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.