When shopping online cross-border, e-commerce customers have the same expectations as for domestic e-commerce, although operationally it is significantly more complex. Existing cross-border services are mostly delivery-focused and lack consistency in terms of specific e-commerce features. As a response to today’s customer demands (e-sellers and e-buyers alike), IPC and its members have created a set of essential tools to compete and win in global e-commerce.

Why?

When shopping online cross-border, e-commerce customers have the same expectations as for domestic e-commerce, although operationally it is significantly more complex. Existing cross-border services are mostly delivery-focused and lack consistency in terms of specific e-commerce features. As a response to today’s customer demands (e-sellers and e-buyers alike), IPC and its members have created a set of essential tools to compete and win in global e-commerce.

Benefits for posts

With INTERCONNECT, posts will be in a position to grow their share of e-commerce volumes and traffic by offering a service which corresponds to e-retailers and e-consumers’ expectations. INTERCONNECT will also allow posts to gain in efficiency and save costs thanks to the following features:

  • Focus on data capture and data exchange improves reliability (e.g. customs clearance, where applicable) and operational process efficiency;
  • Harmonised labelling (machine readable) standardises operational processing and enhance delivery quality;
  • A collective improvement programme including network management services forums and IPC’s reporting systems and operational expertise, actively supports posts in their endeavours to improve quality across all Key Performance Indicators.

How does it work?

INTERCONNECT is a unique undertaking of 30 posts worldwide, joining forces to offer e-retailers and consumers a reliable end-to-end cross-border postal delivery service, and a range of solutions that are crucial for the success of today’s e-commerce businesses. Through INTERCONNECT, participating posts are committed to receive and deliver items from each other according to jointly agreed very competitive standards for three service levels: Premium (tracked plus signature), Standard (tracked) and Economy (untracked). 

As such, INTERCONNECT covers cross-border packets up to 2 kg (tracked and untracked) as well as parcels up to 30 kg (tracked). Staying close to the latest market demands through ongoing development and quality improvement, INTERCONNECT aims at enabling posts to grow their volumes and share of e-commerce delivery.

INTERCONNECT also features a suite of solutions in line with customer needs: reliable end-to-end delivery times, full track and trace, easy-to-use return solutions, delivery choice, and improved customer service processes. IPC, through its central IT platform and operational support, guides participating posts in the process of implementation, reporting, data capture and quality improvement.

INTERCONNECT delivery rates are competitive and negotiated on a multi-lateral or bi-lateral basis.

Benefits for e-retailers and e-customers

With INTERCONNECT, e-retailers will be able to rely on posts to offer their customers a cross-border delivery service in line with their expectations:

  • Reliable and competitive transit times, depending on delivery service;
  • Access to a range of delivery options available in country of destination and easy-to-use return solutions based on a pre-paid label sent with the parcel or accessible through the internet;
  • For Premium and Standard, track and trace during the transit process, from sending to delivery, with up to ten scanning events per item;
  • A rapid resolution of cross-border customer queries (through the IPC Global Customer Service System);
  • Signature for proof of delivery for Premium service.

The INTERCONNECT™ process 

Based on data capture and exchange throughout the entire e-commerce delivery process, INTERCONNECT solutions allow for a greater integration of networks. The backbone of all e-commerce features included in INTERCONNECT is the Central Data Store; this platform connects all stakeholders involved from sending to delivery, as such allowing for full visibility throughout the entire delivery process and the basis of all reporting tools.

Advanced Electronic Data (AED) is an integral part of INTERCONNECT and drives visibility, reliability and efficiency

INTERCONNECT

More information

To find out more about INTERCONNECT™, contact us via e-mail at marco.gruttgen@ipc.be.