07 Speedy

When it comes to making online shopping decisions, at the top of our customers’ minds is the service level we offer, such as free and fast delivery and returns. For Zalando, free delivery and returns have always been a given as a key value proposition. Several of our pilot projects in Europe, testing services such as same- or next-day delivery and returns pick-up, are now placing personalized delivery and return options in the spotlight.

Zalando is turning conventional e-commerce logistics upside down and asking: Why should customers have to organize their lives around parcel deliveries and returns – and not the other way around?

In the future, customers should be able to tell us when and where they want to get their delivery. That is why we are currently testing same day and next day delivery in several cities in Germany, such as Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf and Essen, and why we launched a further pilot in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, at the end of 2016. But our vision even goes one step further: People should be able to change the time and place of delivery post order at short notice in case their schedule changes.

The same goes for returns. In 2016, we started further tests of the pick-up return service in several cities in Europe, such as Berlin, London and Paris. Customers can order the pick-up of their return easily and conveniently at a place of their choice, either on short notice or within a preferred time slot. Following a pilot, this service has already been rolled out as a permanent option for our customers throughout the Netherlands.

To do so, Zalando cooperates with established parcel delivery companies and innovative start-ups that are specialized in delivery window services or evening delivery. This also calls for a new kind of partnership in which responsibilities are organized across company boundaries. “In this supply chain, we can’t just hand things over to the service provider,” says David Schröder, SVP Operations. “We need to work closely together. Both sides need to be aware of their responsibilities and of all the different steps a parcel takes on its way from the fulfillment center to the customer.”