While most e-commerce players are busy figuring out how to deliver faster, Zalando is already thinking about how to reduce the hassle of returns for its customers. According to a recent study*, more than 75% of e-shoppers read the delivery and returns conditions before purchasing online.Among them, 80% are more inclined to buy online if these conditions are flexible and simple. There is no doubt that returning is still something that keeps some people away from online shopping.
To address our customers’ needs and make their life easier, Zalando is constantly testing innovative services, from Same-Day delivery to personal shopper services. Almost a year ago, Zalando started to test Instant Return services in selected cities, the latest being Paris. To take up this new challenge, Zalando signed an exclusive partnership with Stuart, a French start-up specialized in last-mile delivery.
Customers in Paris are now able to schedule the pick-up of their return parcels within 30 minutes or schedule an appointment within a week. Once the request has been sent, Stuart automatically allocates the task to the nearest available courier and customers can live-track their returns.
And because we believe that one solution does not fit all, in addition to Retour à la demande and the traditional delivery and returns services, Zalando also offers in France the mailbox return, in partnership with La Poste. Most French mailboxes have the particularity to be a cube, where a parcel as big as a shoe box can easily fit in, meaning that French customers have the option to directly return a parcel using their mailboxes, at home.
“Today, convenience is at the heart of customers’ concerns and Zalando, a pioneer in that field, clearly understood it. Both delivery and returns are key elements since they have a direct impact on purchasing behavior and customer loyalty”, commented Pingki Houang, CEO Stuart France.
Delphine Mousseau, VP Markets at Zalando, added: "We are very happy to collaborate with Stuart on this project. We know how much French customers love services and value constant improvements. Online shopping offers a broad choice of products and brands, but services that go with it are often limited. At Zalando, we understand that customers have different lifestyles and we want to offer them delivery and return services that make their life easier".
Earlier this year, Zalando announced the expansion its European logistics network with new locations in France (near Paris) and in Poland (near Stettin), after successfully launching a new satellite warehouse in Italy (Stradella) last year. This step reinforces Zalando’s commitment to the French market, which represents one of the biggest fashion markets in Europe. With the opening of a dedicated satellite warehouse, Zalando will further improve its already strong proposition, thus being able to provide its French customers with an even more efficient and reliable service.
* "2016 State of e-Commerce Delivery" - MetaPack