Operationalizing Data Insights to Reduce Returns – Where to Start & How to Succeed

Nov 1, 2023 12:00 PM1:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

Product returns have a significant impact on yearly revenue, affecting brand loyalty and customer lifetime value. When analyzing key return drivers, many businesses operate in silos and struggle to integrate data insights for consistent results. How can you operationalize your data to prevent and reduce product returns?

Establishing a comprehensive system to identify return reasons allows you to take proactive action and capitalize on opportunities to enhance the customer experience. This involves compiling product, manufacturing, and supply chain data, return drivers, and reviews to observe customer behavior and trends. You can avoid returns and encourage loyalty by adjusting your return policies, creating an easy return process, and updating your PDPs to communicate essential product information.

Tune in to this virtual event as Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson interviews the VP of Customer Success at Returnalyze, Christine Bradford, about utilizing data insights to reduce return rates. Christine addresses prioritizing actionable data for informed decision-making, how to implement organizational changes based on return data, and how best-in-class brands have reduced product returns. 

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • How to analyze data to reduce returns 
  • Prioritizing actionable data to make informed business decisions
  • Case studies of leveraging data and enforcing policies to reduce returns
  • The impact of returns on customer lifetime value (LTV) 
  • Tips for preventing returns to increase brand loyalty 
  • Key considerations for returns — and how to implement organizational changes
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Event Partners


Returnalyze is a returns analytics company on a mission to help retailers take control of their returns. Returnalyze's Intelligent Dashboard provides critical visibility which elevates customer experience, reduces operational overhead and adds significant savings to the bottom line. The dashboard empowers retailers, showing them why their customers are returning items, what product or supplier issues exist, and what actions can be taken to reduce, prevent and predict returns.

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Guest Speaker

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson LinkedIn

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

Christine Bradford LinkedIn

VP of Customer Success at Returnalyze

Christine Bradford is the VP of Customer Success at Returnalyze, which helps businesses reduce returns and operational expenses while improving the customer experience and loyalty. As an experienced client services leader and strategist, she helps brands achieve business goals and drives improvement by transforming complex obstacles into tangible and profitable solutions. Before Returnalyze, Christine was the Senior Client Account Director at Epsilon.

Event Moderator

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson LinkedIn

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

Christine Bradford LinkedIn

VP of Customer Success at Returnalyze

Christine Bradford is the VP of Customer Success at Returnalyze, which helps businesses reduce returns and operational expenses while improving the customer experience and loyalty. As an experienced client services leader and strategist, she helps brands achieve business goals and drives improvement by transforming complex obstacles into tangible and profitable solutions. Before Returnalyze, Christine was the Senior Client Account Director at Epsilon.

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Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Senior Digital Strategist Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.

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Discussion Transcription

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 0:18

Happy Wednesday everybody. I am Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson, a digital strategist with BWG Connect we are in network and knowledge sharing group, we stay on top of latest trends challenges whatever is shaping the digital landscape, we want to know and talk about it. We are on track to do at least 500 of these virtual events this year due to the increase in demand to better understand the digital space. And we'll also be doing at least 100 in-person small format dinners. So if you happen to live in at tier one city, within the US feel free to send us an email, we'd love to send you an invite, the dinners are typically 15 to 20 people having a discussion around a certain digital topic and it's always a fantastic time, we spend the majority of our time talking to brands that's how we stay on top of the latest trends. We'd love to have a conversation with you. So you can feel free to send me an email at Tiffany@bwgconnect.com. We can get some time on the calendar. It's from those conversations we generate the topic ideas we know people want to learn about. And it's also where we gain our resident experts such as eternalized, who's with us today, anybody that we asked to teach the collective community has come highly recommended for multiple brands within the network. So if you're ever in need of any recommendations within the digital space, please don't hesitate to reach out we have a shortlist of the best of the best. And we would love to provide that information to you. Also note if you have any hiring needs, we do partner with a talent agency Hawkeye Search formerly BWG talents that we can put you in contact with as well. A few housekeeping items. First and foremost, we want this be fun, educational, conversational. This is about you guys asking those questions, sharing your experiences, so please feel free to drop in the chat. The q&a will make sure both are enabled. If you feel more comfortable, you can always email me at Tiffany@bwgconnect.com. And we will be sure to get to them. And we started a few minutes after the hour rest assured we're going to wrap up at least 10 minutes before the end of the hour to give you ample time to get to your next destination. So with that, let's rock and roll and start to talk about operationalizing data insights to reduce returns, where to start and how to succeed the team that Returnalyze have been awesome friends within the BWG network. So I'm gonna kick it over to Christine, if you couldn't give a brief introduction on yourself. That'd be lovely. And then we can dive into the information they give. Absolutely.

