The platform offers services primarily designed to help businesses overcome the logistical challenges of sending goods overseas, and it was crafted with SMEs in mind, although some larger companies are also benefiting, Charles Cilia, MaltaPost plc’s Head of Logistics and e-Commerce Services said.
“The choice of services found in the eSeller platform gives businesses the ability to reach a global target audience and deliver their products to consumers in Malta or abroad,” explained Mr Cilia. “It uses a harmonised system that facilitates the process of delivering products to their customers, both locally and abroad, without them worrying about how much they are sending and how often.”
This extremely convenient service uses a labelling system that reduces the time for companies to label each product. Beyond that, all of the related administrative tasks can be carried out online from each business’ base or office, using the MaltaPost dashboard. Once any product is ready for delivery, the company can simply drop itsitems at a post office in bulk, or order a courier pick-up at a time to suit its needs. Pick-up fees remain the same whether there is one or more packages to be collected, and MaltaPost handles everything from the pick-up point onwards, while keeping the sender in the loop continuously.
“We have found that eSeller allows our customers to focus on their true business priorities, since we can handle the packing, labelling and delivery of products,” continued Mr Cilia, who added that the service was launched around two years ago. “On top of this, through our international tracking system, customers can gain full visibility of the progress of their shipped item as it moves to its final destination, which gives them much-needed peace of mind,” he said.
“The entity even offers email notifications”, the Head of Logistics and e-Commerce Services asserted, with pick-ups organised to “ensure a streamlined and hassle-free selling process, as well as insurance coverage against damage and loss.”
Among the businesses successfully using eSeller is Mediterranean Ceramics, a company that produces a wide array of earthenware and ceramic products, and which sells them locally and ships them abroad. “We have definitely noticed an increase in foreign sales since we started using eSeller,” said Jessica Grima, Mediterranean Ceramics’ Brand Manager. “It all started when Mario Giordimaina, who handles our logistics, got in touch with the team at MaltaPost to explain how the existing system could be improved.
Jessica Grima, Brand Manager, Mediterranean Ceramics
Immediately, MaltaPost took it all on board and their team was thrilled to have feedback that they could work with. It wasn’t long before they got back to us with the idea for eSeller, and we jumped on board as the first client.”
Ms Grima explained that eSeller has since transformed the way Mediterranean Ceramics can service its international clients. “Just this morning we sent 15 big boxes off all over the world – to New Zealand, Australia, the US and across Europe,” she stated. “This would never have been possible without eSeller, because we wouldn’t have been able to manage that logistically, or provide our clients with an exact timeframe for delivery. Now all that is taken care of, and I feel so much more confident about being able to accept orders from online clients or even tourists visiting Malta who are unable to take their goods with them in their suitcases.”
Talking through the many benefits of the service, Ms Grima highlighted the fact that she now knows exactly the amount of postage that an international client will need to be charged – even before the package is collected. In addition, the fact that she is immediately given a tracking number ensures her clients don’t have to be in the dark about where in the world their goods have reached, and they can monitor their whereabouts themselves.
“I really think it’s the convenience that makes the services so fantastic overall; it’s ideal for small businesses because you can expand without having to invest a cent,” she said. “We have gone from sending one package a month before eSeller to around 15 a month now, so business has definitely increased dramatically. Best of all, we haven’t had a single breakage or had anything go missing, so the reliability of the service matches the convenience aspect too.”
Agreeing that eSeller has helped with their international trade too, Mark Warner, Marketing Manager for Mdina Glass, explained that the service has been both cost-effective and logistically sensible.
“Tourists often come into our shops and see things they like but won’t be able to take back with them because of size or weight restrictions, so a good postal service is vital to us,” he said. “Plus, our e-commerce site ships across the world too, so it’s equally important that we know how much things are going to cost to ship and how long they will take to reach their destination.”
Mr Warner explained that, in the past, Mdina Glass’ logistics team would pack a number of items and have them on standby, before asking their driver to take them to the post office in Rabat or to the MaltaPost headquarters in Qormi. This meant that a number of people needed to be involved. “We would even cause a backlog in the post office when we got there with our 20-or-so boxes,” Mr Warner said.
“Now, we just let our contact at MaltaPost know when we have packages to be picked up, and they. courier them for us. This means our driver is free to do other things, while the packages get on their way far quicker than they would have in the past, and we even have the tracking numbers in-hand immediately,” he asserted.
“With all of this in mind, we have certainly found eSeller to be very well streamlined, and it has improved both our efficiency and our international profitability. We now feel very confident about sending shipments all over the world – safe in the knowledge that they will arrive in good condition, for a reasonable amount of money, and in a predictable amount of time. We would highly recommend it to other businesses eager to boost their international output,” he added.