CUSTOMER DEMAND HAS driven House of Fraser’s fulfilment choices. The retailer offers shoppers eight delivery options – expanded from seven since our original research took place. These range from free standard delivery or buy and collect, through to delivery before 9am for items ordered by 9pm the previous evening – at a cost of £8. In between there’s a range of options, at varying prices, designed to cover most customer needs, whether shoppers want to have products delivered in the mornings, evenings, weekends, or prefer to collect them from a range of convenient points. Supporting these services, there’s detailed information on the House of Fraser website, covering subjects from how to track orders through to free returns across channels.
Why has the retailer worked so hard on getting its delivery proposition right? Simple, it’s what customers tell the retailer they want, and giving customers what they want wins business. Andy Harding, chief customer officer at House of Fraser, told delegates at InternetRetailing Conference 2014 that investing in delivery options put it ahead of the competition while also enabling it to respond to shopper demand. “The voice of the customer is telling us that home delivery is not convenient,” he said, announcing the launch of House of Fraser’s pre-9am delivery service. “Most people work and taking time off work, even when you know which 15-minute window it will arrive in, is still a pain. Collection is also not convenient for everyone.” That’s why, he says, the retailer developed its next-evening and next-morning delivery services. “We’ll deliver before you go to work, after you come back from work or you can also collect.”
House of Fraser index value in the IRUK 500 Operations and Logistics Dimension
The company has stood out as an innovator on collection. House of Fraser shoppers can order and collect from dedicated collection points in locations such as standalone HouseofFraser.com stores and digital floors in House of Fraser department stores, and the Cambridge branch of Caffè Nero. This last location is equipped with changing rooms so that shoppers can try on their clothing purchases before taking them away, or return them if necessary.
Speaking at IRC, Harding said that all innovation had to be “rational”, making sense within the context of the organisation. The Caffè Nero operation, he said, made sense because it drove both extra footfall and brand awareness.
If House of Fraser continues to listen to its customers in the way it has to date, it will be more than interesting to see where these shoppers lead the company.