Christine Bradford 2:25

My name is Christine Bradford, and I'm the VP of Customer Success at Returnalyze and I'm excited to be here today. Thank you for BWG for hosting us again. Excited to be here.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 2:36

Excellent. Well, I think it's pretty safe to assume me personally, having been in the experience of dealing with returns with a brand is that all retailers would love to be able to operate, operationalize their data. But that sounds like whoa, that's daunting. And where would they start if they want to decide to do so?

Christine Bradford 2:59

Yeah, absolutely. Tiffany, before we dive in, I do want to give a quick overview on Returnalyze, if you don't absolutely know how to write, and that will just flow right into the question. I do want to apologize them a bit under the weather. So I'm going to try to make this as fun as possible for everyone, please, you know, make it interactive, as Tiffany said and ask questions along the way. But Returnalyze is an analytics company, and we're on a mission to help retailers take control of their returns. How do we do that we have a single source solution. It's an intelligent dashboard. And it basically allows our retailers to identify the the unwanted returns, which are the preventable ones, versus the the ones that it's okay if they normally happen, right. So it's alright, if I purchase something, there's nothing wrong with it, it's fine, just for whatever reason, I don't like the style. But then there are those preventable returns where it's, I'm always a true size five. And if I order your size five, and it's way too big on me, that's a bad experience. So I'm going to probably be very disgruntled, I'm going to send it back. And that's something you know, if you know that your last is trending large or small. That's something you can go back and prevent same as some operational issues that might occur, such as shipping delays or wrong items returned. Those are the type of unwanted returns that we help uncover. Also, we have a very hands on collaborative approach. So everybody gets to work with me and my team over at customer success where we like to consider ourselves an extension of your team and experts in the return space, right. So industry trends happening out there best practices. Were there to partner with you and not just provide insights into what's going on with your returns and recommended actions but also provide value add in terms of what might be happening in the industry, what are some best practices, what are different types of things we can test and try together to make sure that we optimize, not just reducing those returns, but also the the customer experience and their loyalty. So that kind of gives a an overview of what we do. Our goal, ultimately, is to always help our retailers not just reduce returns, but you know, provide a net increase to revenue, also, the customer experience is very important, and returns do impact, the customer experience loyalty, and I'll get into that today. So we also, you know, are working with our retailers to do those things. So how do we start to operationalize data insights to reduce returns? Well, first of all, you you need a system, you know, in place, that's going to be able to identify all the different drivers of returns and areas of opportunity. So what we hear a lot from our retailers are, well, I might have some Excel spreadsheets over here, I use Tableau over there. I don't know what the department over here uses. And so everybody's kind of looking at things in disparate ways. Oftentimes, retailers can identify, you know, I know that this is a bad category, but I'm not really sure why, why are things getting returned at a high level in this category. You know, the systems aren't usually talking to each other. And it's very difficult to understand things. It's also very difficult to proactively and predictively understand things. So it takes retailers a long time. And it usually it's after the fact that they're like, Okay, we're starting to finally now understand why these items were returned and at a higher rate, versus getting ahead of it. So I think, you know, just to summarize, the first step is making sure that you have one system that's bringing all the different dimensions together and all the different data viewpoints together, so that you can identify issues very quickly. And then you can be more proactive rather than reactive.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 7:17

proactive rather than reactive. Absolutely. I worked in home furnishings, so returns was always that like sore point that nobody wanted to talk about that. You know, that's that's the bummer side of everything is Oh, the return rates and and then how do you make sense of it? So this is exactly right in your guys's wheelhouse. It's what you do. It's what you know, best? You know, can you elaborate on how Returnalyze?

