NEW INNOVATIONS AT ASOS
Fashion brand Asos [IRDX RASO] has announced Try Before You Buy – a new service that will allow its customers to order goods and pay for them after delivery and after they have decided what they want to keep and what they want to return. The retailer has also launched a same-day delivery service for customers in London.
Customers of its Try Before You Buy service are able to return items and pay for what they keep within 30 days – with no interest or fees charged. The service is powered by Klarna’s Pay Later service and is available for Asos’ UK app customers.
“We are constantly looking for new ways to improve the Asos experience for our 15.4 million customers around the world,” said Nicola Thompson, Global Trading Director, Asos. “We know people love the option of paying later only for the things they keep, and are excited to introduce this for customers shopping on our app in the UK,” she said. The news follows on from the launch of a number of new initiatives, including Asos Instant, a same-day delivery service for London customers. Provided that customers order before 10am Sunday to Friday they can have the goods in their hands between 6pm and 10pm that evening. The new service is being handled by On the dot and costs £12.95 for the same-day delivery option. The retailer says that same-day delivery in other major cities around the UK will follow “in the coming months”.
Matt Rogers, Delivery Solutions and Returns Director at ASOS comments: “ASOS has a history of innovation – in our use of technology, our trend- setting fashion, and in the best-in-class delivery and service propositions we offer our customers. We are excited about the introduction of ASOS Instant and will continue to explore new options that add convenience and choice for ASOS shoppers” The new service adds to the company’s next day delivery service – which offers a midnight cut-off deadline during the week and is free with an annual Asos Premier Subscription, as well as click and collect and one- hour delivery slots of choice, the latter a service introduced earlier this year.
INTERNATIONAL DEAL AT M&S
Marks & Spencer has signed a deal with P2P Mailing which will provide tracked international mail and parcel services for the retailer. Goods will be processed via P2P Mailing’s Trakpak service – a solution that P2P Mailing claims is the first global tracked delivery service designed specifically to support ecommerce.
James Doyle, Clothing and Home Logistics Manager, Marks & Spencer, said the retailer had been impressed by the new service. “We have selected P2P to support with our tracked international mail and parcel services based on their strength of service and innovation.”
Gary Tervit, International Services Director, P2P Mailing, said that the Marks & Spencer appointment followed a strong year for the company. “Our Trakpak solution has really captured the imagination of ecommerce businesses. Trakpak brings high quality, transparent and cost-effective tracked delivery to over 200 countries and we are absolutely thrilled to add such a prestigious brand as Marks and Spencer to our portfolio of clients.”
C&C FROM HABITAT
Habitat has launched a click and collect service enabling customers to order online and collect from more than 2,000 locations across the country. Pickup locations include Habitat’s own stores and 2,300 DPD Pickup collection sites, which includes more than 200 Sainsbury’s supermarkets.
The launch of the service follows a major upgrade of the habitat.co.uk website 18 months ago. Over 60% of Habitat’s sales originate online and the retailer is evolving its multichannel strategy to ensure it offers customers great products and service whenever and wherever they want to shop.
The Habitat Click & Collect service will cover over 3,000 products from the Habitat collection such as lighting, small flat-pack furniture, textiles, tableware and decorative accessories. Clare Askem, Managing Director, Habitat comments: “The way our customers want to shop with us is changing and we’ve worked hard at evolving our digital offer at pace to meet this demand. Over 60% of our sales are now generated online so giving customers the choice of fast delivery to a collection point close to where they live or work at a time that’s convenient makes sound business sense.”
ONE HOUR FROM PLANET ORGANIC
Organic and speciality food store Planet Organic has partnered with courier Street Stream to offer on-demand, same-day delivery in precise one-hour time slots across London. Using the service shoppers are able to order from more than 5,000 products as late as 6.30pm for delivery by 10pm on weekends. At the weekends the cut-off is 4.30pm for delivery by 8pm. Orders are handpicked from the company’s Westbourne Grove store with a fixed rate for delivery of £9.50 or £15 depending on how close to the store shoppers are. Alternatively, goods can be collected from a shopper’s nearest Planet Organic store for free.
Street Stream has been dubbed the delivery industry’s answer to Uber, with independent couriers servicing their nearest delivery requests by bicycle, motorbike or van. Planet Organic automatically gives preference to bicycle couriers in order to keep the environmental impact of deliveries to a minimum.
“Since the first Planet Organic store opened in 1995 we’ve worked hard to offer the best and widest range of organic foods available – but this commitment also extends to ensuring we offer the very best service to our customers both in-store and online,” said Peter Marsh, CEO, Planet Organic.
“More than half of all our online orders come from within London postcodes and so being able to offer convenient delivery of delicious and healthy organic food is something we are delighted to bring to our customers through our partnership with Street Stream.”
PEAK BRINGS DEMANDING CONSUMERS
This year’s peak is likely to see greater expectations around delivery from customers than ever, according to new research from MetaPack . The company believes that this year customers will be more demanding in how, when and where they get their peak purchases delivered. “We think there will be less tolerance for longer or imprecise delivery time-frames and an expectation that retailers will still be able to fulfil options such as try-before-you-buy, delivery to neighbour and in-flight changes,” says Bruce Fair, Chief Revenue Officer, MetaPack.
Based on previous trends, as well as delivery volumes the company is already seeing, MetaPack said it expects a growth of around 20% from now until the end of the first week in January. Recent research by MetaPack indicates that for at least 42% of consumers in the UK, Europe and the US, expectations and behaviour are different during Peak. This is particularly so for buyers aged between 18 and 38. While free delivery is likely to encourage more consumers to purchase during peak than any other factor, low cost and fast delivery are also important, and many consumers also want multiple delivery options and prices.
Retailers have to be careful though since customers may well try new options during peak, according to Fair. “There’s a balance to be struck between managing capacity and taking advantage of increased consumer spending. Consumers are more, not less, likely to try new delivery options during peak in order to ensure they get their parcels when and where they want them. This requires retailers to offer a broad choice of delivery options to ensure conversion at this highly competitive time, and ensure they are supported by their carriers. It also means that retailers have an opportunity to impress customers with new options that they wouldn’t ordinarily choose.”
ROBOTIC C&C AT ZARA
Fashion group Inditex is piloting a new click and collect solution in its Zara store in A Coruna, Spain which aims to improve the parcel pickup experience for customers.
The CleverFlex solution, which looks like a kiosk with a hands-free, smartphone reading device, has been developed by Estonia-based company Cleveron. The robotics-based parcel terminal can be integrated into a store environment and can accommodate more than 2,000 parcels. The company claims it is also capable of learning from past usages to ensure it optimises its workflow to make the parcel pickup experience as smooth as possible.
Cleveron’s Chairman Arno Kutt said his company and Inditex shared the same ultimate goal: “We have a common interest – to enhance customers’ omnichannel shopping experiences and develop cost-effective click and collect pickup solutions. First results show that we can set high expectations,” he said.