Returns are the new normal. And how you deal with them – before and after purchase – can differentiate your brand, give you a competitive advantage and even make you more profitable. Here’s how to tackle the returns challenge and delight your customers with new ‘try before you buy’ services.
Retail Week in Melbourne was a great experience – going on a tour of new concept stores, meeting with top eCommerce disruptors and attending Inside Retail’s Retailer Awards gala. There are so many smart people and companies doing clever things to be more customer-focused, personal, sustainable and ethical. It was an inspiring trip.
Runner up for Retail Supplier of the Year
Hearing Triquestra’s name called out at the Retailer Awards was thrilling. We were in amazing company and I was very proud that our unified commerce platform and talented people were recognised for helping our clients’ retail businesses excel.
Congratulations to Shane Lenton
Shane is CIO of Cue Clothing Co and he nominated us for Retail Supplier of the Year so a big thank you goes to him. So does a big congratulations because during the week he was named #4 in Internet Retailing’s Top 50 People in E-Commerce 2019. His ‘buy anywhere, fulfil anywhere’ strategy – backed by Infinity – has seen Cue significantly grow its online sales. You can read more about Cue’s work with Infinity in our latest case study.
A focus on provenance and purpose
During my retail tour I saw some impressive stores which are offering interesting customer experiences that combine physical retail with consumer desire for provenance and purpose.
LiTMUS Lab takes advantage of the fact that customers want to try and experience the innovative products they sell before buying. They hold no stock on site, but let shoppers experience the products and store staff knowledge before buying online - either in-store or after leaving the store. All sales are processed as orders that are typically drop shipped directly from the supplier. Their model requires less rental space while reducing inventory cost.
I visited Australia’s first TOMS shoe store, opened by Retail Prodigy Group. TOMS has a powerful business model that addresses need and advances health, education and economic opportunity for children and communities around the world. In the Melbourne store, you see this commitment in action. In addition to helping a person in need with every purchase, you can buy a $2 coffee when you make a purchase and those coffee beans are supplied from another social enterprise. It’s a feel good, tasty, boutique experience with purpose.
First Principles is made-to-measure denim with a difference. They build a pattern for you in their boutique where you can see samples, then you’re in control of choosing fabrics and embellishments online where you can order new jeans whenever you want. They source denim in Japan – from one of the world’s longest-running mills and use factories in Kenya where they know every person who makes their product. It’s a great personalisation story from beginning to end, including a commitment to fix any issues. I hope it proves to be sustainable.
If you’d like to know more about any of the stores I visited or want to discuss these retail trends in relation to your own business, please get in contact.
It’s an exciting time to be in retail. Customers are loving personalised shopping experiences that go beyond product and price. New technologies are letting retailers launch new purchase and fulfilment options faster than ever. The convergence of physical, online and mobile channels is putting the same data in the hands of customers and sales staff from any device.
Generally, Gen Z consumers are known to be a little impatient (thanks to the instant gratification expectations set by the online world), are seamless multi-taskers across devices and apps, have fairly short attention spans, and are quick to change products and services if they’re not up to standard.
While the pop-up phenomenon seems to portray a vibe of ‘now you see it, now you don’t’, in reality retailers are increasingly including the pop-up stores into their omnichannel strategy.
Creating groups is a smart way of analysing data.
It provides a tidy method for viewing performance of individuals, or comparison between groups. Having the flexibility to create custom collections based on any criteria is one of the most useful and powerful features in Infinity CPM.
Products can be grouped based on merchandise or promotional activity, stores based on margin performance or customers on spending habits.
Collections for any occasion.
Collections can be created by selecting items you wish to group together, or calculated based on criteria you choose, such as sales volume or price. Both methods can be used to create collections of any items, such as stores, employees, products, or customers.
To select Items for a collection, use the check mark to pick out items of interest on the fly. Or take a more structured approach and use the collection window to search for and add items based on a list or certain attributes.
Calculated collections update automatically based on the criteria you choose. For example, set a collection to calculate the staff members who have a discount rate greater than 20%, each day you come back to view this collection, it is recalculated with the latest data.
This is incredibly useful to analyse information that changes on a regular basis, such as stock that is slowing moving or dead, and products sold on discount or reduced margins.
Creating your own collections provides a flexible way to manipulate your data from any angle. This makes it easier to go beyond top-level reporting, and start to see in greater detail what is happening in your business. Think about the possibilities for targeted marketing knowing who your high-value customers are… or which customers purchased product X… or who the customers are that prefer to shop in store Y.