Campaign of the Week

27 February 2024

French post office installs changing rooms to serve online shoppers 

France's national post office trials in-store changing rooms to make it easier for customers to return clothes bought online

Ordering clothes online has become a staple of modern life, but the excitement and convenience of finally getting your hands on your new look can quickly become an exercise in frustration when items either don’t fit or live up to expectations and need to be repackaged and returned to the sender.

To take away some of the frustration, La Poste – France’s national post service – has installed in-store Changing Rooms at several of its post office branches.

Initially available at seven locations in Paris, the bright yellow changing rooms are designed to represent La Poste’s iconic post boxes. Each changing room features a mirror, chair and shelf, giving consumers a way to try on their online clothing orders and, if needed, seamlessly send them straight back to the sender.

Contagious Insight 

Delivering a solution / In a press statement, La Poste said the experiment was more than just a changing room. ‘The idea is to simplify the lives of our clients,’ and that’s exactly what comes through. Not only does La Poste demonstrate a clear understanding of the frustrations that can come from buying clothes online, the French post office is offering a practical solution that minimises said frustration.

While the in-store changing rooms are limited to seven locations in Paris, it’s a city where the lack of personal mailboxes means people need to either receive their clothing (through pick up or delivery), try it on, and then find a collection point if it needs returning. La Poste’s in-store changing rooms can’t ensure that your online order fits perfectly, but they do remove the frustration of having to find the time to locate and then physically return the parcel to a collection point.

Branching out / Apart from solving logistical challenges, the changing rooms act to drive footfall to La Poste’s branches. This is crucial for La Poste because the French postal service is not just in the business of deliveries, it is also a major financial player, offering an unrestricted ‘basic’ savings account to everyone in France alongside insurance products, credit and even micro-credit – all accessible through La Poste’s branches. If that wasn’t enough the post service sells phones and phone contracts at their branches and even certifies new drivers and sailors.

Parcel force / As much as the changing rooms make returns a little less frustrating for consumers, they are also a signal to ecommerce businesses that La Poste is the delivery partner of choice over the likes of its competitors.

The final stage of a product’s delivery journey where it is moved from a dispatch centre to the consumer’s home is notoriously complicated and an expensive logistical challenge for businesses to overcome. To deliver one small package in a high-density delivery area, such as Paris, can cost as much as $10 per package.

But if consumers are willing to pick up their parcels from a centralised location, rather than have them individually delivered, this cost is reduced. It makes the changing rooms more than just a nice consumer initiative, it’s shows businesses that La Poste is the mail handler of choice.

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