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For instance, online apparel seller Revolve, using software from OrderDynamics that tracks returns by week, brand and product size, recently determined that a size chart for a new brand it was carrying wasn’t standard, so items didn’t fit well. The retailer replaced the chart, and the problem was solved. “A 1-percent reduction in returns can translate into a half-percent of additional profitability for the company,” says David Pujades, Revolve’s chief operating officer.
Stage Stores bought a system from NCR that matches bar codes of items customers order with items being packed to be shipped from its warehouses—that last-minute double-check keeps simple mistakes from becoming costly returns. Such investments have paid off: Stage’s online return rate has declined from 16 percent two years ago, to 13 percent, according to Hunter. “For us it’s a benefit in the millions of dollars,” he says.
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