European pure play fashion ecommerce retailer Zalando has begun offering one-hour delivery slots bookable up to 10 days out for buyers in Berlin—the latest convenience-focused order fulfilment option tested by the company in its various markets this year as it looks to keep pace with regional leader Otto.
The Berlin effort is facilitated by bicycle-based delivery service Hoard. It follows a similar program the retailer launched in May in Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent in Belgium with local bike-based startup delivery service app Parcify.
The Parcify program is notable for allowing customers to change their delivery time and address to an alternative location within the general delivery area on short notice, with couriers then homing in on the customer via the geolocation data on the recipient's smartphone.
"Our customers want speed and flexibility when it comes to the delivery of their parcels," said Jan Bartels, Zalando's vice president of logistics products. "They want to have some say over when the parcel is delivered instead of the parcel dictating their lives."
Zalando's programs with Hoard and Parcify look to tap into the generally large segment of the ecommerce market for whom delivery options have been a deciding factor when making digital purchases.
In a September 2016 survey by MetaPack of ecommerce buyers in several of the more than a dozen countries in Western Europe where Zalando has a localized digital presence, majorities of respondents agreed additional delivery options had swayed them toward a retailer.