Apotea is one of the brightest shining stars in the Scandinavian e-commerce market. Since 2014, revenues have more than quadrupled and currently total more than SEK 1 billion per year.
Pär Svärdson, Managing Director for Apotea, has made a name for himself within e-commerce as one of the foremost proponents of a new approach to logistics, and his own company is leading by example by offering a large number of different freight alternatives.
“It is not so much a matter of giving the customer a wide range of different freight alternatives simply for the sake of doing so. Rather, we give the customer the opportunity to choose between a number of freight alternatives which we think are appropriate and recommend the one we think matches best. I think that it is very important to be able to offer the customer good alternatives and clear information about the transport itself,“ says Pär Svärdson.
It is deeply rooted in the DNA within Apotea that logistics are the core of e-commerce and that the customer is always in focus. Instead of viewing the transaction as completed when the customer clicks on the “buy“ button at checkout, it is where the actual purchase experience begins.
“We receive countless questions from important industry participants about collaborating. Our question is always “Which improvements does this mean for our customer? The constant customer focus is really ingrained in the culture at Apotea,“ said Pär Svärdson.
Breaking new ground
The latest way for Apotea to break new ground and at the same time keep the customer in focus is the collaboration with Unifaun and the My Parcels app. Because Apotea sees the customer“s purchasing experience as encompassing the entire chain from the customer coming into the web shop until they have received their goods and are satisfied, they believe that more can be done to enhance the customer experience.
My Parcels is an app provided by Unifaun in close collaboration with several of the major carriers in the market. The idea is simple. The end customer wants to keep track of their parcel shipments and does not want to use different apps or web pages to do so. Therefore, an independent app which can gather all shipments, regardless of carrier, is needed.
In Apotea“s case, it means that every purchase made in their web shop can be tracked in the My Parcels app, regardless of the carrier. This way, Apotea can offer their customers an even better purchase experience.
“It speaks for itself. As a consumer, you don“t want an app from PostNord, another app from DHL and a third from Bring. By the same measure, you don“t want one app from Apotea and a different app from Zalando. Instead, we believe in openness and transparency. In this manner, it is better for our customer and it also benefits us,“ explains Pär Svärdson.
Practically speaking, the My Parcels app provides information about transports which are ordered by Apotea and the end customer can follow the shipment directly in an easy manner. The app shows which shipments are en route to the consumer. Apotea“s logo is highlighted along with the carrier“s. All relevant statuses from the carrier are included in My Parcels. After the shipment has been completed, the customers give their feedback on the shipment experience, which Apotea uses to further improve their offering to the customer.
“The advantages of having full control over the shipment experience is that the customers do not feel abandoned after pressing the “Buy” button. They feel like they have closer contact with us because statuses are sent the entire time, they can follow their order and ultimately leave feedback when the product has been delivered. The fact that you get everything in one app and not just a bunch of emails ties together the experience very well,“ explains Pär Svärdson.
“Apotea“s decision to collaborate with us and the My Parcels app confirms what we believe about the app“s importance for the market, that it is very relevant for today“s e-commerce and satisfies a requirement that consumers and e-tailers alike are looking for,“ said Axel Lindgren, who is responsible for the My Parcels app at Unifaun.
In addition to the statuses that the carrier sends to My Parcels indicating where the package is at within the delivery chain, Apotea has the possibility of supplementing their own statuses, such as “order packed – awaiting transport” or “payment received”. The app also provides better information relating to returns or complaints and feedback on the shipment and purchase experience. The collaboration between Unifaun and Apotea also includes Babyland, Delitea, Widforss, Vitaminvaruhuset and Happy Yachting, where all packages from them can be tracked and monitored directly in My Parcels.