Sainsbury’s click & collect
Sainsbury’s is to launch an Argos click and collect service through 100 stores later this year, following a trial at six Sainsbury’s Local stores. The supermarket has also launched a trial from its Pimlico store in London that will allow customers to order their grocery shopping via the Chop Chop app and pick it up from store just 30 minutes later, for no fee. The Argos click and collect launch, which is due towards the end of the year in time for the Christmas peak, is said to be part of a longer term plan to have 2,000 points of presence for the retailer to improve flexibility and speed for customers.
Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s Chief Executive, said the plans would make life easy for his shoppers. “Offering the Argos click and collect service in Sainsbury’s Local stores makes it even more convenient for our customers to buy our products,” he said. Coupe said the company was also considering the use of independent retailers as delivery points for Argos purchases. Meanwhile, the Chop Chop launch means Sainsbury’s becomes the first retailer to offer a collection service in under an hour. The trial, which is limited to the Android version of the Chop Chop app, allows customers to select and pay for up to 25 items for collection in 30 minutes, seven days a week, with no fee for the service.
The orders will be packed and ready for the customer to retrieve by showing their order number at the store’s Chop Chop desk. Clodagh Moriarty, director of online at Sainsbury’s said: “We want to offer a customer experience that is differentiated in terms of price but also in terms of service, with complete customer autonomy and excellent flexibility.
MetaPack to boost conversion
MetaPack has announced a partnership with mapping and location services company HERE Technologies in a move that it claims will boost conversion rates and revenues for brands and retailers. As part of the partnership, the MetaPack API will dynamically present delivery options based on each customer’s location on the actual product description pages of ecommerce websites. The duo claim that this level of transparency allows customers to select a delivery option personalised to their specific needs, enables brands and retailers to meet their delivery promises and ultimately drives conversion rates and revenues.
Mathieu Jurgawczynski, Senior Product Manager of MetaPack said: “With 45% of consumers confessing to having abandoned a basket on a retailer or brand/manufacturer’s ecommerce website because of unsatisfactory or unavailable delivery options, it’s clear that delivery is very much a defining moment in the ecommerce experience. Our alliance with HERE Technologies will enable online consumers to see via a retailer’s website which delivery options, services and slots are available specifically to them.” The MetaPack platform takes a preferred delivery address and then matches that, via geo location, with the nearest PUDO points that would be suitable for the customer. HERE’s solution ingests data (such as the customer’s address or another convenient delivery location) to present accurate store pick-up or PUDO options.
Pass My Parcel & ReBOUND partner
Pass My Parcel has partnered with returns provider ReBOUND to allow shoppers faster returns for their online orders. Owned by news and magazine wholesalers Smiths News, Pass My Parcel has a trading portfolio of 16 retailers, which includes Asos , Amazon and French Connection . Freda Cronk, Head of Marketing at Pass My Parcel, said the new partnership offered greater choice for its customers. “At Pass My Parcel we’re always looking for new and exciting ways to offer our customers the latest in delivery innovation. We have a unique proposition in the sector and by working with ReBOUND, we are giving people the choice of returning items to shops in a number of different ways. This will help make the process more convenient, simple and in tune with customers’ busy lifestyles,” she said.
Pass My Parcel, which was established in 2014, is available through a network of over 3,500 independent newsagents and convenience stores across the UK. Customers can collect and return items purchased online at a time to suit them, from as early as 7am, on a daily basis. Graham Best, CEO at ReBOUND, said: “Pass My Parcel’s vision is very much like our own – we both want to give customers greater choice when returning unwanted items. It’s all about making the process as convenient as possible – which can then drive up sales for retailers.”
HubBox widens reach
HubBox, the courier-independent click and collect technology company, has announced plans to expand its network of collection points to more than 6,000 by peak 2018, a goal it claims will make it the widest-reaching click and collect network in the UK. The company has partnered with payment provider Payzone. Each Payzone location, which are already used for services such as payments and transport ticketing, will become the click and collect hub for customers in their area. Launched in 2015, HubBox offers a fully integrated click and collect solution designed to work alongside an online retailer’s existing fulfilment and courier framework.
Retailers of all sizes can offer their customers local Collect Points as a delivery option at the checkout using HubBox’s cross-platform software, without the need to change their existing delivery partner. HubBox has recently partnered with major online retailers including Jack Wills , Warehouse, Oddbins, and JOY the Store, as well as over 80 other retailers in the past 12 months. “The partnership with Payzone is a key component of our strategy to become the most accessible and wide-reaching click and collect provider in the UK,” said Sam Jarvis, CEO of HubBox. “We’re delighted to be working with an established player like Payzone to achieve our goal of blanket UK coverage and becoming the largest click and collect network in the country.”
Zalando expands network
Zalando is expanding its European fulfilment network. The Berlin-based fashion retailer and marketplace says that it plans to open two large fulfilment centres in Poland and Italy, alongside smaller fulfilment centres and localised warehouses near key cities including Paris, Milan and Stockholm. The expansion is part of a strategy to invest around convenient and fast delivery and returns. It is also improving capacity and automation at fulfilment sites. Plans for expansion come after a financial first-half in which the retailer launched Zalando Fulfillment Solutions, enabling fashion brands to use its logistics infrastructure and expertise, similar to the Fulfilled by Amazon solution.
The retailer also launched Zalando Zet, a membership programme that it says will be a cornerstone for future growth for the business. The new programme offers customised premium services such as faster delivery, which will include same day delivery, as well as pick-up of returns on demand which will allow goods to be collected from a location of the customer’s choice within two hours. The service will also offer additional benefits such as personal fashion advice via Facebook chat or phone and early access to sales. The service will initially be tested in four German cities for a three month period. These will include Berlin, Leipzig, Frankfurt and Hannover. Customers will at first use the service for free but then will be able to become members for 19 Euros a year. The new service will be launched into further German cities in the coming months.
US warehouse for Asos
Asos is to open a new ecommerce fulfilment centre in the United States. Operations from the centre, in Union City, outside Atlanta, Georgia, will start in autumn 2018, after a $40m fit out is complete. The fast fashion retailer says the new centre will “significantly” improve its customer service in the US, enabling it to offer more cost effective, faster and flexible delivery options. The centre will initially be able to handle up to ten million items, and there will also be room to expand.
It is part of a growth strategy that targets expansion in key markets around the world. Nick Beighton, Chief Executive of Asos, a Leading retailer in IRUK Top500 research, said: “This agreement is a major step forward for Asos in the US and demonstrates the opportunity we believe lies ahead in this key market. Our US business delivered 39% constant currency growth in the first six months of the current financial year following sales of £179m in the year ended August 2016. Our US fulfilment centre will enable us to significantly develop our proposition for our 20-something US customers supporting our continued growth and future ambitions.” Asos aims to become the number one fashion retailer for twenty-somethings around the world.
Operations and logistics are key to that strategy. In the last year it has opened a second European distribution centre, and it said in full-year results published in April that while some 25% of US orders were delivered from the US the remainder were sent from the UK.