EPoS, E-commerce, Mobile, Websites, Graphic Design
Shopping behaviour changes at Christmas. The Christmassy ads are on TV, shelves are heaving with festive goods and of course the sales have already started.
A rush in sales this Black Friday weekend (now regarded as the most important day in the global retail calendar) saw Britain spending an estimated £810 million online on Friday alone. A massive increase compared to the corresponding day in 2013, which saw UK cardholders’ splash out a recorded £467 million online.
Likewise, an estimated £650m was spent online on Cyber Monday this year.
But how much of this will we see being returned, exchanged or traded for credit notes?
Well, ordering online has opened a whole new can of worms for many people. Giving us multiple choices on how we shop including the opportunities to; order online, and collect in store or get it delivered to your door and/or order online and return in store or return via post – convenient ay!
Because of this, it’s been made much easier to return your unwanted goods. 62% of us want to buy online and return in store.
Returns due to colour are unavoidable because you have little control over monitor calibration, lighting etc. However returns made due to the incorrect size could have potential to be reduced by manufacturers doing a better job of providing fit attributes and more information on dimensions.
Shopping in store, allows us to trial all five senses, see, smell, hear, feel and even taste (sometimes!) before we purchase, whereas shopping online limits this to just sight.
Many people buy two (or more) of the wanted item, in different sizes/colour, and return one. Numerous others buy a few variations of similar products so they can choose which they prefer before returning the one which didn’t match their standards.
You can try all sorts to reduce the returns happening in the first place, like providing more information on the website, but you’re always going to get the unwanted gifts being returned by the receiver, and many wishing to exchange goods for different sizes or ‘that’ item they’ve spotted in the January sales that they like just that little bit more.
So, January is a hangover time for retail stores, as items come flooding back through the door.
How do you cure the hangover? Well, we’re not sure you can cure it. But you can make the headache less painful by making sure the returns strategy is as simple as possible.
In most stores, it’s common for staff to need permission passwords from the store manager in order to refund your goods. And sometimes it’s not always possible for the customer to exchange what they were hoping for. Perhaps the item in question is a discontinued item, the item has been ordered online, or the time has overrun on the receipt and all you can offer is a credit note. And now your queue of tired shoppers, hoping for their money back, is getting longer.
It really can be frustrating if you work in a fast moving environment not to be able to manage refunds, supplier returns and goods in rejections.
Wouldn’t it be easier if you could walk down the queue, with a tablet, and give the refunds on the move? Provide the credit notes yourself without the store manager’s permission? And exchange the goods at any till? It would certainly speed up time, keep the customers happy, and of course help the headache!
Managing stock, staff, improving customer service and keeping close control of working capital is absolutely essential and in times of change can be truly assisted by technology.
Sparkstone software offers you practical, easy to use systems that simplify managing all aspects of stock, including the increasingly important returns management, helping to rid your January hangover.