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Asos enhances delivery services

By Retail Technology | Monday March 3 2014

Online fashion giant works with fulfilment partner to use communications and tracking technologies to offer customers more flexible delivery options

Asos is working with UK parcel delivery company DPD to launch a new ‘early warning' email and text notification service for its customer deliveries.

The new service will offer Asos customers the option of receiving a notification of their delivery the evening before -- a full 12 hours earlier than was previously possible. It is hoped this will give them more time to plan ahead and help ensure more parcels are received safely and promptly.

The service enhancements also enable customers to click through from the notification email or text message to now access five ‘in-flight' delivery options the evening before. These include three new options: ‘Deliver to a Safe Place,' Collect From Nearest Depot' and ‘Upgrade My Delivery'. And they can be accessed via a smartphone, tablet or desktop at any point during the delivery if the customer can't be at home on the day to accept their parcel.

Building on successful mapping feature

The launch has Asos extending its partnership with DPD, which first debuted the DPD 'Follow My Parcel' tracking service to the fashion retailer's customers in June 2013. The service, which has since been rolled out to all DPD customers, allows parcel recipients to map the progress of their DPD driver on his round and see a real-time countdown to their own delivery, as well as providing an accurate 15-minute delivery slot, so that they know exactly when to expect their parcel.

Prior to the introduction of the new service enhancements, customers were able to change the delivery day and choose to reschedule the delivery, up to five days in advance if they will not be available at the original delivery time to receive their parcel.

In nominating delivery to a neighbour, customers could also select a specific neighbour from a personalised dropdown menu. DPD will confirm by text or email when the parcel has been safely delivered to their specified neighbour.

Extending service convenience

Now Asos customers will also be able to select from a range of dropdown options, such as ‘front porch' or ‘shed' or, relay specific instructions to the driver ahead of delivery. Once the delivery has been made, the driver will send confirmation to the customer via text or email along with a photograph to show where the parcel has been left.

The service now also adds the option of electing to pick up the parcel from the customer's nearest depot. DPD will send confirmation as soon as the package is back at the depot for collection, along with directions, or customers can choose a specific day up to five days in advance to pop into the depot.

The last of the three new delivery service options enables customers to, for an additional fee, upgrade their delivery, for example to a ‘before 10am' service or for a Saturday morning delivery. For added convenience, payments for upgraded deliveries can now be made via a smartphone or tablet using PayPal.

Maximising customer convenience 

Matt Rogers, director of delivery solutions for Asos, commented: "We're constantly looking for ways to fine-tune the customer experience and for us, making sure customers receive their goods promptly and safely is every bit as important as being able to find what they want on the site in the first place. 

"We know a lot of customers can make arrangements the night before if they know exactly when a parcel is coming. Equally, things can change, so to be able to offer five different real-time delivery options right up until 15 minutes before the driver arrives at your door is a fantastic advantage too."

Dwain McDonald, DPD chief executive, added that the work with Asos is at the "leading edge" of home delivery logistics. "We originally launched Follow My Parcel in association with Asos and the reaction from customers has been unbelievable," he said. "Online fashion retailing is a fast moving business and our aim is to provide a home delivery service that exceeds people's expectations and helps turn shoppers into repeat purchasers and loyal customers."

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