Growth in online retail demonstrates the consumer’s appetite for modern day shopping – and although the High Street has great strengths that shoppers welcome, online retail is clearly here to stay.
And with more online sales, there is a predictable growth in returns. This brings one inevitable consequence: margin erosion.
We know that maximising value recovery from customer returns is more important than ever if cross-channel investments are to deliver a return for brands operating online. At a time when modern commerce is becoming increasingly complex and costly and shoppers are more empowered than ever before, we help clients recover more value from customer returns than any other processing route.
Preventing margin erosion is the critical focus for iForce Revive teams and we manage this in three ways:
- Software directed receipt, processing and margin recovery on products returned to store or directly via couriers
- Collation and sortation of store returns arising from range change or seasonal allocation of space
- Software facilitated onward sale of products not being sold online or in store
Customer returns for whatever reason is a fact of modern commerce. Time is of the essence. The iForce Revive product has been built to process returns within 12 hours of receipt meaning that we are able to maximise the amount of pristine stock we process that is able to be returned for sale at full margin or release funds back to the customer quickly to allow them to spend again on line or in store.
We processed over £200m of product returns in 2014 for our clients over 30 different product categories from clothing, electronics, electrical, power tools, telephones, toys, bikes to wine. Across all product categories we return over 60% of original retail value on the items processed. The data that we collect from these returns is also critical in informing our clients’ future buying decisions as well as in spotting developing consumer issues.
Key to the effectiveness of iForce Revive is our proprietary software, RESCU. At the heart of this software lies a rules engine which is developed with our retail clients and which informs each iForce colleague what to do to with each returned item dependent upon what they observe when an inspection has been carried out. Each layer of the process is designed to maximise the recovery value that can be achieved and, being systems directed, removes operator subjectivity from the process.
Maximising the efficiency of customer returns makes a tangible commercial difference to our clients as well as helping them meet their environmental commitments. iForce Revive typically recovers £15 in retail stock value for every £1 our client partners invest in the service.