What is the 10.10 Shopping Festival?
With customers social distancing and many retail stores shuttering this year, Holiday 2020 was always going to be unique for our industry. Hoping to inspire people to start their holiday shopping early to lessen the flood of people in stores, Coresight Research launched the 10.10 Shopping Festival, centered around revitalizing the hard-hit retail sector while keeping the consumer at the core of its objectives.
Newmine is proud to be a supporting partner for an event that attracted an exciting lineup of retailers to encourage people to shop whether in store or online and give back to charitable organizations who have seen a drop in donations since the onslaught of COVID-19. According to Deborah Weinswig:
This year, more than ever, it’s important that we strive to bring a sense of community and support to the retail industry and its partners, particularly during what we anticipate to be an unprecedented holiday season.
But with any significant retail shopping event–like Prime Day, Single’s Day, and Black Friday–Retailers see both an escalation of sales AND product returns. How can retailers manage product returns in 2020 so that they don’t drag down the positive benefits of Holiday sales? Read on to find out…
Continuously review return data during the holiday season
Some items being returned during the holiday season are unwanted gifts, but many people are still shopping for themselves this time of year. That means issues of damaged goods, incorrect item shipped, and inaccurate product descriptions still occur frequently, and COVID-19 has only exacerbated these problems.
To ensure you can resolve those issues in a timely manner (by pulling stock for review or adjusting website copy and imagery, etc.), returns data needs constant analysis. Unfortunately, few retailers have the pulse on their returns problem, whether it’s bottle necks or service-level issues, or their returns opportunities–such as “what’s coming back sold-out items, and how can I distribute it in my inventory?”
For example, Advance Returns Insights gives retailers the earliest data on the status of their returns and can provide visibility throughout the sales and returns rush of the next few months—empowering inventory, planning, DC ops, customer service and more with powerful insights necessary to make intelligent decisions during what is going to be a very busy (and expensive) season for retailers. By providing data on where in the return lifecycle your merchandise is, retailers gain a level of visibility that’s rarely accessible to retailers today.
Convert Gift Returners
Returns are such an important factor in customer experience. Not only do most consumers look at return policies before deciding to make a purchase, but consumers are also significantly less likely to shop again with retailers who have cumbersome return policies and processes. When someone returns a gift to your store, it may be the first time they’re ever interacting with your brand. Consider optimizing your holiday return process for gift returners by doing things like:
- Creating a frictionless online return/exchange portal that offers alternatives for exchange and captures customer data points whether they’ve shopped with you before and maybe even custom return reason codes for holiday shoppers (“Not My Style”, “Wanted Something From Another Retailer,” and you could even get cheeky with “My Grandma Means Well, But…”)
- Follow-up with gift returners via email and encouraging them to provide detailed feedback on the product they received in the form of an online review.
Start preparing for next Christmas’ returns, today
Reducing returns is possible. And even a 1% reduction leads to significant savings for retailers. Don’t believe me? Check out our Returns Reduction Calculator and see how much your business can save. A comprehensive returns reduction strategy includes policy development, process development, and creation of insightful return reason codes.
From there, it’s important to have the means in place to determine the root cause of returns and institute meaningful action to reduce returns spikes. Newmine is working with several retailers to revamp their returns reduction efforts for 2021.
Just as the holiday season keeps creeping earlier in the year, returns can’t be completely avoided around holiday. But with a sound strategy and a positive perspective, retailers can minimize the negative financial impact of holiday returns.