Royal Mail has launched a new tracked and signed service to China, in partnership with China Post. The service come in response to the Royal Mail’s own research suggesting that Chinese online shoppers want to buy from British retailers – but want more choice about delivery.
Customers can now track their package from the point it arrives in a UK mail centre to its delivery in China, where a signature is requested in order to show customers and retailers that it has been delivered safely. Items weighing up to 2kg can be sent via the service and should arrive within five to seven days of sending. Deliveries can be booked through all Royal Mail systems, including its Click & Drop service. Senders are advised to supply pre-advice customs data in order to avoid delays in customs.
Royal Mail’s Delivery Matters research suggests that 55% of China’s online shoppers have bought from the UK, and that they spend an average of £104 a month with UK retailers. Some 90% of Chinese shoppers, suggests the research, would make more online purchases if there was a wider range of delivery and tracking options.
At the same time, 85% of Chinese online shoppers use marketplaces, and 78% have bought via Tmall – going UK retailers a useful route to sell to local shoppers. Royal Mail has a digital marketplace presence on Tmall, where retailers from Waitrose to Zatchels sell via its store.
“China is already the world’s largest online market with commerce experiencing exceptional year-on-year growth,” said a Royal Mail spokesperson. “By 2020 it is expected to be bigger than the markets of the US, Japan, Germany, the UK and France combined. With soaring confidence among Chinese online shoppers, a potential market of over 1.3bn people and a real appreciation of high-quality British products, UK retailers should be looking to take full advantage of this opportunity. Our new Tracked and Signed service provides customers with peace of mind when sending to China.”
Richard Burn, HM trade commissioner to China, welcomed the launch of the service. “Demand for UK goods and services in China is growing and our businesses stand ready to flourish through their innovation, ambition and hard work,” he said. “Ecommerce, supported by reliable distribution channels, can allow UK SMEs to break into international markets, contributing to our growing economic performance and ensuring we remain the trading partner of choice for so many around the world.”