How to Reduce Retail Apparel Returns

Each year, The Retail Equation releases a survey covering “Consumer Returns in the Retail Industry.” In 2015, perhaps the most notable stat was “Returns as percentage of total sales,” which came in at 8% according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

That is of particular significance when you consider this: the total industry sales as tracked by NRF equated to $3.256 trillion. Which means that 8% of that sizable figure is $260.5 billion. Now, imagine if the industry could get even just some of that money back.

That’s an industry average; what are your annual sales figures and revenues? Are you hitting your targets and goals for growth and earnings? What would it do for your company if you were to add back even half of that 8%?

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The Power of the Customer’s Journey (& How You Can Use it to Fix Your Fitting Rooms)

How intimately familiar are you with your customer’s journey? Do you know what brings your customer into your store? Do you know what happens while she’s in your store to make or break her decision to buy from you? What about after she leaves – what can you do to help ensure she doesn’t return her purchase?

An analysis of your customer’s journey can leave you with valuable insights into areas of weakness/opportunity.

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How Much Time Do Your Customers Spend in the Fitting Room? (& Why Should You Care?)

Wouldn’t it be great if your associates could take a peek into your fitting rooms?

The try-on is crucial to the buying decision, which is one reason fitting rooms are so important to retailers’ financial health. If associates could – at a glance – see which customers need service, they could provide support when most needed in the purchase process.

And yet, for obvious customer privacy reasons, there is usually no visibility in this area of the store (although call buttons can be pretty useful in providing customer service when necessary).

Fortunately, you can gather a number of critical data points without stirring up a privacy lawsuit. For starters, you can examine statistics, such as the average length of a fitting room visit.

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Why is the Fitting Room so Important in Retail Analytics?

Relatively speaking, the fitting room is one of the smallest areas of any retail store. These unobtrusive rooms are often tucked away in the back, and as a retailer, you could easily forget all about them. That is, until you understand the importance of this small-but-mighty area of the store.

For example, did you know that fitting rooms are key to increased sales and decreased returns? Let’s look at why the fitting room is crucial to retail performance.

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How Shoppers Purchase Apparel: Understanding the Customer Journey

For you to understand the retail experience of your customer, you need to look at the process through their eyes. While shopping, the customer navigates through three very distinct zones: The Engagement Zone, The Decision Zone, and the Disengagement Zone.

How can you successfully engage your customer, help her to decide on a choice or choices from the sales floor, and then move her quickly and efficiently through the fitting room and out of the store?

If you can fulfill your customer’s needs and desires, you will establish customer loyalty. If your customer has an outstanding retail experience, then you’ll have a repeat customer again and again.

Want to learn more about harnessing the power of retail technology?

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What Kind of Customer Uses a Call Button?

There are a number of pieces of technology that Alert Tech provides. One of them is fitting room call buttons.

Sometimes when I am talking with a retailer about these call buttons, they say something along the lines of, “That might work for other retailers, but our customers wouldn’t use call buttons.

So I’d like to set the record straight on the type of customer that uses a fitting room call button. In order to do so, I need to start with what goes on in the fitting room.

Want to learn more about harnessing the power of retail technology?
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