Editor's Comment

Editorial: How tying your customers in via delivery subscription is proving increasingly popular

The subscription market is one that is proving increasingly attractive for retailers and consumers alike and in the delivery space offers huge benefits.

Whether it’s delivery subscriptions that increase loyalty and frequency of visit – or subscription boxes that often persuade shoppers to then trade up to bigger purchases – the model is one that’s undoubtedly growing.

A new report from Whistl into the market this week suggests that UK consumers are spending an average of around £60 a year on delivery subscriptions – adding up to around £2 billion a year overall. Similar research from Royal Mail this week suggests similar advantages.

As an avid Amazon Prime user my bank balance knows from personal experience how the option of a fixed price delivery subscription price persuades me as a shopper to spend more than I really should. It’s a market not without its challenges but get it right and the benefits are huge.

Our opinion piece this week also focuses on the cost of delivery. This time it’s the view that free delivery is a false economy as Ian Bolton, director of logistics at DX, explains.

Charging customers for a premium service really can work. At ASOS the fashion retailer is trading on the insatiable appetite of its customers for fashion as soon as they can get it with the extended rollout of ASOS Instant – its same-day delivery service. Launched in London and then Leeds and Manchester towards the end of last year the company has now added Birmingham to the rollout. Customers pay £9.95 for the privilege – showing that they are happy to pay for delivery when they need it urgently.

Helping to better facilitate retailers in both their delivery and returns are new announcements this week from various partners in the space. MetaPack has expanded its carrier certification programme to Europe as it seeks to implement an international standard for carrier services.

In the returns space ReBOUND hopes to due similar after the company launched a new international partner development program this week.

And finally, we have news from UPS which has launched one of its largest ever infrastructure investments outside of the US with the official opening of its new London hub. The new facility can process up to 28,000 packages an hour.

Image credit: Fotolia

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