Christine Bradford 7:17

Yeah, absolutely. So we bring all that data together, will bring all your different product data, your return reasons, your reviews, all the customer data to if you have a CRM segments in place, if you have loyalty programs in place, we'll bring that all in, in addition to manufacturing data operations data, you know, DC data, whatever it might be from a supply chain perspective, and we bring it all into one place. So then we can really start to identify the buckets of opportunity across the business. So we can start to drill down and segment all the way down to a SKU level, and start to identify outliers. Put together notifications to identify groupings of outliers and trends, we can build a deeper understanding of customer behaviors, their online experiences and product factors that impact returns, and then how that impacts the customer's loyalty to a brand. We can also drive operational efficiency through predictive analytics and AI recommendations to make sure that you optimize your product premier securement, your manufacturing and your operations process. Awesome,

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 9:04

friendly reminder questions, comments, put into the chat the q&a, and we'll be sure to get to them as we move along. So step one, aggregated all that into one place. Now it's there. Now. Question two, how do you prioritize that? And do you prioritize those items that do the low hanging fruit? That seems like the obvious that's going to affect your bottom line? Or would you look elsewhere? What do you recommend? So,

Christine Bradford 9:31

we take in a bunch of different factors. And we also work with you to understand what are your priorities, what are your business objectives? Because, you know, obviously, the system is going to point out a bunch of different opportunities. And we look at multiple KPIs. So we're looking at not just return rates, but also volume coming back, profit loss, cogs, all those things and then calculate what we call a recoverable revenue. know, to really understand where the biggest opportunities lie. So then we can go ahead and prioritize based on that. But then we can also prioritize from there based on, where are their resources available, where is the business headed in terms of their initiatives and goals. If you tell me, I want to, you know, increase my gross sales, or I need to acquire more customers and reduce my returns, then we can take all the different opportunities, and prioritize them to align to your goals, and then also highlight the biggest buckets of opportunity, where if you start to take action and chip away at those bigger opportunity buckets, you should then start to reap the benefits and see the return on those actions.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 10:50

So awesome, it totally makes sense. Because with the systems in place that you're describing, you can prioritize those actions, right? And you're thinking about it, as opposed to just fixing what's in front of you, which I am guilty of doing in a past life for sure. So that is the power then of using data to make those business decisions,

Christine Bradford 11:10

correct. Yeah, and sometimes it's a two step process, Tiffany. So you might, you know, we might see an opportunity where the longer term solution is, you may have to go back to product, you may have to go back to manufacturing. And you're like, gosh, that's daunting, that's a longer face. So then we like to talk about recommended actions in Two Step processes or low hanging fruit versus long term actions, right. So what can we do right now to educate the customer better, so that we reduce the returns up front? And then what do we do long term in order to if we need to make any updates to product etc. So those are also options of how to prioritize. And that's what's great about Returnalyze is we're able to give you a bunch of different recommended actions based on the insights that we're seeing. So then the business can go ahead and prioritize accordingly.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 12:05

antastic questions, comments put into the chat q&a, we will get to them. So from your lens and having worked with many retailers brands, do you have some examples that you could share with the audience, some case studies per se,

