Ottonomy.IO released Ottobot Yeti, what is said to be the first autonomous delivery robot capable of unattended deliveries for first-mile, last-mile and locker integration. This will give e-commerce retailers the option of a completely unmanned delivery process. Their innovation is sure to change the e-commerce industry as a whole. (Photo Credit: Ottonomy.IO)
We keep tabs on the latest retail returns news, insights, and trends that help your ecommerce brand stay competitive. Check out the top things you may have missed from other industry thought leaders below!
Credit card balances have gone up and personal savings have gone down over the last few years and it's finally catching up to people. With consumers finally settling down from their extended shopping sprees, justified by the pandemic, it's looking like 2023 will be the year of frugal shoppers.
Just-in-time supply chains aren't equipped to withstand a major crisis like the pandemic. Companies will have to take several steps to better address risk and adversity in the supply chains, including embracing reliability, fostering agility, and targeting infrastructure.
Retail customers can now get their returned items delivered straight back to its designated location through the convenient use of the well-known app, DoorDash. With a flat pick-up rate for subscribed members, this could revolutionize the way returns are managed.
E-commerce retailers invest in technological solutions in order to 1) reduce margin loss 2) reduce labor required and/or 3) increase security. Those that adopt the best software to run their business in 2023 will separate the leading retailers from the rest.
FedEx now offers hassle-free returns for small to medium sized businesses with the use of a simple QR code. By consolidating returns, retailers can increase efficiency and reduce costs by using fewer supplies and less labor to pack and ship the products back.
The cost of returns are becoming too big a burden for retailers to bear. Between losing profits on shipping, returns fraud, loss of products sales, and the like, retailers are bringing back strict return policies by charging customers a fee for online returns it order to mitigate these high costs.
Our founder and CEO, Peter Sobotta, couldn't have said it better: We are honored to be chosen by the National Retail Federation and to exhibit in the Innovation Lab alongside other stand-out companies that are developing transformative technology to improve the future of retail.
Brick-and-mortar stores now function more like fulfillment centers thanks to the increased use of self-checkout for in-store purchases and the new practice of using products from stores rather than warehouses to complete online deliveries.
With the growing practice of online shopping behaviors like "bracketing", apparel has become a massive source of ecommerce returns. Fulfillment workers are left to process over $800 billion worth of returned products, only for most of it to end up in landfills.
Growing inflation rates reduce retailers' ability to pour capital into acquiring customers in targeted segments, forcing them to look at other methods of improving their business. Tracking and analyzing customer data may be the only way to keep up with ever-changing customer expectations and to remain competitive in the ecommerce market.
Big-name retailers like Anthropologie, Zara, and Abercrombie & Fitch plan to charge for online returns in 2023. This has the potential of completely changing the ecommerce market as consumers are being forced to accept strict returns policies once again.
Although sales continued to steadily rise in 2022, return rates remained relatively steady. A survey taken by The National Retail Federation found that for every $1 billion in sales, merchants typically saw about $165 million of returned merchandise.
Inflation and bracketing are the two biggest culprits for the rising return rates of the last few years. This is becoming a problem now that return rates are growing faster than revenues for 91% of retailers.
A survey conducted by Chain Store Age found that two thirds of respondents prefer returning holiday gifts at a physical location over sending them through the mail. The same survey found that the gifts that are most likely to be returned are apparel, shoes, and cosmetics.
Skyrocketed rates of returns are filling up landfills and warehouses with unwanted products. With each return costing an average of 66% of each product's sales price to process, retailers are beginning to look at these rising return rates as a logistical nightmare that must be solved.
The NRF 2023 Retail's Big Show is the industry's largest event of the year. ReturnLogic is among the 51 retail tech companies that were invited to be a part of the innovation lab, a special part of the 3-day long event that is dedicated to highlighting breakthrough technology in retail.
UPS partnered with Overstock.com to launch a pilot program for more convenient customer returns. The program enables customers to have returned products picked up at the door without having to rebox it. Could this pilot help companies better understand their customers and evaluate their end-to-end shopping experience?
The lenient return policies of the pandemic fueled a shopping habit of buying several items at once and returning unwanted items. This behavior has become costly to retailers, forcing them to shorten their refund and exchange windows and charge customers restocking fees to discourage returns.
As instant gratification becomes an increasingly prevalent part of our culture, consumers are starting to have high demands and high expectations. The way retailers handle merchandising, use technologies, and approach return policies will determine what's wasted and what's won by these businesses.
Customer lifetime value is traditionally calculated without accounting for customer returns. Without taking this factor into account, retailers risk having inaccurate data on how their customers are actually effecting their bottom line. In this episode of Returnalytics, we unlock the true cost of a return and discuss how to calculate your Enterprise Lifetime Value.
Gift returns can cause friction within the customer experience. An adequate tech stack helps to mitigate any inefficiencies in the returns process, making it a pivotal part of success and future growth. Learn about the operational challenges of holiday returns and how to avoid them this season.
When factoring in labor, transportation, and warehouse costs, the cost of returns are expected to go up 7-10% for purchases made during the holidays. With customers returning online purchases twice as much as products bought in-store, ecommerce retailers must find ways to mitigate the BFCM returns rush if they want to remain profitable this holiday season.
With such accelerated growth in ecommerce, businesses are rapidly expanding. Some Shopify ecommerce store owners think they can handle everything manually and continue to grow. Unfortunately, we all need a little help. A great tech stack that integrates seamlessly into your business can provide that.
The Philadelphia-based company provides returns management software for e-commerce brands and retailers, bringing together technology, including customer relationship management, third-party logistics, inventory management and shipping all together under one umbrella. Users can plug in ReturnLogic’s APIs and access data they can use to make product, process, manufacturing, and procurement changes to improve their bottom line and satisfy customers.
Company founder and CEO Peter Sobotta founded ReturnLogic in 2015 after a long career in reverse logistics. He started paying attention to the new generation of modern e-commerce companies showing up over the past five years. What he noticed was that they had “relentless focus on data and lifetime value, but they simply couldn’t get that,” he said.
“We saw a nice surge from COVID, everyone did, the tsunami wave hit,” Sobotta added. “The trends we’re seeing right now are retailers are taking returns much more seriously. Because when it comes to investment, dollar for dollar, if you have a place to park money right now and you’re trying to trim costs, but you have a 30% to 40% return rate like most apparel companies do, investing $1 in returns goes straight to the bottom line.”
In the past seven years, ReturnLogic has processed over a half billion returns and grown to serve hundreds of online brands and retailers, including Groove Life, EchelonFit, Oofos, Decathalon, Dossier and The Sak. It also handles third-party warranty returns for large retailers, including Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy.