Retailers learn how they may recapture lost revenue from returns
While 61% of Americans prefer to return goods in-store according to UPS research, those retailers who do offer in-store returns generally have not adapted specifically for this customer journey. Customers with a return transaction often have to wait in line with everyone else to sort their return out and after their handover, may wait up to 3 weeks for credit card refunds (where these are offered).
Because merchandise returns are traditionally manual processes with minimal digital records, customers don’t receive automated email communications or information, which can lead to costly customer support touch points tied to tracking refund status or return registration confirmation. Retailers also do not traditionally gather return information and tie it to the customer profile and are therefore less likely to accurately capture the reason for return in a way that is visible across the business. Ideally, retailers need to be able to understand which products are returned more often than others, and which customers return products at a higher rate.
If retailers can capture the reason for returns digitally, they are then able to identify and address issues further up the customer journey (like sizing or labeling issues, or design quality trends. By associating customer returns to a customer profile, retailers can improve the effectiveness of their marketing expenditure and product performance, because they can account for returns’ overall impact on margins.
However, in a busy store environment, it is not always reasonable to expect staff to simultaneously serve customers, handle returns, input data, as well as maintain their other duties. That’s why Doddle has partnered with KIOSK Information Systems, a market leader in self-service solutions for retail. We’re bringing our expertise in digital returns and customer experience and combining it with KIOSK’s best-in-class hardware and in-store automation expertise to create Self-Service Returns Kiosks. Together, these capabilities offer customers a chance to skip the checkout line and input their own information via the user-friendly touchscreen interface. KIOSK’s varied components also offer the flexibility for customers to print receipts, scan bar codes as well as deposit returned merchandise in a locked storage bin.
When making an in-store return, 70% purchase an additional item
Alternatively, customers can book ahead using the digital portal, linked via the retailer website, and hosted by Doddle. In this return path, customers simply scan the code from the portal once they’re in store, and the label is automatically printed. Once they’ve applied the label and dropped the parcel into the hatch, they’re free to shop. When making an in-store return, 70% purchase an additional item compared to only 42% who make a new purchase while processing an online return.
Either way, by utilizing Doddle’s returns platform in combination with KIOSK’s self-service, the customer enjoys a quick and convenient return with automated email communications, transaction receipts, and custom digital marketing offers. Both the communications platform and the kiosks themselves are fully brandable, allowing retailers to own the full customer journey from acquisition to return and re-acquisition. With this bundled, turnkey platform, retailers now have a way to efficiently manage in-store returns while providing customers a valued service and increasing in-store foot traffic.
Authored by Ethan Morgan, Doddle