Christine Bradford 12:21

I love this part of the conversation, because I share real life examples. There's never any shortage of you know, real life examples. I'm going to give two that are that I love and that are my favorite to share. First one is in relation to a retailer that is omni channel. So sometimes, you know retailers are they don't have that omni channel view. They don't understand, you know, what's getting bought online returned in store, what does that look like? And return policy is a hot topic right now for every one. Retailers are shortening their return windows, they're starting to charge for returns for shipping, just to try to recoup some of those losses. So for this specific retailer, we are able to identify for them that they had customers that were not adhering to their 30 day policy. And usually the way customers kind of curtail that is they go in, they return in store, because they can always swindle a store associate into Come on, give it back and usually store associates aren't trained well enough, or they're willing to give the the concession more than if you go through an online portal. So by pointing out to this specific retailer, how many customers were actually returning outside the policy window, which brick and mortar stores were actually getting more returns after the, the policy window. What they did was they went back and they they put in an education process with their store associates to let them know, you know, we can't accept returns after 30 days unless, you know, obviously, maybe there's no damage or an exception. But they really wanted to start curtailing this process. So they put a new policy in place, they reinforced it they train their store associates. And as a result, they saw a 50% reduction in items returned outside of the 30 day policy window. And also by curtailing a lot of final markdowns that were coming back as well. They were able to reduce returns by 20%. This is something else we see final sale not always final sale customers again, find a way to bring that stuff back. So you know just by putting some new processes and policies in place, they were really able to recoup the benefits and see that reduction in returns. The second example I have is with a retailer that sells occasion where or event where we know that occasion where returns at a much higher rate. And we know that it's purchased for a specific event. And it's due in the certain amount of time, right. So what we're able to actually identify for this retailer is that there was a specific group of products that kept getting returned at a higher rate. Once we dug in a little bit further, we identified that it was their suiting, so their event were so when people were purchasing suits for a special occasion, and that all of their suits were delivering super late, it was taking one to two weeks to deliver or ship out these items. So as a result, customers were returning them saying, I don't need it anymore, probably because the product was really, I now have an event to go to, you're late on your delivery. So I'm going to run out and find the product elsewhere or get something else elsewhere. So suiting just was a really important category for this retailer. And they said this is our priority, we want to focus on this. So they went ahead, and they started working in the DC and with their carriers to to prioritize and reduce the shipping delays. So after implementing the corrective measures that they took within the warehouse, they were able to reduce their return rates as well, and recoup over $50,000 in recoverable revenue just in a two month period. So think about the recoupable revenue that could come for an entire year of fixing this error. And then just as important, the customer impact. So they saw 1000s of customers that were no longer impacted by these shipping delays. And then the future customers that are kind of come visit and purchase suiting from them aren't going to experience the same issue. So it should also improve the customer LTV at this point. So

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 17:06

some examples, and things like that, going into the LTV I'd mentioned, you know, we do 100 dinners a year throughout the country. And when we go around the table, you know, what's top of mind to you? What's biggest challenge, you know, what is your focus, LTV and increasing? That is always the big answer on the table is always something that like we want to dig into this, how a lot of times it's coming from the lens of the marketing team. interesting to look at this from the lens of operational return side of the returns data and how that can make an impact on LTV. Yeah, so

Christine Bradford 17:41

oftentimes, l LTV or CRM segments are all based on gross sales. You know, Christine spent, you know, $10,000, with this last year, and she's a loyal, T, top tier member, etc. But if I've returned 90% of that, Am I really your best customer. So something we like to take a look at when we talk about LTV, CLV is first of all layering in that returns, you know, metric so understanding, okay, these are your top gross sailing, you know, sales customers, but when you layer in returns, maybe there's a segment of customers that are not doing so great. And you need to reach out to them, find out why they're making such high returns, maybe it's changing the return policy for them to prevent them from returning in the future. And then you're gonna have others right where it's a natural relationship, she's still profitable for you, meaning she's buying and returning. But you know, in the end, the net profitability is still there. So that's a layer that I think most people don't think about putting in and taking a look at, then from there, we start to think about, you know, things that can impact the customer experience and the LTV. I mentioned the shipping delays earlier. But there are other things like quality or damage issues. You know, if you're a luxury retailer, and I just perceive that the quality is not there, and it's happening consistently, with a specific brand, or a set of products, you're going to want to know that so that your merchandising team can go back and either you know reevaluate the set of products or address maybe damages or defects that are happening or occurring. You know, the expectation mismatch from the website, colors, you know, not being correct. People get really worked up. You know, when they buy something and they say, Hey, you told me this was red and it's orange. It's very, very orange. Or I remember I got a top ones and the color description was like a forest green, and I got it, I go, this isn't green, this is black, you know. So that can create also some customer friction and impact the loyalty. So we look at customers repurchase behavior post returns. And we also break it down depending on what types of products they're interacting with. What that allows us to do is it allows us to understand, if they interact with a certain product on their first purchase, it might be deterring them from coming back and repurchasing from you more than if they were to interact with other types of products on their first purchase. So then the marketing teams, the CRM teams, site teams can optimize, right, you're going to optimize to what types of products you promote to acquire customers, what types of products do you promote, to then push her from a first purchase to a repeat by all of these are things that are going to increase the LTV over time and ensure she's having a great experience, her returns are low, and she's a valuable customer to you.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 21:09

And if they give the case study, you talked about the suits, like if that's your first time purchasing a suit, and I didn't make it to that big milestone event that you were planning to dress up for. And that's your first experience, I can only assume Yeah, the LTV is going to be severely affected by that if that was your first experience with a new brand. Very cool. Love these examples? So it seems like the return experience and the brand loyalty go hand in hand. Would you agree? And if so, can you expand? Yeah, absolutely.

