As a retailer, the likelihood is you’re still handling the aftermath of January’s sale returns. You’re counting the cost and looking at ways to minimise the impact of returns on your P&L for the year ahead.
Product returns cost UK retailers around £60bn a year and can account for up to 10% of your business.
As you continue to fight for customer loyalty within a competitive landscape, returning items, be it in store or online, has never been easier. It’s a necessary evil which has become a key part of your overall customer experience.
So how do you stem the tide, start minimising returns to maximise profits and get ahead of your competitors?
Yocuda created the world’s leading eReceipt product to help you identify and understand your customers, engage with them and drive loyalty.
We’ve enabled some of the biggest names in UK retail to become customer centric, giving them far greater control of their returns approach.
“We’re receiving ever increasing enquiries from retailers about getting their returns under control.”
Andrew Carroll, CEO of Yocuda
Here’s what you need to know…
Our Rules of Return
The key to reducing returns is finding a solution that proves beneficial to your customers.
Keep it sold
As soon as a product or service is purchased, your focus needs to switch to customer aftercare.
Ensuring a product stays sold is an arch challenge shared by all retailers. A study by Accenture showed that only 5% of returned electronic products are defective, yet many customers return working items believing they’re broken. That’s because consumers only spend an average of 20 minutes trying to get a device to work before giving up because it’s ‘faulty’.
Ongoing interaction and engagement with the customer is key.
Traditionally an Achilles heel for store retailers, whose last customer touchpoint came at point of purchase, the use of eReceipts has been a game changer.
During Black Friday Weekend in 2016, Yocuda issued just over 760,000 emailed receipts (36% increase from 2015) and 1,835,000 emailed receipts in the last shopping week before Christmas 2016.
Many of Yocuda’s clients see open rates of their eReceipts at upwards of 75% - in the one week before Christmas alone, those businesses benefited from 675,000 additional customer interactions.
This level of customer engagement has been the lynchpin to improving Argos’ customer aftercare and returns strategy.
Argos fully utilises the eReceipts experience to signpost the aftercare that the company offers, namely a bespoke customer support website containing instructional content including install and product set up information, to reduce the likelihood of an item being returned.
eReceipts are crucial to driving customers over to this dedicated support site to protect the sale.
“The numbers are compelling. In the month of December, recipients of Argos eReceipts clicked on links 40,428 times, on 30,130 eReceipts. Those eReceipts had a total basket value over £3.7m.”
Ian Fenton - Customer Returns Prevention Manager, Argos
Own the return
If a customer is still intent on returning or exchanging a product, an eReceipt opens up a new, frustration-free channel for customers to easily navigate the process.
For example, within eReceipts retailers can embed direct links to stock availability and product reserve function for their nearest store, ensuring that a customer heading out to exchange, or potentially seek a refund, will not be disappointed.
Returns are a thorn in the side of operations, both logistically and in cost. eReceipts are now giving retailers an instant overview of returned stock, information which is then used to strategically replenish stock in the required stores or for online orders.
Use your data wisely
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could send useful information to a customer that’s perfectly timed to coincide with when they might hit an ‘issue’ with their purchase?
You can. eReceipts builds data and intelligence to allow retailers to understand not only the purchasing trends and potential issues of any given product but also a customer’s behavioural patterns – their propensity to return a product and when they’re likely to consider it.
A vacuum cleaner that stops working and appears broken, but simply requires a change of filter after 3 months’ use, no longer needs to enter the costly product returns journey.
Only accept true returns
Return and delivery fraud costs retailers hundreds of millions of pounds every year.
In 2015, fraud losses on face-to-face purchases on the UK high street increased by 8% to £53.5 million.
For bricks and mortar retailers the impact is seismic.
With eReceipts, we’re levelling the playing field with traceability. You can now prove if a product has been purchased and, if so, where it was bought, when it was bought and for how much.
Retailers using eReceipts hold all the data necessary to question the legitimacy of a return.
As an area which can account for 10% of your business and with six in ten retailers suggesting returns are having a negative impact on their business, its little surprise returns have been brought into sharp focus.
“Yocuda is addressing an area which is a growing pain point for many retailers, providing
multiple options as solutions.”
Andrew Carroll, CEO of Yocuda
Make the margin you’re losing to returns decrease.