UK Retail : ASOS launches 15 minute delivery window

Pureplay retailer, ASOS, announced earlier this week, that it will offer 15-minute delivery slots to its customers. This is the latest move by a UK retailer to raise the stakes in terms of online convenience for the consumer, following House of Fraser’s announcement of Drive-Thru Click and Collect and Morrisons’ tie-up with Ocado.

The service provided by ASOS will be completely free of charge and will enable shoppers to monitor their parcels using the Follow My Parcel service. According to ASOS chief executive Nick Robertson the new service is part of a strategy to help the firm continue to be at the forefront of ‘redefining the online retail experience.’

Customers will be able to track the parcel on the Internet from their mobile phone or desktop computer. This truly offers the consumer a unique experience, letting them keep an eye on the product from dispatch to delivery.

I very much look forward to using the new countdown facility. As the parcel draws nearer it activates with a long countdown until the user is issued a 15-minute window. ASOS has launched this service in partnership with renowned logistics provider, DPD.

Timely fulfilment of online orders is becoming more and more important for consumers like me; busy people are time constrained. This is one of the most important challenges facing the retail industry, which Jones Lang LaSalle has discussed in this report entitled The Rise and Rise of Multi-Channel Retailing.

I believe that retailers with physical space potentially have a competitive advantage over pureplay retailers in the UK retail market in terms of fulfilment. Retailers who have a full omni-channel offer can bring their product to market in a variety of ways. For me, Click and Collect has been revolutionary; I get an email when my product has arrived and then can decide over the next week when I want to pick it up from the store. The ‘15 minute window’ is entirely on my terms and is not dictated by any logistics provider. I can tailor my week’s itinerary around how urgently I need the product and where I am for work and leisure activities. Retailers with physical space need to appreciate ASOS’s innovative move, and make sure their online delivery options are flexible and convenient in order to compete; they also need to play to their strengths, and maximise the advantages provided by physical store networks.