About the Study For years, retailers and merchandise suppliers have considered returns a cost of doing business. If “fast and easy” returns are a...
Using Technology to Prevent Product Returns
Learn how retailers and brands are taking a tech approach to predict and prevent product returns
The retail industry lost $761 billion of revenue to returns in 2021, and as such the topic of Returns and Returns Prevention is taking center stage at retail trade shows. The Ecommerce Operations Technology Summit, dedicated to showcasing innovations that meet today's operational challenges, hosted Newmine Founder and CEO Navjit Bhasin to discuss how retailers are Taking a Tech Approach to Ecommerce Returns. The session covered the variety of ways in which retailers can optimize their returns management and start strategically preventing returns using cutting-edge technology.
Watch a recap of the session below:
After the show, Navjit sat down with the session moderator, Brian Kilcourse, Managing Partner of Retail Systems Research to talk more about how retailers can innovate when it comes to solving the returns puzzle:
The first question I had was how he had gotten involved in the returns challenge in the first place. Navjit first encountered the whole issue when he worked in a private equity investment company: “Fourteen years ago, we had 18 different brands under one umbrella, and we had solved the returns problem back then, but it was with ‘brute force’”, he explained. “We created a task force and met once a week, and asked, ‘okay, what’s next and how do we fix it?’ And within a year we were able to take down our returns rate by about 10%. But as soon as the task force was dismantled, guess what happened? It went back up.”
As Navjit explained further, “about 3 years ago, when we were consulting with eCommerce companies, we’d go into the DC and could see that the pile of returns kept growing and growing. Companies were emerging that focused on managing the growing volume of returns… but when I talked to friends in the industry about them, they said, ‘there’s no silver bullet’ – and that stuck with me.”
Navjit and company decided to “attack it the right way”. To the technologist, the right way involves using the information that is generated from returns in ways that will reduce returns in the future. One of those ways is customer-centric; the Newmine Chief Returns Officer® platform generates a KeepScore for consumers. KeepScore is an index that uses AI-based scoring to track returns impact in 6 key areas: Product, Category, Supplier, Fulfillment Location, Carrier, and Consumers.
Getting started on building out your returns prevention strategy? Download the playbook!