Logistics (step 4) | EU VAT compliance guide
Being VAT compliant is only a starting point for any business operations. The customers still want to receive what they paid for! You will need a solution to deliver the sold goods throughout EU. The good news is that there are numerous solutions available, you just have to decide what is important for your customers and suitability for your products.
We recommend the use of a logistics platform which integrates to your checkout such as nshift.com. This way your customer can choose from your partners the one they see as the most suitable. You will still have to make separate contracts with the logistics operators, however.
How to choose your logistics partners
Let’s consider some most common aspects for choosing the right partners. Although the posts are the butt of the joke everywhere, they are, well everywhere, usually cheap and efficient. The posts have some limitations, such as strict size and weight limits which can make them unsuitable for your products. Posts are the obvious choice if the limitations are not a problem for you. If the size becomes a problem, go for a more heavy duty delivery option such as Hermes or GLS.
Speed: The faster the delivery the more it costs. For best customer service we recommend passing the decision on to the customer. This will require likely 2 contracts, for example DHL and postal delivery or postal standard and express.
Tracking: Customers love sense of control and tracking is simply good customer service. Make sure your logistics partner provides a credible tracking solution.
Product: product size and other attributes should be taken into account with the choice of partner. Some products such as diamond jewelry are banned from some services for security reasons.
Last-mile: does your product fit in mailbox? Not all customers appreciate hand-delivery especially with the raging pandemic, do provide a PUDO (Pick Up, Drop Off) solution for last-mile also.
First-mile: Are you able to deliver the so called first-mile or will you require a pickup? Does someone have a convenient dropbox solution in your area? Doing some driving yourself can affect the price significantly. There are fully automated solutions also, starting with picknpack warehousing to last-mile, there are numerous options available.
Go to your favourite ecommerce discussion forum and post a question there. You will surely get consultation assisting you with even your local view point. And as with everything else: keep it simple because your time is better spent making sales than designing elaborate logistics solutions!
EAS is here to help you with your customised logistics solution. We have an extensive partner network for you to get a head start.
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