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Why delivery and returns are key to a best-in-class customer proposition, says ASOS


ASOS, which reported its latest results this week, says that continually enhancing its range of delivery and returns options is key to its goal of providing a best-in-class customer proposition.
The fashion specialist made a number of changes during the financial year to boost its delivery and returns options. The company introduced 4-hour estimated delivery window for standard delivery and returns collections as well as a mobile label-less returns solution in 3,000 locations.

The retailer has also extended cut-off times. Click & Collect cut-offs have moved from 5pm to 6pm, next day delivery cut-offs on Saturday and Sunday from 5pm to 7pm, and the retailer has also launched ‘Precise Delivery’ where customers can select a one-hour delivery window.

Delivering to international markets.

Internationally the retailer introduced unlimited free next-day delivery to both home and store for French Premier customers and free next-day delivery for German and Northern Irish Premier customers.

Next-day delivery was launched in 14 additional EU countries, including Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Luxembourg, Portugal and several Eastern European countries, taking the service now to all 29 EU member states. The retailer has also extended free returns to the whole of the EU, as well as introducing it in Australia in August 2016.

Even more speed…

ASOS has also introduced its Express services to 66 new countries and also reduced the cost of this service in several territories. In a number of countries, including the US, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Canada and Israel the retailer has also improved standard delivery, with all orders now being sent via a tracked solution. A mid-tier delivery service was launched in Hong Kong and in Singapore and South Korea its delivery lead time was also improved.

…And more locations

The financial year has also seen ASOS expand and develop its Pick-Up-Drop-Off (‘PUDO’) network. In the UK customers have nearly 6,000 deliver-to-store locations to choose from and the retailer has also extended its Click & Collect service with Boots and now deliver to 61 stores across several major cities nationwide.

In January ASOS also introduced Doddle Click & Collect into 24 London stores and launched a returns solution where customers can drop their returns into any Asda store.

At home and abroad

Customers in Italy, the Netherlands and Poland now benefit from a next-day deliver-to-store option at over 4,300 locations and internationally ASOS now has have over 16,500 deliver-to-store locations. The company is expanding the service to cover the US, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Finland during the next twelve months.

Boosting warehouse efficiency

To further improve efficiency in delivery ASOS has added a further packing module to the mechanised picking solution at its Barnsley warehouse which it claims allowed the retailer to achieve record levels of despatch during the summer sale period. The building of a second despatch sorter is underway which will further automate processes and increase capacity.

Internationally its German Eurohub operation continues to expand and during the year just over 50% of total EU orders were despatched from the site. During the year, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark and Luxembourg were added to the local despatch list and the company is to add further countries in the new financial year as it integrates with more carriers. Its returns processing facility in Poland processes nearly all returns from the EU and continued to increase throughput during the year.

Ground works at Eurohub 2 were completed in February 2016 and in September was handed over to ASOS with live operations expected to begin in March 2017. In the US its US warehouse consistently fulfils over 25% of US orders.

Our view: ASOS has long pushed the boundaries on delivery and its update this week on what is sees as a crucial part of delighting the customer shows just how important it views a slick, convenient delivery operation for its customers. Its range of initiatives in this area – and its continued commitment to extending such initiatives – is a reminder to other retailers of the importance they must place on the delivery process.

Image credits: ASOS Corporate PR

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