Asos: flexible deliveries and returns
Delivery has been key to Asos’ rapid growth – and the retailer innovates constantly in order to ensure that it stays ahead of the competition.
In its latest results, for the six months to 28 February 2017, the fast fashion retailer reported retail sales of £889.2m, 38% up on the same time last year. This, said Asos, a Top50 retailer in IREU Top500 research, in its financial statement for the period, was “driven by great product at relevant prices coupled with excellent delivery propositions and engaging content”. A wide range of choice in both delivery and returns, it said, “enables us to move towards our goal of providing a best-in-class customer proposition”.
Over the course of that six months, it made more than 100 improvements to its delivery and returns choices. They include, in the UK, work to reduce standard delivery from four to three days while enabling customers to pick up click-and-collect orders at all Doddle locations. It expanded the use of tracked delivery to European destinations, including Switzerland, Finland, Slovakia and Slovenia, and expanded the use of in-flight notifications to 22 European markets. In Switzerland, a duty-paid solution was launched that means customers from that market no longer have to pay import duty on their goods. Deliver to store was launched in Denmark and is set to be expanded in the UK and international markets. All of these are incremental improvements that help to drive an overall standard of service that makes Asos a leader in this Performance Dimension.
Perhaps a more significant improvement is that UK shoppers can now sign up to Asos’ Premium Delivery service, paying £9.95 a year for unlimited next-day delivery and click and collect, no matter how small the order. It would seem only a matter of time before this service is expanded further afield.
In InternetRetailing research, the fashion retailer stands out in this Dimension for the breadth of its returns service. Its options for returns include return via pick up from the house, as well as via drop-off at a third party location. It offers pre-paid returns that are free within the EU.
Such delivery policies have enabled the retailer to compete against local retailers across the world. By doing so, it removes a point of friction that might otherwise deter shoppers who are in a hurry to take delivery of their goods.