Christine Bradford 21:43

So I think it just continues with the conversation we've been having returns play a role in brand loyalty, which then plays a role in the long term value that a customer has for a retailer. Just to give you some more examples, you know, I would also say making sure that you have not only the right system in place to identify all these key areas of opportunity, but also making sure that you have the systems in place for an easy returns process. You know, and that if they happen, it's really easy for her to go ahead and make that return. And then if she wants to exchange make that exchange, we actually find a lot of challenges with exchanges these days. When if you can just push them into an exchange, right, that's going to increase their their loyalty to you and their LTV. Also you can use predictive capabilities to get ahead of returns, right. So as you're launching new products, and you're putting them on your site, you're going to want to know pretty quickly, right? If this product has a problem, or if there's an issue, so getting ahead of it, so that you can communicate to your customers proactively, hey, to see, you know, this one's large, this one small, we had an issue, it can also go a long way. You know, customers are known to be more loyal, if you know things are processed correctly, if a retailer is proactively reaching out, we had a client that found out that their the instructions on washing a specific garment were incorrect. And so when you wash the item, it fell apart. And so they proactively sent out a communication to anyone who had bought that piece, letting them know what the correct instructions are. And then they also, you know, updated the details on the PDP to make sure people were clear on how to launder that garment. You know, and then also, I think it's something that we're starting to analyze and look at much more deeply. And we have the customer affinity to a brand and their loyalty is all these changes to the policies I mentioned earlier. So if you're known for having a really lenient return policy, and then all of a sudden, you've tightened that up, what is it? What does it do to your customers? How are your customer behavior changing as a result of that? If you've always given free shipping and free returns, and then you start adding returns charges, shipping charges, a second Fionna on a return, you know, you're really going to want to understand what that's doing to your loyalty and your brand affinity. So a lot of analysis we've been doing lately is alright, what does that look like? We put these policies in place. What is what has that done to my customer base? Are they coming back? Are they not coming back? Things like that, and that that's some of the ad hoc things that we can also do to be able to take a look look at and understand where it's not really returned specifically with the policies around returns that might be impacting brand loyalty, awesome.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 25:11

Questions, comments, put them in the chat, we will get to them. So just to recap everything we've talked about thus far. So if you have a system in place that does everything that you stated, or maybe you're currently working with Returnalyze, as your solution, you are adding that benefit of one being able to get the data be proactive versus reactive on what you're deciding to do with your your business decisions. And then you are not only helping your top but your bottom line by reducing the chance of those returns happening in the first place. And then in tandem, increasing your LTV with the customer, correct?

Christine Bradford 25:49

Absolutely. You're Hired Tiffany.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 25:54

I have a lot of experience with Richard's. Unfortunately, in home decor, it's inevitable.

Christine Bradford 26:01

Absolutely, I think the key is being able to identify the key drivers behind your returns. Once you've identified why those returns are happening, then looking at the opportunities underneath those drivers, and then being able to prioritize them. So that you can act quickly take the actions that you need to fix the issues. And then you can start to reap the benefits, as we talked about before in terms of turn rate reduction, net revenue increasing. And then obviously, the most important part is improved customer loyalty or brand affinity, if you will. Awesome.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 26:39

All right, we got about two minutes left here. So definitely fall in with questions. I do have a few that have come in. So who are the stakeholders that should be involved in onboarding an initiative like this? Yeah,

Christine Bradford 26:53

absolutely. eCommerce is typically always involved, right? They are the face to the customer. You know. So I would say eCommerce gets involved because there's a lot of opportunity there and ways of reducing returns. By reducing friction within the PDP experience, the site optimization etc. From their operations is a great team. However, you're structured in that manner, whether it be a supply chain team or a team that runs logistics and operations. So that'll get you know, allow us to look at any of those things that are going out incorrectly, or delays or carrier problems, perhaps DC q&a issues, things like that. Customer service or a CRM team, you know, that is involved in terms of managing the customer relationship is a great stakeholder to have. And then the merchandisers depending on your organization. But the merchandisers or the brand managers have way of you know, who's determining the product assortment and what's out there, we didn't talk a lot about it today. But returns can also inform your product assortment and how you move forward with seasonal items from season to season, or how you optimize your carryover items. So that's another group, I would say if you start there, you've got a good foot holding. And then from there, you can expand into other stakeholders. Awesome.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 28:36

It was thinking about product development. And just with all that data, that team been able to really understand like what that next new product launch looks like, based on the results of what they currently have in front of them could be hugely impactful.

