Paperless into the digital age of returns
Yasamine Beheshti is the Head of E-Commerce at the Batra Group, an international company. When Yasamine joined the company three years ago, she was surprised to find that even large brands relied on manual returns.
The problem: Paper and document chaos ruled the processes. Lost return forms, high time investment, and dissatisfied customers were the result.
Yasamine eventually took on the task of ushering in the digital age for two of her brands. With the automated returns software from 8returns, she managed to implement a real innovation for FILA and Juicy Couture in the ever-changing world of e-commerce. A decision that not only led to a competitive advantage but also saves time and costs every day.
We joined Yasamine on the journey once again. In the interview, she shares what has changed with 8returns.
Manual returns for a multi-brand company: error-prone and complicated
As Head of E-Commerce, Yasamine is the one who implements new solutions for brands, develops their stores, and keeps them up to date with innovations. In her role, she ensures that brands benefit from new technologies. But it wasn't always like that.
High effort, growing complexity
"Wow, initially there was so much paperwork that documents were constantly getting lost. But that wasn't the only problem. You can't always rely on customers to provide accurate information on your return form. They were also responsible for their return label and sometimes didn't get a receipt for the return shipment.
So, there were many challenges, and honestly, we were ready for a new era.
I am naturally an online shopper and know from experience that the best customer journey involves digital returns management.
Instead of optimizing returns on paper, we also wanted to consider the environment. That was a very important factor in the decision to implement return software."
"I love that you have your own tech team."
After the first call with 8returns Co-Founder Amin, the decision was made. "Amin showed me the entire platform, and honestly, it delivers what it promises. I immediately thought, okay, this is a great solution. I wanted to start with 8returns right away."
With the support of 8returns' tech team, the software was implemented for FILA and Juicy Couture in no time.
"Another factor we initially had to consider was Brexit. For Juicy Couture, we deliver to the EU and cannot accept returns—unless the product is faulty. The great thing about 8returns is that you can define different rules for each region that are important for your business. That is super helpful."
Many needs, one automated returns solution
"First, I have to say: The platform is super intuitive, very well-structured, and easy for anyone to use. Many people ultimately come into contact with the software, so it has to be easy to use and quick to train employees.
What I really like – 8returns has individual solutions for different use cases and needs. For example, customers can use a prepaid label or choose their carrier."
Where returns and marketing meet
For Yasamine, it is important that customers still feel that they are interacting with the brand during the return. "We don't want to give customers the feeling that they have to switch to another portal when they return, one that looks and feels different. Our 8returns returns portal can be customized so that the brand identity is not lost."
Return Reasons also provide important insights
"With 8returns, we can see the most common reasons for returns. If we often receive feedback that a particular product is 'defective,' then we know it's a production issue. We then talk to the suppliers, and that helps us, for example, get a discount on the inventory in the future. Of course, we also get our money back for the goods we have already purchased. That is obvious because defective products negatively impact our brand image.
The return reasons Yasamine can track through 8returns even help her team optimize web content. "In fact, we see that for Juicy Couture, the items are often either too big or too small. A few months ago, we uploaded a Size Guide to the website. The return rate for these products is already decreasing!"
Comprehensive optimization for all brands
At the end of our conversation with Yasamine, we asked about the key improvements and her conclusion from the last two years with 8returns.
"Well, first, I can say that our return rate has remained stable. That's a great thing. Many people in my business believe that digital returns are too easy. Their concern: If it's easy, customers will buy more and return more, leading to an increase in the return rate. But that's not the case with us!
Instead, we see an increase in positive comments on Trustpilot, saying that the returns process for our brands is very easy.
Of course, you can also track every item that got lost or damaged in the mail. So, we can present data to our carriers and precisely show with which orders we had issues with the return. That helps us in terms of our negotiating position and our reputation in general."
Saving money and sustainable business
Last but not least, we wanted to know if the implementation of a digital returns solution has a positive impact on overall revenue.
"Sure, we save costs daily because we don't have to deal with so much paperwork anymore.
In addition, there is also a saving of real working time. We no longer need a team to sort and read every piece of paper. Today, some team members are trained in 8returns and ensure that returns are managed, checked, and processed. I would go so far as to say that we save half a day every day.
We know that 8returns makes it easier for our customers to shop with us because we have a better returns platform. One thing I can say for sure is that our website has only grown in the last three years.
From our existing customers, we wanted to know in a survey how they perceived the returns process. 95 percent say it was very easy for them! That's why I will also use 8returns for upcoming launches."
All images courtesy of Batra Group.