A bit of background:
Based in Scotland, M&Co is a privately owned retail business, with a reputation for selling high quality fashion products, supported by outstanding customer service. Keen to stay one step ahead of the competition, and to enhance their customers’ shopping experience, this forward-thinking company is always on the lookout for ways to incorporate new technology into their business processes. Now in their 50th year, it’s a strategy that clearly works. M&Co has grown to around 300 stores across the UK, employing nearly 4,000 staff – with several stores overseas. They have an ever-expanding retail portfolio, selling more than 23 million items to 11 million customers. These numbers translate into M&Co processing over 200,000 transactions, and packing more than 450,000 items into M&Co carrier bags – every week.
A growing industry-wide problem:
Marketing performance is usually measured on what is sold, not what is kept. But Clear Returns knows that in order to protect profits in a dynamic retail landscape retailers need to look at sales the other way around. From our industry-wide data aggregation and analyses, Clear Returns has seen a number of ineffective marketing techniques that do well with sales, but result in up to 90% of those products sold coming back to the retailer. Up to 80% of first-time buyers who return abandon the retailer they returned to, so ineffective marketing campaigns do not only cost money – they also cost valuable customers. Award-winning ecommerce retailer, M&Co, understands that in today’s shifting retail landscape returns management is an integral part of creating enhancing the customer experience. M&Co’s drive to excel customer experience and the most effective marketing tactics led them to take an innovative approach in tackling the growing global problem of returns. This pioneering retailer teamed up with Clear Returns to develop tactics that would maximize product, revenue retention and customer lifetime value.
Return rates from poor marketing schemes are costing retailers customers and money. Examples of problematic marketing campaigns are time-sensitive, frenzied offers that can pressure customers into buying items they didn’t want and returning them later. The challenge is to identify which campaigns are harmful and which products are toxic, so the campaigns can be withdrawn and the toxic products removed from advertising. After doing this, it is possible to reduce post return attrition rates by a significant amount, the goal for M&Co being a reduction of 50%.
Fast Data Analytics and Alerts. Using statistical and machine learning models, Clear Returns identified the products that returned the most frequently as well as any marketing tactics that raised the number of returns. From this data we provided fast alerts and automated feeds on products that came back to the store, which allowed for any problems to be tackled before they got out of hand.
Maximized Results for Campaigns. Clear Returns improved marketing ROI by identifying and adjusting the campaigns, promotions and content that were causing high returns. We advised M&Co to remove the under performing bottom 10% of products from active promotion and to adapt marketing campaigns to ensure they avoid appealing to serial returners.
Post Return Customer Service. The customized, proactive alerts that Clear Returns provided M&Co allowed the retailer to create and send out automated responses to shoppers that had recently returned a product. M&Co was also enabled to quickly alert service and call centres when a customer returned items, which allowed for staff to contact the customer, remedy the customer-retailer relationship and reduce attrition rates.
Developed quality marketing and services to increase customer experience and retained revenue. As a result of Clear Returns’ proactive alerts on customer behaviour and marketing, board level decisions were made on product planning, pricing and disposal. Also, Clear Returns’ data enabled M&Co to spend their marketing budget tactically on the campaigns that were shown to be the most likely to work. Because of these decisions, M&Co significantly reduced attrition rates and retained hundreds of thousands of pounds of revenue.
“We’re working with Clear Returns as it fits our innovative approach to ensuring that we deliver quality and service to our customers at an affordable price” Nichola Toner, Head of Ecommerce, M&Co.
Many retailers are unaware that the lack of insight into the marketing of returned products is a growing global ecommerce problem. Clear Returns identifies and tackles these industry-wide issues by looking at retail in a whole new way.
Contact us for a consultation and start improving your customer lifetime value now.