Veepee, Belgium's largest flash sale platform, has outperformed the general e-commerce market for years - despite refusing free shipping and returns. This deliberate strategy now seems to work for them, rather than them being punished for it.
Veepee, formerly known as Vente-Exclusive.com, has always resisted the policy of free shipping and returns that Amazon and Zalando forced throughout the e-commerce sector. Instead, the company remained loyal to the motto "There is no such thing as a free lunch", country manager Tobias Tousseyn told local newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen. Recent developments with online shops (including Zalando) starting to ask for shipping or return fees after all, seem to prove Veepee right.
"We have always been honest about the costs, exactly because the price is so important to the customer", Tousseyn continues. "Shipments cost money, and will become even more expensive as the years pass. Moreover, the costs are gradually more substantial as shipments grow smaller." Veepee asks a shipping fee of 5.95 euro and a return fee of 2 euro. The latter fee also causes the company to have relatively few returns: just 26 %, compared to 40 % as the average in the fashion sector.
The strategy has not proven costly for the company, rather the contrary: "It has not stopped us from growing faster than the Belgian e-commerce market", Tousseyn boasts: last year, Veepee realised a turnover growth of 17 % to a record of almost 200 million euros. Meanwhile, the total Belgian e-commerce sector grew by only 6 %.
Veepee sells limited supplies of fashion, living, lifestyle and travel products with large discounts. The company has 400 employees in Belgium and is part of the French Vente-Privée.com group.