Zalando customers in Italy will be able to click and return items to local post offices as the fashion giant partners with Poste Italiane.
The option is available through an existing service on the Zalando web portal which allows customers to book a home pick-up of parcels.
The drop-off service will be available at over 12000 Poste Italiane post offices. Customers can also use the Punto Poste network, which includes 350 parcel lockers and 3000 commercial outlets.
The service builds on research finding that 70% of Italian e-shoppers consider the ease of returning an item a top priority.
Riccardo Vola, director Southern Europe and Gift Cards at Zalando, said: “As our customers’ desires evolve, so do we. At Zalando we see our customers not only as online shoppers, but as individuals with busy private and professional lives and changing priorities.
“By offering this additional and flexible return management solution, we are taking another step forward in bringing the changing room to our Italian customers’ homes, with the ultimate goal of becoming the so-called ‘Starting Point for Fashion’.”
Zalando has two fulfilment centres in Italy but introduced delivery charges in the country in November.
“At Zalando, we aim to bring the fitting room into people’s homes,” a spokesperson said in a statement to eDelivery. “Our customers can order several items and try them on in the comfort of their homes, only keeping what they really want.”
UPDATE: Zalando has also confirmed that it will begin using third parties to process returns at three logistics sites in Germany.
The unspecified third parties will provide services at Erfurt, Lahr and Mönchengladbach.
The move will see returns staff at the three locations being assigned to other departments.
“We constantly analyse our processes in logistics and consider how we can improve them to be successful in the future,” a spokesperson said. “This is a routine process and is part of our self-image.”