High street fashion retailer River Island has extended its delivery partnership with Yodel for another three years, and will be making use of various digital tools provided by the delivery company.

River Island has signed up to Yodel's 24-, 48- and 72-hour services, with its customers able to access the supply chain business's SMS and email alerts for delivery updates, as well as track their items  online and discuss their service via webchat.

The fashion retailer will also continue to use CollectPlus, Yodel's joint venture with PayPoint, which allows shoppers to collect and return orders via their local shops and petrol stations. Click & collect is expected to continue to grow in popularity among UK consumers in the coming years, with Planet Retail figures suggesting that the 35% of online shoppers who use this service today will grow to 76% by 2017.

Arif Ahmed, logistics director at River Island, said: "We have been working with Yodel for six years, and have been impressed with the partnership approach, service innovation and focus on customer service that they provide.

"Yodel's agreement to accept later deliveries into their sort centre means that we can now take orders up until 9pm and still offer delivery within 24 hours."

Speaking to Essential Retail earlier this year, Yodel executive chairman Dick Stead said that his company has been working hard to meet consumers' increasingly complex requirements surrounding delivery, as well as battling negative feedback from vocal customers on social media.

Investment in technology over the last 12 months is helping the delivery company provide the regular updates that shoppers now demand when they order a product for home delivery.

"The concept of the past of people tracking orders in moments of time has gone – they are now continuously tracked," he explained.

"They want feedback that's relevant to them. No longer is it satisfactory for me to say, 'I've loaded it onto the van, it's now delivered', I've got to give them some more information otherwise they get frustrated."

Commenting on the River Island contract extension, he noted: "We are delighted that River Island has chosen to extend its partnership with us for a further three years.

"Our wide range of services, proven ability to provide solutions and flex to offer uninterrupted service levels throughout the year has ensured the continuation of our relationship."

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