Returns are bemoaned as one of the thorns in the side of those running any kind of online store. Let’s face it, they’re a hassle for everyone involved and uniform management systems are the best way to mitigate this. PCIAW® Trusted Member, Big Red Digital provides their insights.
No supplier wants a customer to order something from them only to return it again soon afterwards. Handling returns is a bad experience for the customer and processing them can be a drain on finances and resources for suppliers. However, returns are here to stay. In fact, along with free delivery, hassle-free returns are a vital component in consumers choosing and reusing an online supplier.
Before we look at how you can minimise them, let’s look at some solid facts and figures that illustrate just how big an issue returns are. According to research presented at Power Reviews, 88% of ALL products purchased online and then returned were items of clothing.
The impact of a uniform management systems
As a uniform, PPE, or workwear supplier, clothing potentially represents your whole range and 57% of retailers also said that dealing with returns has a negative impact on the day-to-day running of their business. If your staff are not already buckling under the strain of processing returns, the chances are they will recognise the importance of minimising them.
When dealing with uniforms B2B, the relationship between supplier and buyer is broadly the same. However, the key difference is that the supplier is often not dealing directly with the end-user. Therefore, there is a ‘service gap’ with the buying company acting as a go-between.
The Smart Red Garment Management system closes that gap by sending orders (within pre-set allowances) and returns requests from staff members, direct to the supplier.
Reasons for returns and how to reduce them with uniform management systems
The item didn’t fit
Sizing is the most common reason for returns. This leads to overordering of multiple sizes and returning items that don’t fit. In fact, 30% of online shoppers do this deliberately (more on this below). But it is short-sighted to conclude that people simply ordered the wrong size – particularly where different manufacturers may be involved.
Human error needs to be considered too. For example, someone places an order in a hurry and chooses the wrong size. This can also be minimised using Smart Red’s intuitive personalisation features. It is possible with Smart Red to store an individual’s measurements against their profile. This data can be based on the sizes provided during fitting or from their order history.
When workers log in to Smart Red to place an order, they only see the products relevant to their role or department. Also, when they open a product page, their size can already be pre-selected for them to reduce ordering errors.
Get returns under control now
Following the installation of Smart Red, Calmac Ferries were able to assess and adjust their returns process using its reporting features. Once they had a full year’s data to hand, they implemented changes and harnessed the tools that Smart Red provides to affect a 53% reduction in returns in year 2.
This new, streamlined process represents a massive saving in finances and resources for Calmac. Indeed, they cite it as just one of the reasons why Smart Red has paid for itself repeatedly.
The Supplier version of the Smart Red has all the tools you need to get returns under control. And, because you can supply multiple customers from one powerful platform, you have full control over assessing and setting up return policies and processes to suit them.
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