Shipping - what is it?

Cover Image

In the E-Commerce sector alone, the sales volume in Germany in 2016 was over 44 billion euros. By comparison, in 2009 it was still half as high at 21.8 billion euros. The online mail order business is recording immense enormous growth rates and there is a reason for this: it works. And this also refers to the entire surrounding - starting with the large selection and ever-increasing user-friendliness in the online shop via the virtual checkout solution individually tailored to the buyer through to logistics and dispatch processing. Especially the latter point represents an enormously important success factor in e-commerce. Online mail order companies are therefore under increasing pressure to meet the increased expectations of online buyers. But what makes an optimal dispatch processing?

Frictionless processes from order to delivery

The term dispatch handling sounds rather unspectacular at first: The buyer orders a product, the dealer delivers it. But anyone who is active in e-commerce knows exactly how much work is really behind it. On the part of the mail order companies, the assortment of an online shop must be well chosen, maintained in the merchandise management system and kept up to date at all times.

The order picking, if necessary also packing, the various packaging, warehouse logistics and dispatch are also to be designed as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible. From the buyer's point of view, low shipping costs and short delivery times are also of interest, as are uncomplicated Returns-management. In short: Every step in the shipping process needs to be optimized.

The individual steps are included:

  • Order acceptance
  • dispatch handling
  • extradition
  • returns processing

A smooth process chain offers the online customer the best shopping experience - from deciding on a product to receiving the parcel at the front door. This should always be the goal of the mail order business.

Shortly after the user has called up the online shop, a decision is made on the basis of some important criteria, whether he makes a purchase or not. And these already play a role before the order is accepted. In addition to details such as available sizes, colours, quantity and other information, the general availability of the item in the warehouse must also be visible in the shop. Finally, the customer also wants to know how much time the delivery of his order will take. The operator of the online shop should have a smoothly functioning interface to the merchandise management system. Ideally, the shop solution should keep the merchandise management system up to date.

Dispatch handling without pitfalls

In order for the actual shipping process to begin, the buyer must of course first place his order, i.e. have his order and customer data recorded, select shipping or payment options and send his order. As a rule, an order confirmation is now received by the customer and the actual shipping process begins. The first step in shipping processing is the creation of the packing list, which is also called the picking list.

Here all articles are noted, which are to be supplied. As a rule, the shop system now does this itself. The same also applies to the creation of the delivery note, the invoice and the printing of return and address labels and other documents required for the return. Interfaces to established parcel service providers have also long since become standard in shop systems, so that data can be passed on without media discontinuity. This has two advantages: Time savings compared to manual input as well as the avoidance of errors.

Afterwards it goes to the order-picking, in which the packing list plays a role. Details such as storage location, article number and order number are noted here. The service provider then removes the ordered items, prepares them for dispatch with the appropriate packaging and puts the goods on their way. The mere delivery and handover to the buyer marks the end of the shipping process, but you do not underestimate the moment of unpacking as part of the customer's shopping experience.

Therefore, it is essential that you attach importance to high quality packaging and protect the goods inside from damage. Use the shipment to strengthen the relationship with your customer. Small additions such as product samples, an individual thank you or a discount voucher for your next purchase are suitable for this. Examples such as these illustrate the appreciation you show your customers and at the same time increase the chance of a new order in your shop.


From a certain shipment volume onwards, it is advisable to seriously consider Fulfillment or Logistik-Outsourcing the shipping process and all steps associated with it. After all, shipping is one of the steps that takes a lot of time and also gives the retailer a lot of freedom. All the personnel, time and money resources saved can ultimately be incorporated into the core business. Carelessness and errors in the field of logistics, especially in dispatch processing, always lead to additional work, but above all to dissatisfied customers. Therefore, clearly define your needs and requirements for a smooth dispatch logistics process so that your Fulfillment service provider can offer you a tailor-made solution.

Mike Schubert und Raimund Bergler

Request a free offer

We look forward to learning more about you and your project.