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Forbes published anarticlediscussing the ways in which technology can potentially improve historically high holiday returns. The increased offering of free shipping and returns is no longer a luxury as it was perceived a few years ago. Now, many retailers offer promotions to allow customers to purchase and return online, without having to pay for any of the associated fees.
Free shipping and returns greatly decrease the need for shoppers to go into traditional brick-and-mortar stores to make their purchases or returns. Rather, this can all be completed online in a timely, facilitated manner. These offerings and consumers choosing to shop online more often has been made popular from total ecommerce stores like Amazon.
While these offerings make shopping more convenient for consumers, retailers face the burdens of direct processing, restocking, logistical overhead, associated costs for the returns and more. The article notes that key technological advancements that may assist retailers in diminishing costs after the holiday season include augmented reality, personalization, and customization.
Augmented Reality has allowed retailers to increase conversion, and visualize different experiences. Retailers who are implementing this technology are able to visualize products there are interested in buying prior to purchase. This decreases the surprises that may occur when a customer orders a product without being able to visualize how it will look on or how the fabric will fall.
Personalization & customization services allow customers to order uniquely personal products that are created for the individual. Levi’s and Nike are two brands who allow for customized monogram and embroidery features, for example, that allow customers to have truly personalized shopping experiences. Returns are lowered with these offerings, due to these items are designed for the specific person, rather than for the masses.
For more information on how your brand can lower return rates and improve conversion, downloada copy of True Fit’s Returns Report.