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How retailers are turning online returns into an opportunity

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Leading fashion brands discuss innovative ways to tackle returns and use them to their advantage

Mumbai: Leading fashion retailers discussed innovative ways to tackle returns, which is a pinching issue for most omni-channel retailers. They highlighted the issue in an engrossing session in the ongoing Images Group-organised PRC 2023 in Mumbai.

The most prominent issue retailers face with regards to returns is GST compliance. The other more obvious problem is cost and reverse logistics.

However, several retailers have implemented smart strategies to minimise the impact of returns on their business. Tata-owned Trent, for instance, has come up with a measure to turn the problem into an opportunity. Trent offers a 5% discount to consumers who come to its stores to drop off products they want to return. They have termed this initiative Go Green.

According to Vinod Kapote head -IT, Trent, this has led to an increase in the number of customer walk ins at stores, which further leads to up customers shopping for more.

Similarly, Metro brands too has been offering its customers the ease of returning offline though that is more for convenience according to Prashant Prakash Bokil, head, Projects & IT, Metro Brands.

According to Vivek Sandhwar, chief operating officer, Being Human, one way the issue of returns can be resolved is by ensuring that the customer is given confidence as soon as she begins her online shopping journey. “It is important that the customer believes in what she is buying. This will ensure no or at least lesser returns,” Sandhwar said.

The panelists also said online and offline customers behave very differently and this has a direct correlation with returns. While the online customer is more value oriented, the offline customer is guided into shopping for seasonal and fresh fashion items.

The panelists were speaking at a panel discussion at the Phygital Retail Convention (PRC), India’s largest retail intelligence event, is being held on the 11th and 12th of May at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai. The mega convention has participation of more than 250 speakers and 1000 brands and companies, and 100+ shopping centres showcasing current and upcoming malls. With more than 1 lakh sq. ft. the event has been witnessing the best of retail minds and brands come together on a common platform.

Presented by Inorbit Mall [s] and co-powered by Mufti and Delhivery, the theme for this edition of PRC 2023 is ‘Accelerating Retail @Scale For India: The Retail Megaverse’.

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