Clear Returns build up to Customer Returns Summit 2015

Clear Returns CEO, Vicky Brock, discusses her attendance at the 2015 Customer Returns Summit in London on the 21st-23rd September.

Building on the success of 2014, The Customer Returns Summit is back for 2015 and is bringing together the most senior reverse logistics experts from leading retailers that include Debenhams, Shop Direct, Tesco, Panasonic, Argos, Sony and more. Clear Returns is pleased to be a sponsor at the event in 2015.

Clear Returns, CEO, Vicky Brock on why this is a significant event in the retail calendar:

“I think it’s incredibly important that there’s a retail industry event focused on what I believe is the biggest challenge for retail right now, particularly distance selling retail like e-commerce and TV shopping.

Returns globally is a £425 billion problem, £221 billion of which have been identified as preventable, which means if the retailers do something about it, if marketing is tackled, if customer processes/delivery is tackled, there is £221 billion worth of additional retained revenue on the table for retail profits.

Clear Returns are the industry leader in returns intelligence. It’s an absolute no-brainer for us to be there. Our absolute specialism and remit is that we help retailers identify, tackle and ultimately, prevent returns, and we do that by looking at the products, the customers, the marketing and the service processes that are driving up return rates, and more importantly, the interplay of those things.

Clear Returns are delighted to be attending the Customer Returns Summit once again and are looking forward to discussing many key aspects of developing customer experience and retail profitability in a multichannel retail context.  We look forward to meeting others in the retail and supply chain who have reducing returns to a manageable level on their corporate agenda.”

Returns kill retail profits. Clear Returns offers a pro-active solution. So, why not get in touch?

Contact Us HERE


Phone: 01415544175

Clear Returns Shortlisted for Customer Insight Project of the Year

Clear Returns is proud to say that we were nominated for the title of Customer Insight Project of the Year for our unique work one of our clients. The nomination was part of the BT Retail Week Tech & Ecomm Awards, which were announced at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, London this past Wednesday, June 10th. This year there was a 75% increase in applications to the awards, showing the amazing growth in ecommerce and that Clear Returns has proven its commercial impact alongside the biggest players in retail technology and multichannel shopping.

We would like to extend a big congratulations to all of the winners of the BT Retail Tech & Ecomm Awards!

The BT Retail Week Tech & Ecomm Awards is a celebration of the retail technologies and innovations that are paving the way for the growing and dynamic multichannel retail landscape. By working with companies like Clear Returns, retailers are able to meet the changing demands of consumers and completely exceed customer expectations while growing their commercials. Clear Returns is dedicated to enhancing customer experience by using revolutionary software to analyse the reasons behind product returns and develop proactive returns solutions - it’s a problem that’s industry-wide and has been growing alongside the popularity of online shopping.

Clear Returns delivers major retailers at least £1 million of additional revenue for every £10 million returned, and our award nomination for the company’s outstanding work has proven Clear Returns’ commercial impact alongside the biggest players in ecommerce and multichannel shopping.

The Returns Problem

With online shopping seeing significant growth and changing customer demands, return rates for some distance sellers have been climbing well over 30%, and in some countries, such as Germany, return rates up to 60% are all too common. Clear Returns provided this leading TV shopping channel with returns analyses and solutions that caused them to achieve an even more competitive edge in the retail market, maximise customer lifetime value and grow revenue.

A bit about Clear Returns

Clear Returns began when CEO Vicky Brock noticed the increasing complexity of managing returns, especially among the growing popularity of ecommerce shopping. This lead to the development of Clear Returns’ groundbreaking returns intelligence software, which aggregates and analyses the reasons products were brought back to the store, allowing retailers to take fast and proactive action against returns issues. This technology lead the company to win a number of highly esteemed awards, including Tech All Stars, IBM SmartCamp, Innovation of the Year, the Angel Investment Award, and the FDM Everywoman in Technology Award. We’re very happy that the Retail Week Tech & Ecomm Awards had recognised the value in our innovative way of looking at retail - it’s not a sale until the customer decides to keep it.

3 key areas to improve customer satisfaction online

What must retailers do to ensure customer satisfaction online in 2013? The latest report from eDigital Research and IMRG published this week delivers these key insights.

Their latest report delivers the results from quarterly surveys of over 2000 customers which asked them to score their satisfaction with several elements of their online purchase journeys. These areas included delivery, navigation, security, product range, information and pricing we well as customer service contact. The results are clear that since the index began in 2008 satisfaction has steadily increased, currently at some of the highest levels it has ever been.

Consistently product range is the highest rated area, not unusual as ecommerce retailers face no boundaries as to how many products they can display. However product information and pricing are struggling to reach satisfaction rates above 80%. This would suggest that retailers should put greater focus on developing good product content and using tools such as catwalk videos, zoom functions and customer reviews would further enhance their ecommerce operations as well as customer satisfaction.

