After H&M, which now limits itself to free delivery to its “Plus” members, and Asos, which wants to increasingly avoid “serial returns”, Zalando is now discontinuing free delivery in Italy, Ireland, Spain and Great Britain.

The online retailer from Berlin wants to offer its customer loyalty program Zalando Plus not only in Germany and Switzerland, but also in other countries in the next 12 months. In addition, Zalando plans to introduce shipping fees. The company announces that it will cancel free deliveries in the Scandinavian countries in the foreseeable future.

Italy, Spain and Great Britain already pay shipping costs

In Italy, this change has been in effect since the end of 2018. For a shopping basket value of less than 24.90 euros, Zalando customers in Italy have to pay 3.50 euros for a home delivery, the same amount as customers in Great Britain (3 pounds), customers in Ireland 3 euros and customers in Spain 2.90 euros. Some countries, such as Germany, Belgium and France, continue to benefit from free delivery, home delivery or pick-up, with the option of express delivery within two days for 9.95 euros.

Delivery has long been a cost problem in online sales

This decision by the German online fashion guru shows a fundamental phenomenon that seems to influence European e-commerce. Delivery has long been one of the problematic cost items in online sales.

Even though the speed of delivery, the lack of shipping costs or the free return of goods were a strong argument for the multiplication of online portals in the mid-2000s, the time seems now to have come for logistical rationalisation on the part of the established market leaders. In view of the declining apparel business in Europe, more and more retailers and online retailers are rethinking their logistical sales arguments.

H&M and Asos no longer deliver for free

Just a few days ago, the H&M Group decided to stop supplying for nothing and to set the symbolic limit at 25 euros. An incentive to spend more, which is also reflected in the maintenance of free deliveries only for “Plus” members, equivalent to the Amazon bonus programme.

Asos, for its part, has committed itself to the fight against serial returners, as these customers order a large number of products in a large number of sizes. In the event of too many returns, or if it is suspected that the returned products have been worn, Asos reserves the right to block users.

Roof regions still free of charge

After all, in the roof region, orders from Zalando will continue to be free of charge. A further innovation of the e-commerce company is the introduction of its Zalando Plus loyalty programme, which will also be available to customers in France and Italy within one year. This allows members to have their returns collected from a freely selectable location within a two-hour window and gives them exclusive access to sales and special campaigns. In Germany, the service costs 15 euros per year. The costs for France and Italy have not yet been determined.


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Link: Zalando

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