Seeking competitive advantage through customer product returns

  • Category: eCommerce, Technology
  • By: Chris Gibson
  • Feb 14, 2019

An increasing number of online-retailers and e-commerce sites are treating the Product Returns process as an opportunity and making a competitive advantage for themselves.

The Product Return process is, has been and always will be here to stay.

However, whilst every e-tailer and e-commerce site has one, the different levels of effort, support and even focus across the sector to optimise the CX (Customer Experience) during the process of returning products is staggering.

Some organisations could even be accused of appearing to make the process as difficult as possible for the customer to return their purchases at all.

However, when one considers a couple of insights generated by a large, recent survey of online shoppers by Klarna UK (a large payments provider), it should be hitting home with more online retailers that consumers are increasingly expectant of quality Product Returns processes – or they will vote with their feet.

  • 8 out of 10 online shoppers in the UK would cease purchasing altogether from organisations, which delivered a bad returns experience.
  • 25% of online shoppers surveyed, would actually buy MORE from their usual online retailers, if the returns process was made much easier.

What an opportunity!

Effectively the feedback should scream to all online retailers, that consumers will not only shop more with them, if they significantly improve their Product Returns processes, but also consumers will cease shopping with those that don’t – almost the very definition of a Competitive Advantage, if achieved.

So where does Phoenix Digital fit into all this?

Around 5 years ago, Phoenix Digital developed a bespoke Retail Returns Optimisation Solution, which we have adapted for the likes of Argos and Bush to great success. Via tailored digital platforms, we have been able to seamlessly integrate our Product Returns Optimisation Solution, into our clients’ websites, which in EVERY case, has produced immediate improvements to the Customer Experience and massively decreased the actual numbers of returns.

This is achieved through an intuitive and dynamic information/support platform, which means swiftly and effortlessly, the consumer gains a depth of insight both prior to purchase AND at potential returns stage, which combine to reduce the need to return the product(s) by up to 22%, based on actual client statistics. The results have been substantial to both the bottom-line and to the Customer Experience feedback, measured by:

  • millions of pounds worth of annual cost savings
  • significant reductions on the internal time needed to train and apply time to managing the Returns Process itself
  • a significant increase in Customer Experience
  • most of our clients, who also have physical high street presence as well (such as Argos) use the Phoenix platform as their internal customer support site, accessed online within the retail unit, to support customer queries

Take a look at how it works: Argos Customer Support website

And if you would like to see a second opinion of our experience operating within the digital product returns sector:

“Phoenix Digital have been a pivotal part of our roadmap with their Digital capabilities. They deliver on our visions and manage to turn ideas into reality within challenging timescales. They are a great company to work with.” Ian Fenton, Customer Returns Manager, Argos UK

Talk to us about how we could enhance your CX and actively reduce the impact of product returns.

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