40% of customer wanted improvements in customer service contact

Areas where customers currently demand greater improvements include customer service contact. 40% of customers wanted improvements to customer contact, with 17% feeling quicker responses to queries would help. Many retailers, particularly in the fashion industry, have begun to direct customer services through social media channels such as Twitter or Facebook. Yet this study finds that customers often report unresponsive or unreliable service from these channels, meaning retailers must learn to deal with requests quickly and efficiently to satisfy customer’s demands for information faster than ever before.

23% of customers felt that better delivery services would improve their online experience
23% of customers felt that a better delivery service would also improve their online experience. Retailers that supply furniture or DIY tools online often have the lowest ratings for delivery satisfaction simply due to the nature of their products – meaning they need to do even more to reassure customers in terms of delivery types, times as well as in their product information as stated earlier.

The report concludes with the statement that no part of customers online experience recorded scores of over 90%, so there is still room to improve their offering. As the online and mobile channels continue to grow throughout 2013, retailers cannot afford to miss the key results of reports like these, or they risk losing customers to more receptive competitors.

Key trends in retail technology

Several articles published recently explore the key trends within retail technology that are set to shape the industry, here we deliver their key findings.

A recent article featured in the Wall Street Journal discussed the key trends in online fashion that are set to continue. Gartner and Retail Info Systems (RIS) also published their 23rd Annual Retail Technology Study, detailing the key areas of future investment for the industry over the next 24 months. The key findings show that online data and analytics along with mobile developments are the drivers set to shape the future of the industry.

Gartner and RIS surveyed c-level executives across the retail industry to determine their major action items for the next 2 years.  They concluded that the top technologies for 2013 include:

1) Campaign analysis and forecasting

2) Standard forecasting and planning

3) Mobile POS

4) Predictive Analytics

5) In-store pickup and return on online items

The clear emphasis here is on analysis and forecasting, with 46% of retailers planning to upgrade their analytics and business intelligence technologies within the next 2 years. Although this will prove tough for retailers as 36% of executives surveyed felt that managing big data was one of their top challenges.

Only around 10% of retailers have a fully functioning mobile offering in place

Mobile channel development was another key topic within the study, the majority of retailers were in the process of planning their strategy while only around 10% had a fully functioning mobile offering in place. This will prove to be another challenge for retailers in 2013 as IMRG have just this week reported in their Quarterly Benchmarking Index thatmobile accounted for 20% of all UK e-retail sales in the first quarter of this year, a 5% rise from last quarter.

Merchandisers and buyers will become much more analytical in their approach thanks to these technologies

The study also looked at merchandising specifically. High levels of future investment are expected in this area on campaign analysis and forecasting and multi-channel forecasting.  The article from the Wall Street Journal mentioned earlier stated that merchandisers and buyers will become more analytical in their approach.  While Peerius’ latest Online Merchandising Index revealed that merchandising leaders ‘can still improve a lot’. Therefore implementing this kind of technology will only enhance these employees capabilities and their impact on the overall business.

The top emerging ecommerce markets

Several industry articles recently have shown a focus on emerging ecommerce markets. Here we round up the key stats and deliver a concise overview of these markets.

First up, China. Now this is hardly an emerging market with several key players in retail already making their presence felt here, however the countries adoption of online shopping is rising. This rise is mainly due to increased consumer confidence in the channel plus the popularity of online fashion retail in the country.

Increased consumer confidence in China

Indonesia is another emerging commerce market – set to soar to $10 billion by 2015. With the world’s fourth largest population, a resilient and growing economy and emerging ecommerce activity it is a main attraction for many organisations as well as significant investment.

However Indonesia’s lack of legal regulations, difficult geography and lack of infrastructure will pose a challenge for market entry. Although the tendency for Indonesian people to shop on their smartphones more so than other areas does present a significant market opportunity.

Indonesian ecommerce market to grow to $10 billion by 2015

The ecommerce market in India is said to be experiencing some tough times.  Poor logistics, skeptical customers and mainly slim margins mean ecommerce is challenging. Also risky supply chains mean stock must be kept in warehouses while customers often only pay upon delivery meaning cash flow issues arise.

Yet this market is worth $10 billion and with annual growth in this area at 34% it is predicted to become hugely profitable.

Indian market must overcome cash flow problems

Andy Rubin from Pentland Group summarised the importance of these economies at a recent Drapers event. He predicted international expansion in these emerging markets would be critical to future success. By 2022 China will account for 25% of global retail sales. Therefore retailers worldwide must consider how these shifts will impact their strategies now.