can your delivery help your customers buy more easily and more frequently?

Put your customer in the driver’s seat

It’s simple, give your customers the power to choose!

Remember one size doesn’t fit all, some customers like to choose a specific day, or a time, or Click & Collect, and customer preferences can change order to order.

The trick is to make sure that delivery doesn’t cause customers to think twice, and to remove any reasons why a customer might abandon their cart. Offering a range of delivery options means the customer can personally select the one that’s most convenient for them, so they can buy confidently, easily and more frequently.

Multi-carrier eCommerce technology with a one-time integration

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How can you simplify cross-border shipping and expand global sales?

There is plenty of opportunity for global growth, but one thing is for sure, shipping cross-border isn’t straightforward, especially now that we’ve left the EU. Complex customs processes, high shipping costs and lack of local knowledge can all put businesses off from actively targeting to customers overseas. If this is you, there is an easier way.

Using one multi-carrier delivery provider puts you in the unique position of having access to knowledge and expertise of the entire carrier market worldwide, so they can recommend the best carrier services for you and support you in understanding cross-border regulations. This will take the hard work out of cross-border delivery, helping you to ship to new countries easily and cost-effectively.

Equally, many consumers hesitate to buy from sellers abroad due to concerns around shipping times, costs and customs charges. You might want to consider a DDP (Deliver Duty Paid) option or a Duties & Taxes calculator to show customers the full cost of any additional customs charges. This will give customers peace of mind from the outset so they have confidence to buy, no matter where they are in the world.

Access to 1000+ service options with our multi-carrier services

GFS multi-carrier management
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Go paperless with returns

78% of consumers look at the returns policy when choosing where to shop, so it’s clear that returns can have as much of an impact on sales as delivery. If consumers are unsure about a returns policy they’re unlikely to take a risk and will shop elsewhere.

Paperless returns are quickly becoming the industry standard and it’s easy to see why. It’s the easiest way to offer customers a wider range of returns services, including exchange options, to for greater flexibility and convenience. It also allows for faster refunds, because you can see what items are being returned and why, before they arrive back at goods in. All of this creates a smooth and seamless customer experience that keeps customers coming back for more.

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Helping eCommerce businesses see success

At GFS, we combine our expertise and services with innovative technology to help you turn your multi-carrier approach into your competitive advantage. We can help you streamline and simplify your delivery operations to meet the needs of customers across the globe – and empower you to sell more.

To test your current readiness and capabilities, take one of our quizzes now…

Delivery contingency when you need it most

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2022-03-24T12:01:25+00:00February 11th, 2021|
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