Data, collaboration, and sustainability initiatives could all be derived from how ecommerce merchants manage their returns. Learn the key factors that have affected the rising return rates of recent years and best practices for bringing more attention to the returns process from the National Retail Federation.
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!
ReturnLogic joins veteran-founded venture capital firm, Moonshots Capital as the last company in their Fund II portfolio. Read the full story on Moonshots Capital's blog.
Consumers are expected to spend $1 billion more on St. Patrick's Day this year than they did last year. Celebrations for people 35 years or older or for people with children will reach an all time high, giving retailers plenty of opportunities to capitalize on the holiday.
Get the free report from Coresight Research on the future of product visual technology in ecommerce. Learn about the current and intended use of CGI and 3D product imagery in retail, companies that have already started to invest in such technology, the benefits and drawbacks, and more from their report.
Retailers are shifting their focus from customer acquisition to prioritizing profits. As such, overall strategies and objectives are changing for ecommerce merchants across the industry. David Wagoner, CMO of a digital marketing and ecommerce agency, gives his recommendations on how to maximize margins.
My Total Retail gives ecommerce merchants advice on how to expand beyond their initial niche category by adopting a "build, grow, scale" model to create a successful customer experience. Learn what rules to follow to fine tune your marketing process and provide a unique ecommerce experience that appeals to a wide-range of demographics.
With more than 40% of online merchants stating shipping prices as their biggest challenge in 2022, it's safe to expect more retailers looking for innovative ways to cut down on these high costs. Countries like Canada that are more geographically dispersed, making shipping costs naturally higher in these regions, are the first to get aggressive with how they intend to change current online consumer behaviors.
Research shows that Gen Z prefers to shop in person if products are available both in-store and online, while millennials are adopting ecommerce shopping in full swing. Retailers will need to adopt an elaborate omni-channel strategy in order to cater to the shopping habits of both generations.
Although in-person shopping has returned to retail, ecommerce continues to rise at an above-average rate. Shoppers no longer view physical locations as simply a place to buy the products their looking for. Instead, people are coming to stores to touch, feel, and try out products they intend on buying later online.
With ecommerce becoming the lifeblood of retail, logistics operations have become a vital part of the customer experience. Replicating what worked for in-store operations won't work in ecommerce. Retailers that don't know how to make the pivot will be left behind as the industry continues to evolve.
Moveitem.com makes it easy for retailers to ship large items, like furniture or equipment, safely and sustainably. Their customer centric approach makes it possible for customers to get their products delivered directly to its designated location in the home or office. Their advancements in the delivery process are sure to cause ripples in the shipping industry.
Ecommerce and retail warehouses have started to occupy more space in the warehousing market, bringing along new challenges with its growth. Ecommerce retailers will have to find ways to streamline and automate their logistics processes in order to mitigate the issues that arise with omnichannel warehousing.
Omnichannel selling and social commerce have become pivotal to retailers looking to remain competitive as shopping behavior in ecommerce changes once again with the shifting macroeconomic environment. Retailers will prioritize objectives such as climate consciousness and hyperlocal deliveries to build customer loyalty and retention.
If the last few years have taught retailers anything, it's that consumer spending habits and behaviors will evolve as macroeconomic conditions change. Shoppers will base their purchase decisions off of new factors that were once an after thought in retail. As a result, where retailers focus their marketing efforts will have to evolve in order to stay competitive.
Retail leaders are attributing the lower than expected return rates of the holiday season to a combination of initiatives across the retail industry, including the use of sizing technology to reduce shoppers' need to bracket and charging customers for return shipping.
In January, Starbucks launched an online delivery service using partners, DoorDash, in select locations. While they've had a delivery partnership with UberEats since 2020, this new partnership will make Starbucks delivery available to a whole new demographic of customers, making delivery a pillar of Starbucks coffee services.
The economic challenges presented by the last few years have caused DTC retailers to become creative with finding ways to have a strategic advantage over their competitors. With venture capitalists and customers alike holding onto their funds tighter in fear of an upcoming recession, brands will also be looking to tighten their return policies to keep from losing profits on returned products.
Shoppers for the popular ecommerce shoe store, Zappos, can now complete returns by dropping off their unwanted products to their local Whole Foods. The grocery store, owned by Amazon, offers a label-free, box-free return option as a part of Amazon's larger initiative to make online returns as easy as possible.
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)
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.
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.