Keeping stock sold – avoiding returns the key to retail profits
The sales figures over the peak trading periods of Christmas and Black Friday may make the headlines, but those returns coming back over the next 28 days will cost retailers millions…and often get ignored.
It’s time to get the facts.
Playing for keeps…
Clear Returns new Playing For Keeps report offers the facts around returns on Black Friday, peak season and beyond. £160 million of Black Friday stock is set to be returned, stock that will then be unavailable to sell during the most critical trading period of the year…Christmas.
Playing For Keeps is more important than ever as it is not really a sale until the customer decides to keep it. Returns kill retail profits and Clear Returns presents the facts that the wider retail business simply cannot afford to ignore:
Clear Returns CEO, Vicky Brock, explains why Black Friday could end up being a short term gain but long term loss for many retailers:-
“Forget the headline-grabbing figures of what analysts say people are going to spend on Black Friday. That’s just the beginning. The real concern is that the event could end up costing retailers money rather than boosting their profits.”
“This is because the spike in sales from November 27 will be followed, for many businesses, by an increase in returns – and profit is only generated when customers decide to keep their purchases. On average, 14 per cent of all consumer electronic sales are sent back, and in the build-up to Christmas in particular, this can cause all manner of logistical headaches and lost margins.”
Building on the success of 2014, The Customer Returns Summit is back for 2015 and is bringing together the most senior reverse logistics experts from leading retailers that include Debenhams, Shop Direct, Tesco, Panasonic, Argos, Sony and more. Clear Returns is pleased to be a sponsor at the event in 2015.
Clear Returns, CEO, Vicky Brock on why this is a significant event in the retail calendar:
“I think it’s incredibly important that there’s a retail industry event focused on what I believe is the biggest challenge for retail right now, particularly distance selling retail like e-commerce and TV shopping.
Returns globally is a £425 billion problem, £221 billion of which have been identified as preventable, which means if the retailers do something about it, if marketing is tackled, if customer processes/delivery is tackled, there is £221 billion worth of additional retained revenue on the table for retail profits.
Clear Returns are the industry leader in returns intelligence. It’s an absolute no-brainer for us to be there. Our absolute specialism and remit is that we help retailers identify, tackle and ultimately, prevent returns, and we do that by looking at the products, the customers, the marketing and the service processes that are driving up return rates, and more importantly, the interplay of those things.
Clear Returns are delighted to be attending the Customer Returns Summit once again and are looking forward to discussing many key aspects of developing customer experience and retail profitability in a multichannel retail context. We look forward to meeting others in the retail and supply chain who have reducing returns to a manageable level on their corporate agenda.”
Returns kill retail profits. Clear Returns offers a pro-active solution. So, why not get in touch?
The webinar was a collaboration between leading industry professionals, Clear Returns’ CEO Vicky Brock and MetaPack‘s Commercial Manager David Staunton, who discussed solutions around returns strategies and analysis, which has become an increasingly complex issue amid changing customer behaviour and a dynamic retail landscape.
E-commerce sales are experiencing significant growth, so much growth that, for many retailers, distance selling has become difficult to sustain with return rates as they are. Only 16% of retailers have said they’re able to profitably fulfil omnichannel customer demand, while some retailers are seeing their return rates grow faster than sales.
Clear Returns’ data analytics has shown that 1 in 3 fashion items bought online in the UK are returned, and in some geographies, such as Germany, that rate can go up to 60%. But it’s not only fashion retailers that are seeing too many products come back to the store. Clear Returns works directly with clients from electronics, to jewellery – delivering returns intelligence to all non-grocery categories.
Returns are a growing problem for retailers across sectors and channels, especially since the damage done by returns goes beyond the initial refund – up to 80% of first-time customers who return will never shop with that retailer again, resulting in a significant loss of customer lifetime value. During this major shift in retail, it’s essential that distance sellers focus on maximising their returns strategies and customer experience with innovative technology and proactive solutions.
To learn more about these returns trends and issues and how Clear Returns’ and Metapack can help you tackle them, listen to the free webinar.
