April 30, 2018

DHL to provide training for Magento users

E-commerce retailers can build cross-border trade by offering enhanced shipping and delivery options, DHL says.

By Ben Ames

German transport and logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL Group will partner with e-commerce software vendor Magento to provide shipping and logistics services to retailers that sell their wares on Magento's platform, the firms said.

Online merchants that use Magento's e-commerce and omnichannel software services have been able to ship orders to their customers through DHL before, but the partnership will place DHL branding more prominently on Magento e-commerce shipping software and will offer DHL shipping consulting services to retailers, Magento said Wednesday.

Through the deal, DHL will work closely with individual merchants, educating them on shipping integration best practices and how to increase their cross-border shipping volumes, said Leendert van Delft, DHL Express' vice president of sales programs, global & Europe, in a phone interview. In addition to offering a range of shipping options, including parcel, express, freight and other logistics services, DHL will offer training and advice through platforms such as the Magento Community online, webinars, and in one-to-one meetings, he said.

DHL will train Magento-based merchants both on practical matters of cross-border e-commerce—such as customs information, licensing paperwork, and international regulations—and on strategies for increasing sales through shipping services, he said.

DHL will not charge extra for providing those services, a spokesman said.

"For online retailers, it's more than just the products you're offering and the prices you're listing; delivery plays a very large role in e-commerce success," van Delft said. Two-thirds of millennials will chose one e-tailer over another based solely on the shipping and delivery options they provide, he said, citing a 2017 DHL industry survey titled "The 21st Century Spice Trade: A Guide to the Cross-Border E-Commerce Opportunity."

DHL will also offer a checklist for Magento-based merchants to identify simple changes to encourage cross-border trade. These include listing the duties and taxes due for a given shipment, or by stating on the homepage that the site supports international shipping. Even if online merchants offer cross-border shipping, they may lose out on sales if those details are buried on a "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) webpage or on the final stage of the e-commerce checkout process, he said.

Those adjustments could make a big difference in a cross-border e-commerce market that is forecast to grow to $900 billion by 2020 from $300 billion in 2016, according to the DHL survey. "Delivery can be a deciding factor between one brand and its competitors," van Delft said.

Campbell, Calif.-based Magento is the commerce software platform sold in 2015 by online commerce giant eBay Inc. to a consortium of private equity groups lead by London-based Permira Advisers for $925 million.

Magento's platform is also linked to a number of shippers and parcel carriers, such as its integration with UPS Inc.'s "Marketplace Shipping" service, which provides a UPS-supported portal where individual merchants can view, process, and ship orders generated from multiple e-commerce marketplaces.

About the Author

Ben Ames
Senior Editor
Ben Ames has spent 20 years as a journalist since starting out as a daily newspaper reporter in Pennsylvania in 1995. From 1999 forward, he has focused on business and technology reporting for a number of trade journals, beginning when he joined Design News and Modern Materials Handling magazines. Ames is author of the trail guide "Hiking Massachusetts" and is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.

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