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DHL parcel stimulating e-commerce

In Germany, DHL Parcel has launched a new initiative to support local retailers start selling online.

The “DHL lokal handeln” initiative is aimed at retailers who were forced to close their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. DHL is helping shop owners learn how to ship their products to customers and how to make them available online.

Deutsche Post is helping each retailer spread the word about the availability of their products online by helping create simple and cost-effective regional mail campaigns.

“I believe that in the current crisis customers want to support local businesses.” - Tobias Meyer, Deutsche Post DHL Group Board Member for Post & Parcel Germany

German e-commerce plummets

E-commerce in Germany collapsed by almost 20 percent in March 2020 compared to the same period in the previous year, according to research by bevh, the German E-Commerce and Distance Selling Trade Association. Online groceries, drugstores, medicines and do-it-yourself or hardware stores recorded significant increases, but other categories suffered.

“E-commerce is now a normal shopping channel. That is why such a crisis in consumer sentiment has a full impact on our industry.” - Gero Furchheim, president of the bevh and spokesman for the board of Cairo AG.

The bevh says demand is now picking up, and that is why standardised approvals of contactless "Click & Collect" are now needed. Such an initiative would help stores stocked with perishable items that need to be shifted. 

Turning back the clock

An initiative to help retailers sell online sounds like something from ten or 20 years ago, but clearly there’s a need to help local retailers sell online when there are restrictions on public movement.

E-commerce will continue on its upward trajectory, even once people are allowed to move about freely, but will it be e-commerce delivery or click-and-collect that emerges stronger?