As retailers begin to re-open stores during the COVID-19 pandemic, every aspect of brick-and-mortar retail will need to be re-examined. By knowing what to expect, you can jump into #RetailRecovery assured that your stores, and profits, are protected.
EXPECTATION: Consumer merchandise returns will increase.
- Constrained consumer demand for valid returns.
- Large backlog of demand for Buy-Online-Return-In-Store (BORIS) returns.
- Pent up negative behavior, previously-flagged bad actors may resurface now that retail has resumed.
- Desire to convert merchandise to cash by both financially strapped consumers and bad actors.
Returns are powerful.
- Many good customers will be making more returns and trust that you will accept them.
- Managed properly, returns can lead to an enhanced consumer satisfaction and become an engine to add profits, while still mitigating against loss and shrink.
Stricter return requirements may alienate good consumers. Additionally, expect to see:
- Wardrobing/renting increase.
- Receipt fraud increase.
- BORIS returns become a missed opportunity.
HOW CAN I GENERATE REVENUE?
- Recover a lost sale, keep shoppers buying in-store after a return.
- Convert BORIS returns to new in-store purchases.
- Deliver great customer service to returners.
- Preserving sales, generating revenue, and increasing profits all help your organization’s liquidity objectives.
WHAT CAN I CHANGE?
- Extend return timeframes.
- Train staff to trust their tools to detect and deter return fraud and abuse.
- Increase conversions during this short-term influx of returns.
- Reduce mass marketing costs with targeted offers to consumers in the store.
- Use offers to target BORIS shoppers.
WHO CAN HELP?
When you re-open, partnerships matter.
- Vendors have a broader view of the marketplace—ask for insights.
- Plan your next moves with financially strong partners, like Appriss, who have previously managed downturns.
- Look for partners with the stability of a large, diverse client base.
- We’re here to help if you want to talk about returns.
Tom Rittman, Vice President, Marketing, Appriss Retail
Tom Rittman, vice president of Marketing at Appriss Retail, is responsible for all aspects of branding, marketing, and business development. Prior to joining Appriss Retail, Tom served as the vice president of marketing for Datavantage, a retail technology company that is now part of Oracle. He holds his bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Akron.