The importance to fast-fashion retailers of ensuring delivery and collection options meet the needs of their customers is underlined by announcements from Boohoo.com, Missguided [IRDX RMGU] and Amazon.com in the US this week.
Both Boohoo.com and Missguided have put in place new options to improve their service. And doing so is arguably made more urgent by the fact that US customers of Amazon Prime can now order goods to try before they buy through new Prime feature Amazon Wardrobe. The service, which is not yet available in the UK, gives shoppers seven days to try the clothes they order before returning any that they don’t want. They do that by dropping them in the box they came in at a UPS collection point or scheduling a free pick-up. They only pay for the items that they keep, with a discount that increases as they keep more items. It’s a service that’s likely to mean fashion retailers on both sides of the Atlantic put a fresh emphasis on ensuring their delivery and returns options enable them to compete.
Boohoo [IRDX RHOO] said this week that it is working with InPost to offer locker collections, a service that the delivery company says fits well with the needs of its customers.
“Research has revealed that our service holds strong appeal for millennials, making InPost a natural fit for boohoo’s target demographic of fashion-conscious 16 to 24-year-olds,” said Ian Caminsky, chief executive of InPost [IRDX VINP]. “We look forward to helping boohoo further bolster its ecommerce offering at a time when the company has ambitious growth plans.
“Boohoo has a highly innovative and efficient infrastructure and we are delighted to be a part of this to help enhance its offering in the future.”
The partnership will be supported by an online, email and social media campaign to raise awareness and engage boohoo customers on the benefits of the new service.
Andrew Thomson, ecommerce director at boohoo, said: “Our customers want fast-fashion delivered with speed and convenience, and InPost’s proposition allows us to meet both of those needs. By offering next day, round-the-clock parcel collection that isn’t confined to normal home delivery times or opening hours, we are able provide a service that fits seamlessly into the lifestyles of our customers.”
Meanwhile, Missguided is putting the focus on returns, which it says provide an opportunity to improve customer loyalty. It is working with delivery experience Sorted to improve its international returns process in a way that will give customers in France, Spain, Poland and Germany the ability to return goods in a way that they recognise, using tracked solutions. In due course this will extend to the US and Australia.
The SortedPRO software will cover around 20% of Missguided’s overall outbound deliveries, and will give the retailer access to a number of return carrier partners, while at the same time enabling it to acccess data through its advanced analytics.
Brett Young, Missguided operations director, said: “We can now control our return partners across key international markets, making rapid changes to our carriers, as well as having clear visibility of parcels when they are in-flight. The on-boarding process was exceptionally well managed, particularly given the complexities of working with both our warehousing partner and internal teams.
“Sorted’s technology has simplified the management of our returns process and enabled measurement of the returns process. All of which is greatly enhancing the customer experience.”
Andrew Hill, sales director at Sorted, said: “The UK is facing a growing delivery experience gap, as consumer expectations of what should be possible reach an all-time high. Our agile and innovative technology is helping to fill this gap, by allowing retailers to keep up with demand and give the customer the control they crave.
“It is truly exciting to be working with a customer-centric brand such as Missguided, that is looking to challenge the norms in the retail delivery space and embracing new technologies such as ours to achieve it.”
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- Image courtesy of Boohoo.com