When it comes to product returns most retailers have an obstructed view of the role that returns play in measuring overall performance. Most...
Finding the Right Returns Solution for Your Organization
Retailers are realizing that reducing product returns can serve as a strategic advantage after 2020’s accelerated growth of e-commerce: 79% of retailers say returns reduction has become more important for them in 2021 due to (1) the significant ROI of reduced operating expenses and (2) the cost of reverse logistics and markdowns.
However, 9 in 10 retailers report not having the effective tools or technology to help them reduce returns. There are many solutions out there, but when starting your returns reduction journey, you need to find the tool that works best for you. So, we created a returns reduction solution checklist for you to use when searching for a platform.
Returns Reduction Solution Checklist
Data Insights & Root Cause Identification
Integration with Major Retail Systems
Customer Sentiment Analysis
There is no one singular source of data needed to drive a reduction in returns. Rather an organization needs multiple sources of data to create a single version of the truth to support root cause identification. The good news is that retailers already have the data, it is just unstructured and siloed throughout the organization. Your ideal returns reduction solution should be able to easily integrate with these multiple retail systems and analyze the data to discover why returns are happening.
One key data source that is often overlooked is customer feedback and user-generated content. But mining through each piece of customer feedback on your products can prove to be difficult, if not impossible. If you don’t want to drown in spreadsheets, you should find a solution that provides sentiment analysis in order to analyze customer feedback. This is called "Sentiment Analysis."
Once all this data is centralized, there needs to be real-time monitoring to identify and correct issues in-season to prevent multiple returns from occurring for the same reason. Look for an intuitive solution that:
- Provides the opportunity for multiple ways to view this data
- Customizable product watchlists to view what’s relevant for you
- Tools to measure department, partner, and supplier performance
AI, Prescriptive Analytics, & Success Measurement
Automated Root Cause Identification
Machine Learning Success Measurement
Consolidating this data means that it becomes nearly impossible for any single person to mine. Retailers have thousands—if not tens of thousands—of SKUs in their inventory. Your returns reduction solution should be powered by AI to automate the process of identifying the root cause of returns.
Additionally, returns occur due to multiple issues and can involve different departments to correct them. An ideal solution will prescribe corrective actions and automate task assignment, directing the right corrective actions to the right member of your organization at the right time. Workflow tools reduce friction, enable collaboration throughout, and keep the goal of the enterprise-focused on reducing returns.
Lastly, look for a solution that not only prescribes the corrective actions you can take to reduce returns but measures the success of these actions. This is where machine learning should kick in—identifying which tasks resulted in a successful reduction in returns and making enhanced suggestions for future prescribed actions.
Low IT involvement
Personalized & Customizable
When you implement a returns reduction solution, you want to see your results as fast as possible. The best solutions allow for easy onboarding with low IT involvement. The ideal returns reduction solution is personalized to your business based on past data and spotlights the greatest area of opportunity for you! Noise cancellation is key to direct your focus towards reducing returns for SKUs that will provide the most financial benefit.
Making the returns challenge more complicated is the fact that there is no sole company role responsible for returns—retailers are asking themselves do they need to appoint a Chief Returns Officer?
What if you could reduce returns without adding headcount? Built by retail domain experts who know the pain of returns, Newmine’s Chief Returns Officer® SaaS platform checks all of the boxes on this returns reduction solution checklist. It demonstrates a 10%-20% reduction of returns in year 1, with a 60-90 day plan for quick wins. Luckily, our Chief Returns Officer is available for hire and will do all the heavy lifting so you can focus on taking action.