Get in touch directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can help your retail business grow its profits by helping your customers keep more of what they buy.
CEO Vicky Brock gives a brief update on Clear Returns journey over the last year: from Top Tech Startup in Europe, to scaling with the UK’s leading High Street & TV Shopping retailers and Germany’s fastest growing ecommerce firms.
On the 27th of November, international law firm Bird & Bird hosted Creative Disruption on the High Street, a panel of entrepreneurs debating the intersection of retail and technology and the future of shopping channels. The panel was held at the Design Museum in London along the complimentary backdrop of the museum’s Women Fashion Power exhibition.
The panel discussions touched on topics of how technology is shaping the way consumers shop, why attention toward omnichannel is important, and how retail technology businesses, like Clear Returns, are helping retailers improve their customers’ experiences while shopping online and through mobile. Vicky Brock, CEO of Clear Returns, spoke alongside companies represented by leading entrepreneurs Elizabetta Camilleri, Stuart Marks and William Shu from SalesGossip, JLAB and Deliveroo.
At the Bird & Bird event, technology entrepreneur, Stuart Marks said that one of the biggest problems today’s corporations are facing is that ‘the world is moving very fast’, too fast for the skill sets within big corporations to keep up with the changing retail landscape and its quick shift into omnichannel. This is why it is important for big corporations to work with tech startups who know how to face not only the benefits that advancements in technology have brought into retail, but also its challenges.
Among the many challenges of this massive shift in retail, Clear Returns tackles a problem that costs retailers millions, but often gets ignored: customer returns. A growing customer returns rate is one of the symptoms of quickly growing retail technologies, as more customers turn to online platforms to purchase products, platforms that may have not yet been adjusted to ensure that customers have the best possible online experience.
One in three fashion items sold online in the UK are returned, and in Germany it can be as much as 50 per cent.
What Clear Returns does is provide an early warning system that helps retailers spot the products that are most likely to be returned and spot the customers that are most likely to return products, which gives retailers the data they need to take fast action in preventing returns. We do this with sophisticated data software that can locate the source of a returns problem after only five returns. We provide a solution to a problem that was originally propelled by retail technology with retail technology itself.
Watch the video below to learn more about Clear Returns and our Bird & Bird’s Creative Disruption on the High Street as well as other companies that took part in the event. If you would like to learn more about the work we do, you can look at our recent holiday returns analysis or watch our brief video on how we tackle retail returns.
Vicky Brock, the CEO of the retail technology company Clear Returns, was invited to speak about her startup and its progress at Digital Action Day 2014 in Brussels, Belgium.
Digital Action Day, which took place on the 29th of September 2014, is an event organised by the European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda that gathers lawyers, investors and entrepreneurs to discuss how digital technologies are transforming the way traditional EU industries function.
Vicky Brock was asked to speak at the event as the most recent winner of “Tech All Stars”, a competition between 12 of the finest European startups that also brings the competition’s nominees together and connects them with influential investors, mentors and other entrepreneurs.
“It is a very good quality program to be on”, said Brock about “Tech All Stars” during her Digital Action Day talk. “It was a really good use of time. We spent two hours with lawyers, investors and entrepreneurs, dissecting a term sheet. And that was amazing”.
Neelie Kroes, the Vice President of the EU Commission and the Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, was also in attendance at Digital Action Day. She was also one of the individuals to award Clear Returns the “Tech All Star” title. Kroes introduced the “All Star” competition with the following words, which resonated with those at Digital Action Day:
“Europe has the talent…It’s you who can come up with the good ideas and shake it all up. Start forging tomorrow’s economy. Create the jobs. Change the world. Because that’s what startups and entrepreneurs do”.
Clear Returns’ CEO Vicky Brock talks to broadcaster Viv Oyolu about why reducing returns and increasing the impact of women in technology matters: http://www.dreamcorner.co.uk/vicky-brock/ As Viv explains:
I’m always excited to interview a woman in Tech because I know there are more women paving the way for younger women to become interested and involved in technology. Loved hearing Vicky’s journey into tech, proving that the journey can be early or later. Fabulous!Listen in here