International e-commerce shipping simplified with Swiss Post
Joana Ko is Global Logistics Supervisor at iHerb Logistics LLC based in California, USA. For e-commerce shipments, iHerb relies on the fastest possible delivery, full tracking and deliberately low costs.
"Our customers are very price sensitive", confirms Joana.
"The smallest changes in the ordering and delivery modalities have an immediate effect on the sales figures".
The Mailbox Plus logistics concept offers all the services required here. All orders that fit into the international letter format (H+W+L<= 90cm; max. weight 2kg) can be delivered in the cost-efficient letter channel, and all larger items in the parcel channel of Swiss Post. Thanks to the use of both channels in one process, the average cost per item is significantly reduced for iHerb.
Joana also knows from internal analyses that the customs clearance procedure has a great influence on the KPIs.
"Problems with customs clearance have a negative impact on future purchases and basically on the trust in our brand."
iHerb therefore relies on the comprehensive and customer-friendly DDP solution Mailbox Plus. Swiss customers will be informed during the payment process that all customs duties and value added tax are included.
The "second payment" of customs duties, value added tax and postal customs clearance costs at the front door, which many Swiss cross-border shoppers aren’t used to, is no longer required. This comes as a big relief to iHerb’s customer service team.
"The only questions that come up in our service center come from customers who can't believe that all fees are actually paid when they pay for the order," says Joanna.
The Swiss shopper doesn't even realise that some "critical products", such as fish oil or honey, are not allowed to be shipped in these quantities with normal collective customs clearance—but iHerb appreciates the fact that even these goods are able to enter Switzerland safely and in compliance with customs regulations thanks to the optional individual customs clearance feature of Mailbox Plus.
"The customer-friendliness of this solution far outweighs the minimally higher costs due to individual customs clearance," says Joana.
Customs clearance is a decisive factor in the entire shipping process. In Switzerland there are various customs regulations that are a challenge.
"That's why it's important for our logistics partner to have a great deal of expertise in customs regulations.”
Swiss Post supports in all matters
Customers who benefit from Swiss Post's DDP solution ensured positive customer feedback.
"Customers experience this shipping solution as absolutely stress-free and much faster," says Joana.
iHerb pursues a multi-carrier strategy, with Swiss Post being selected as a local hero much more frequently than other carriers. Joana found Swiss Post to be innovative and fast: "Swiss Post informed us about current regulations in the target countries and supports us in all matters so that we can properly comply with all regulations".
She also finds Swiss Post international key account concept a great advantage. iHerb has a shipping professional nearby in Asendia US, and at the same time benefits from local experts in Switzerland. Another big advantage for Joana is that, in Swiss Post, iHerb gets a logistics partner for various destinations from a single source.