Asos sees delivery as key both to its financial success and to its aspiration to become, in the words of Asos chief executive Nick Beighton, the “world number one destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings”. The fashion retailer, which stands out in this performance Dimension for the range and choice of its delivery promise, said that its 26% growth in sales in the year to August 31 2016 had been “driven by strong product, delivery improvements and price investments across our major markets.”
In half-year results, to 28 February 2017, it said that, “Continually enhancing the range of delivery and returns options enables us to move towards our goal of providing a best-in-class customer proposition.” In that six months, it counted more than 100 improvements, including improving the standard delivery time to three days, down from four days previously.
In recent years, pureplay Asos has focused on working closely with delivery businesses in order to ensure it delivers a competitive service to its UK customers.
It was a launch customer for DPD’s ‘Precise’ delivery service, which enables customers to change their delivery time and place until the last minute. More recently it has used On the dot , part of the CitySprint group, to give its London customers a same-day delivery service, Asos Instant. That service operates across all 122 London postcodes to deliver orders placed by 10am between 6pm and 10pm that day, at a cost of £12.95 per parcel.
“This move from Asos is a recognition of the huge role that convenient delivery plays in acquiring and retaining customers, who expect to be able to shop on their own terms,” said Patrick Gallagher, chief executive of CitySprint, parent company of On the dot, on the occasion of the service launch.
Standard delivery, by contrast, is free for orders worth more than £20, and £3 under that threshold. In the UK, it offers a four-hour estimated delivery window for standard delivery, while its range of next-day services include click and collect and delivery, both free for orders worth £100 or more, as well as precise delivery, that enables shoppers to choose their day and time of delivery, and next evening delivery.
For a £9.95 flat fee, shoppers can also opt to sign up to Asos Premier Delivery UK and get unlimited next-day or nominated day delivery on all of their orders.
Returns are free in many markets around the world. In the UK, these are via a wide range of third-party locations, including InPost lockers, the Pass my Parcel newsagent-based service, toyou at Asda , Collect Plus , Doddle and Hermes stores. Asos also offers free returns via a Hermes courier and via the post, through Royal Mail .