The retail technology industry is full of small, fast-growth technology companies that could help retailers solve some of the challenges and problems of a multichannel world. Retail Week is highlighting some of the best.
Investment: £250k angel investment, plus £200k Smart award
Retail partners: M&Co, plus a top 5 retailer, and several high street fashion brands.
Founder: Vicky Brock recently won Innovator of the Year at the FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards. She is a Director Emeritus of the Digital Analytics Association and previously worked with Google, HP and Tesco Clubcard. Clear Returns is the 2014 winner of the winner of “Tech All Stars”, an EU-wide search to find Europe’s best young start up.
What it does:
Clear Returns’ cloud-based software helps retailers understand the cost of returns and take action to increase the number of products their customers keep. It helps to identify the small percentage of products that account for up to 50% of returns, the ‘toxic’ products that drive disproportionate levels of returns - not just of the products themselves but of other items in the basket – and the small percentage of customers who over-buy, wear and return clothes. These shoppers can can cause as much as 10% of your returns and cause out of stock and margin issues.
Why it is relevant to retailers:
Returns are killing retail. They inflate revenues, undermine profitability and drain cash. And they’re on the rise. Many retailers accept returns as simply a cost of doing business, but the reality is they can and should take action. Understanding the true cost of returns is the first step, understanding the causes is the second, and taking action to reduce returns and maximise the number of products kept is the third.
Clear Returns’ software alerts retailers to these issues after just a handful of returns so that action can be taken quickly, before the problem escalates or is exacerbated by promotional activity – meaning they can boost profits, increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs.
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