Revolutionising the returns process

Over the course of the last year and a half, online shopping and e-commerce has, at times, been the only way consumers have been able to shop, leading to record breaking rises in people engaging with online retailers. This record volume of e-commerce purchases in 2020 has resulted in a corresponding surge in returns made by consumers who have either changed their minds or aren’t satisfied with their purchase after delivery.

In 2020, a Salescycle report estimated 30% of shoppers deliberately over-purchase and subsequently return unwanted items: a process eroding retailer profits, creating a trail of emissions (with products often ending-up in landfill), and causing inconvenience which can result in a retailer losing customers permanently.

Returnado is the Swedish startup providing a solution to this under-acknowledged flipside of e-commerce. Believing that ‘reconversion’ is at the heart of a ‘reverse e-commerce’ process. Returnado understands that a customer’s journey need not end with a refund: the value of their purchase might be retained through an exchange, or, at the very least, customer loyalty and sentiment can be preserved as a result of exemplary customer service. Over 30% of Returnado’s client returns are reconverted through exchanges, thus generating higher rates of revenue.

Even when a customer is committed to a return without exchange, Returnado, through its scalable, cloud-based offerings, enables the handling of the entire process: allowing retailers to save time and resources, whilst promoting sustainable practices. Trusted by a number of leading brands, including Swedish-born ethical fashion brand, Asket, Norwegian clothing and sports equipment manufacturer Helly Hansen, Nordic interior designers, RoyalDesign, and UK outdoor clothing suppliers (and Royal Warrant holders), Musto.

How it works

Through its cloud-based modular solutions, whereby retailers can pick the offerings that best suit their needs, Returnado streamline the long and arduous administrative processes typically associated with returns, by providing bespoke, seamless, and fully automated returns systems that work for retailers and the consumer. While retailers receive help with customer support, warehouse management and other logistical needs, the consumer is provided with a frictionless and swift means by which to schedule and track returns.

Via a simplified, four-stage process, users of the platform can access: personalised handling of all dialogue with each customer, making it as easy as possible for them to return or exchange products. Meaning, with the click of a button, consumers can find their order and choose to return, exchange, or complain about one or more items. They can also upload images of the product to supplement their returns request.

Meanwhile, the built-in admin hub allows merchants to manage all aspects of the reverse e-commerce journey, including: locating lost shipping labels, triggering refunds, dispatching exchange goods, managing complaints, and providing customer support.

Finally, the analytics and logistics dashboards further inform and streamline the whole returns process. The analytics dashboard crunches all the data from the returns management system to offer key insights and equip retailers with a better understanding of their market, product and customers. Meanwhile, the logistics dashboard, integrated with data from freight suppliers, provides retailers with a broad overview of the entire shipping route in real-time, from the moment the consumer has left their package with the postal agent until it has arrived and been handled at the warehouse.

New Rescue Platform

According to the
United Nations, the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of humanity's carbon emissions, with garment production accounting for a significant proportion of this. Additionally, EU figures show that Europeans consume an average of 26kg of clothes per person every year, with 11kg discarded per person annually. Meanwhile, globally, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates that 75% of discarded textiles are doomed for landfill or incinerator. These are all shocking statistics that need to be addressed by the industry.

Launched in response to rising ecommerce sales, Returnado’s Rescue Platform, allows brands all over the world to take a more circular approach to consumption. Meaning that brands can extend the life cycle of unwanted garments long after the returns period has passed. Additionally, through a dedicated consumer-facing digital platform, brands can collect unwanted items long after the return period, and, regardless of their condition, give them a new lease of life through resale, remanufacture, and recycle. In exchange for registering their return, consumers receive a voucher which can be re-invested in new products.

On the backend, Returnado connects all the threads: handling the creation of the vouchers, and ensuring items directed to the correct place so that they can be put to the best possible use and retained at their highest value. By taking responsibility for the entire lifecycle of its products in this way brands not only extend the relationship between them and their customers, but also help keep their products in use and out of landfill or incinerators, thereby reducing consumption.

Haider Abdo, CEO and founder of Returnado commented: “While there are plenty of tools presenting solutions to specific and visible aspects of the e-commerce journey, at Returnado, we are solving the last pieces of the puzzle which, for too long, have been ignored and underutilised. We firmly believe that by making returns part of the e-commerce journey, a traditional challenge to e-commerce store-owner and recipient alike becomes an opportunity: retailers are able to preserve income, and also play their part in keeping tonnes of unwanted items out of landfills, all the while ensuring the individual customer experience remains central to these processes.”