With the growth in ecommerce, today’s ‘always connected’ shopper has an option to shop from all over the world, just with a few clicks. However, still there are many international retailers whose logistics is limited to their country only. MailBox Germany- a startup based in Merseburg, Germany, intends to solve this problem on both the consumer and retailer front, with its myntra-You shop it, We ship it.
Still in development phase, the portal is an initiative of Hermann Hetzer with his team of 4 and is initially providing services only for buying products from German retailers. The idea originated from the queries and demand received while operating their e-store, vireo.de, launched in 2011 for selling green“ electronics and ecological toys. Till date, it has registered shopper base of 30, 000 with 13% being the international consumers.
As the name signifies, the service will give the shoppers interested in buying from german retail sites, a unique personal ‘German’ delivery address. The portal acts as an intermediary and receive the deliveries in Germany, store them in their warehouse and forward the shipments to customers worldwide. This way customers can buy from any online shop who delivers to Germany even if his of her country is not supported by the shop itself.
“Every country that has access to the internet is available for our service. The only restrictions we have to bear are general export limitations of Europe and Embargoes”, said Hetzer.
To register, one need to send a signed registration form by mail due to legal procedures. An email-confirmation, will then be received including the customer’s German delivery address and access to the member section.
Advance Payment, direct e-banking, PayPal, Moneybookers (credit card), Amazon Payments and SEPA Direct Debit are the available payment modes. The company has partnered with logistic providers such as DHL, DHL Express, Deutsche Post, DPD, iloxx, PostNL, MMZ and UPS.
The team is targeting both the B2B (German online retailers that do not provide international shipping) and the B2C consumers globally. The B2C segment will capture foreign customers with an affinity for Germany or German products, as well as Germans living abroad on medium to long-term. As per the facts available, approx. 1.4 million of German citizens live in another European country while worldwide this number reaches approx 3.2 million.
Subscription model as well as shipping + service charges will form a revenue source. A standard package comes with a admission fee of 2,50€. This includes storage for up to 30 days, notification via E-Mail with a Photo of the package and initiating the forwarding. Also, the order packages can be combined to reduce the delivery costs to minimum.
At present, the portal is self funded and has started with a crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo to raise approx. €20,000. With the raised funds, the team plans to update the website and launch it two months later in July. Also, a part of the funding will be utilized in marketing activities and improvising the management of logistics on the company’s end.
As said by Hetzer, the break-even is planned for October 2015 and by next year they aim to reach a turnover of 1 million €. “At the moment we don’t plan to expand our service to other countries and rather focus to offer additional Language especially for Chinese and Indian people,” he added.
Scope of cross border trade in India
In a survey by Nielsen/Paypal, cross-border online shopping was predicted to increase worldwide by nearly 200% to USD 307 billion by 2018, across a worldwide online shopping base of 130 million. Also, with the increasing reach of internet in even the remotest areas in India and the rising youth population, cross border trade is gaining significance among the shoppers.
“The informed Indian consumer has thus been drawn to American products like a moth to a flame; making the Indian market ripe for global trade to flourish. The lure of the exotic has, thus made cross-border trade a success right through history!,” said Sandip Shah, Co-Founder & Managing Director at ShopYourWorld.com
Benefits offered by MailBox Germany to Indian online retailers
Retail stores who want to sell their products in Germany or the European Union can save forwarding cost by renting the company’s warehouse service. This will enable indian retailers to receive a single large delivery, store it and unpack the products included to send them in smaller quantities to German customers.
Also, because the retailer has to cover forwarding costs, if the customer wants to return a package, cross-border traders can use Mailbox Germany to collect those shipments and combine them into a monthly package which will be send automatically to the agreed location.
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