If you’re an online fashion and footwear retailer, you’re probably all too aware of the corrosive effect returns have on your bottom line.
It's no secret that to build an online fashion business it's vital that you factor in those high 'return rates' into your financial models.
Return rates for many retailers can make or break a company, particularly those on fast fashion (link below).
Post festive season is one of the most costly and turbulent times in fashion, mainly because of the shopping frenzy that takes place ahead of Christmas, along with the office and party season.
Items get worn, and sent back. Presents get bought and then either exchanged, or a refund requested, so the logistics tends to impact virtually every part of the business, along with the additional environmental impact.
In late 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon had begun freezing the accounts of shoppers ‘who made too many returns’. Meanwhile in April 2019, ASOS announced its own crackdown on ‘serial returners’, deactivating transgressors’ accounts, while research by Brightpearl of 200 retail executives found that two-thirds of respondents were willing to follow Amazon and ASOS’s example.
Simply factoring in higher than average return rates is one thing, but factoring those returns during a time of year when retailers are looking to keep resource cost down is where we often see most of the pain being felt.
Why is it brands don't seem to utilise 'Social Media' for something other than to 'advertise and promote' themselves?. What we do see is them using it as a 'reactive' way to manage disgruntled customers, but for some reason they prefer not to 'engage' in conversations with you and me.
Social platforms are a great low cost way to help inform and educate consumers around sizing and other valuable information that can create a win/win situation and help to take the strain and stress out of the process for all.
To get to the root of the problem, retailers instead need to ensure that the products offered to individual shoppers online are right for them to start with. This is a complex challenge, but it can now be solved using big data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) that takes consumers’ personal preferences and shopper habits into account.