Nov. 1, 2022
Retailers Can Optimize Return Rates
Retailers who treat returns with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach can miss out on important engagement opportunities, says a survey from Appriss Retail in partnership with Incisiv. The ‘2022 State of the Industry: Returns as an Engagement Strategy’ says that the returns process gives retailers the opportunity to reinforce the brand experience. The growth of eCommerce has increased return rates significantly, but many retailers have not adjusted their returns strategy accordingly. A large majority (69 per cent) of retailers are still treating returns as a cost of doing business, despite recognizing the benefits of optimizing returns management. In fact, return rates are growing faster than revenue growth rates for 91 per cent of retailers. At the same time, only 29 per cent of retailers have an end-to-end strategic returns management program in place. Appriss says optimizing returns is a requirement for long-term profitability and customer loyalty. Its research shows that 42 per cent of shoppers will stop supporting a retailer after multiple retailer-induced returns. And, although reducing return rates is a top priority for 83 per cent of retailers, only 21 per cent believe their current processes are effective at doing so. Similarly, 77 per cent of retailers are interested in optimizing the cost of reverse logistics, but only 29 per cent are currently achieving towards this goal. Retailers can offer tailored return experiences based on the shopper’s previous behaviour. For instance, at the point-of-sale, top customers can be rewarded with extended returns windows. Similarly, retailers can use customer data to generate relevant ‘save-the-sale’ offers during the return process that provide time-sensitive exchange recommendations or other incentives for making additional purchases.