DHL eCommerce and Hunkemöller: loyal partners in sustainable growth

Lingerie chain Hunkemöller has been working with DHL eCommerce for more than a decade. During that time, the companies grew together to a higher level, which they managed to maintain even during the pandemic. Quite a challenge, because during that period about two to three times as much was ordered online as before. Such extreme growth is only possible if you work with the right partners, says Robin Visser, Omnichannel Business Development Manager at Hunkemöller. "If you promise customers something, you have to deliver on it. Thanks to DHL eCommerce, we manage to do that, again and again.'

Everything that happens after the check-out at Hunkemöller is Robin's business. The most important thing in that branch? 'Delivery reliability. If you run a webshop, it is essential that you keep agreements with customers. If you say "ordered before 10 p.m., delivered tomorrow", then of course you have to do that. In cooperation with DHL eCommerce, we not only succeed in keeping our promises, we also tighten them up and shorten our delivery times. The extra late cut-off time is very pleasant: DHL eCommerce picks up our packages both in the afternoon and around midnight. So customers who order in the evening simply receive their items the next day. The provision of information is also good - just check the track and trace in the My DHL app, and consumers know exactly where they stand.

Green growth
Even before corona, Hunkemöller was already growing significantly. To cope with all the extra orders, the lingerie chain has worked with DHL eCommerce to make the supply chain more efficient. For example, the loading space of trucks is now used optimally and they drive smarter routes. As a result, customers receive their orders even faster. 

Robin: 'All that growth is wonderful, of course, but it has to be sustainable. We do that by making our lingerie from recycled materials as much as possible and by reducing the use of plastic. We also make an impact by entering into green partnerships. Thanks to DHL eCommerce's climate-neutral delivery, we keep our footprint as small as possible. We notice that our customers find that important too. So it's ideal to work with a partner who has sustainability high on the agenda.'

Robin Visser, Omnichannel Business Development Manager at Hunkemöller

Less paper, more convenience
Another example of Hunkemöller's environmentally conscious strategy, is the current digitization of their returns portal. 'Soon our customers will be able to return their packages print-free with a QR code. Now there is still a return label in every box, but soon this will no longer be the case. It may seem like a small step, but you still save a sheet of paper with every shipment. In addition, it is much easier for consumers to take a return shipment directly to a DHL ServicePoint, without having to print a label first. Click, scan, and go!

Delivered in a flash
Besides sustainability, fast delivery is an important factor for more and more customers. Research by software company Capterra shows that delivery time is even the decisive reason for 24 percent of online shoppers to place an order. In general, consumers want to receive their orders faster and faster. Thus, according to a small majority of those surveyed, it is acceptable to wait between 24 and 48 hours, but an almost equally large group considers 12 to 24 hours long enough. Fashion fans in particular see delivery within one day as ideal. Hunkemöller also notices that customer expectations are changing. That is why Robin, together with DHL account manager and namesake Robin van Poelgeest, is thinking of ways to reduce delivery times even further.

Making smart use of physical shops
'One way we do that is with click & collect. Here consumers pick up their online order in the store at their convenience, without shipping costs. We are building on that with a new service we want to set up: shipping from our physical locations. The idea behind this is that in time we will not only use the stock in our warehouse, but also that in our stores. Our stores are located throughout the country, so there is always one nearby. By using our stocks flexibly, consumers will have their orders even sooner. And it is also more sustainable, because packages travel a shorter distance.' 

'We are also investigating the possibilities for Sunday and same-day delivery - so ordered today and in house. This is possible with the additional service DHL For You Today. Customers who order something in the morning will then receive their order that same evening.

On to the future
To deliver orders faster, Hunkemöller has had not one, but two warehouses for the past year. Robin: 'In addition to our German warehouse, we now also have a Dutch distribution center. By default, this means we are closer to our customers and they will have their orders sooner. It's great that DHL eCommerce knows us so well and thinks along with us on every aspect of the shipping process. As far as we are concerned, we will continue this in the coming years, together with account manager Robin!

Photo caption: Robin Visser (Hunkemöller) and Robin van Poelgeest (DHL eCommerce) at the Hunkemöller branch in Hilversum.