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Online sellers want greater investment in domestic shipping infrastructure

eBay sellers want increased innovation and investment in domestic shipping infrastructure to satisfy changing customer expectations and to allow them to better meet customer demand, a new survey has found.

According to a report by eBay, Australia Post and PayPal, which surveyed 1015 eBay sellers, delivery service reliability was the top priority for 34 percent of respondents, followed closely by shipping rates.

eBay vice president Deborah Sharkey said “Consumers want greater certainty when it comes to buying items online. Reliability of delivery, customer service and tracked shipping are all critical eCommerce enablers that drive buyer confidence.”

The sellers also voiced the need for key improvements around the accuracy and availability of tracking, bulky item shipping, delivery time choices and flexibility of pick-up service – which they’d like to see completed within the next 12 months.

In response to a boom in online shopping which saw a 13 percent rise in parcel delivery since July 2011, Australia Post has introduced several products and services to make shipping easier and cheaper, such as the flat rate satchels and boxes specifically tailored to eBay sellers and the “click-and-send” online parcel service option.

Australia Post managing director and CEO Ahmed Fahour reaffirmed the company’s continued commitment to meeting changing customer needs. To address the need for improved tracking the company has introduced a new low-cost, internationally tracked product, Pack and Track, that offer businesses volume based discounts.

Nine out of ten eBay sellers said they’re happy with eBay/Australia Post flat rate satchel service, but nearly 50 percent are still eager for the eBay to continue negotiations on their behalf for volume-based discounts.

Further research from the 2012 Online Business Index revealed that two-thirds of eBay’s top 3000 sellers want the introduction of more competitive shipping rates. Roughly 54 percent of those surveyed wanted to see improvements to parcel tracking services.

Elena Wise, head of merchant services for PayPal said that “For Australian online businesses, the customer experience revolves around purchasing and receiving the product, and it is important the customer receives the product in a reliable, accurate and timely manner.”

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