Royal Mail and retail returns solutions provider ZigZag Global have announced a strategic partnership that will see home collections become available to customers of “some of the country’s largest retailers” when returning goods.
This collaboration, the returns specialist says, “will enable ZigZag’s retailers to offer their customers a convenient home collection service operated by one of the UK’s most trusted carrier services”.
Managing returns is something that companies must consider incredibly carefully today. Customers have begun to expect more and more when it comes to deliveries and returns so offering an easy and convenient returns process can be particularly beneficial when it comes to customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
However, this often comes at a cost, which can be a barrier to companies introducing such services especially in today’s climate with inflation and rising costs. These factors have led some retailers, such as H&M, beginning to charge a fee for returns.
For more on reverse logistics and the returns process, check out this feature from the September issue of Logistics Manager Magazine that discusses, amongst other things, the benefits and costs of offering parcel pick-up/drop-off services to customers.
Matthew Jacques, ZigZag’s Global Partnerships Director, commented: “We are delighted to be working alongside Royal Mail to deliver the Parcel Collect service in the UK. Each customer’s definition of an exceptional returns service is different. So, it is imperative that retailers offer choice. Whether that’s options on how they want to be refunded, alternatives to home-printed labels, and of course, how they get the goods back to you.”
In October 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Royal Mail launched its Parcel Collect service. Royal Mail says that requests for home collections have risen by almost 30% from the first few months of 2022 to the beginning of 2023.
Furthermore, ZigZag’s recent consumer study of over 2,000 UK shoppers found that “around half of consumers now demand that their retailer offer a home collection option”.
The new process will redirect customers from a retailer’s website to ZigZag’s returns portal, where they can select the items they wish to return. They can then select Royal Mail’s Parcel Collect service and print a label or request that a pre-printed label is brought by the Royal Mail postal operative who comes to collect the parcel.
Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail, said: “Parcel Collect has been incredibly successful since it was launched almost three years ago. Everyone knows when their postie delivers so it’s really convenient to arrange for them to collect a parcel that needs to be sent or returned at the same time.
“If customers aren’t going to be in, Royal Mail can also collect from a safe place. To make it even more convenient, if customers don’t have a printer our posties can print and bring the label to the doorstep. Parcel Collect is part of our commitment to continuously make our services more convenient as we reinvent the way we deliver to and from our customers.”
Royal Mail is not the first parcel company to partner with ZigZag. DHL Parcel UK announced its partnership with the company in April 2022.
Don’t forget to book your table for the biggest event in the supply chain calendar: the Supply Chain Excellence Awards! Now in their 27th year, the awards will take place on 9 November at the London Hilton on Park Lane. Click here to find out more about attending or sponsoring!