Christine Bradford 28:52

Yeah, it's been a lot of fun. We have some great clients that design and produce their own product. And it's really great to be able to say, hey, you know, this boot didn't do so hot this season, because I'm actually I'm using a real example, because of the shaft of the boot was too tight. There wasn't enough space for her calf to get in there. So it's great to see them go through manufacturing, and then adjust the boot and then see the performance next season in terms of how much better it's doing as a result of their changes. Or a lot of times 70 What ends up happening is a retailer will use multiple manufacturing factories to create a single item the customer doesn't know that's happening. However, what that does is it may create size and fit inconsistencies, quality inconsistencies, so that I'm frustrated because I'm like, Guys, I normally buy this line of product from you. I'm always this size, we're always get this and then the next Time I ordered it again, because I love this product so much, it's not the same product. So that's where you see a lot of those customer reviews where they're like, this isn't the same as it used to be what changed. And it may be that nothing changed, it just may be that I got a product, my product was made at a different factory than the previous product I purchased. And it's just an inconsistency that has to be covered and resolved.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 30:27

So it can really get that granular to be able to find on the SKU level to track it back to that factory and see that, okay, that factory has a higher return rate per se than our other ones that are making the same exact pair of pants or whatever. Exactly, that is very powerful. Because for everything from negotiation standpoint to when you're working with different factories, if that factory has been problematic, and now you have the data to prove it for negotiations and terms, it could be something to really bring to the table.

Christine Bradford 30:59

Oh, absolutely. And that's where our you know, supplier management and supplier alerts are important. So that you can identify change in trends over time, or find out when your suppliers are exceeding their returns allowances with you, that same retailer that implemented that return policy change. They use the dashboard to track and monitor the performance of their suppliers, and hold them accountable to the damage rates and their allowance rates on return rates and have been able to readjust contract negotiations as a result of taking data to them and saying, Hey, guys, you're not you know, sticking to what we agreed.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 31:42

Very cool. Questions, comments, get them in there. And we will get to them in these final minutes. So a lot going on q4 Is Happening holidays are upon us. So how do you take something like this solution, which obviously content to go out and do a halo effect and be holistically make a huge impact on the overall organization? How do you make it a top priority? What are those, like best in class clients that you work with that you say like, okay, they championed it, and they made it a reality internally, we'll what was the secret sauce there? Yeah, I think you know,

Christine Bradford 32:17

they, as I mentioned earlier in the conversation, they determine what was a priority for them as an organization. You know it, and then they just started to tackle it piece by piece. I think starting with the low hanging fruit, you know, and then by looking at recoverable revenue, you start to look at where can I make the most impact, making sure that the stakeholders are available to action on it and carry it through. And then optimization. So that's another piece we didn't kind of talk about. But making sure that you're optimizing consistently. So with anything you do, right, you might be testing things all over the place. But with anything you do, if we make a change, we're always measuring the impact of that change. So then we can optimize to it. Most of the time, it's, it's going good, and it's in the right direction, and you just keep doing what you need to be doing. Once you've prioritized a lot of those initiatives, and you've got a process in place internally, it becomes turnkey, right? Everybody already knows what they need to do. And they're taking the action and as results are coming through. Either you stay the course or maybe you need a course correct slightly, you know, adjust for things, especially as customer behaviors change, trends change, things like that. So I say some, you know, our most successful clients are the ones that are clear on what their business objectives and goals are. And then they align the opportunities, we've identified to those goals. And we set a plan and we start tackling them one by one, it's not boil the ocean, it's let's look at where the biggest, you know, opportunity lies, align it to your priorities and go

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 34:06

from there. And having that data in front of you really eliminates the emotion and opinion at the table as well, because the numbers don't lie, right. So that's one thing that I noticed. And you know, we get a lot of people that are passionate about the product about you want to do a good job. And then you bring in these assumptions per se because you don't have the data to back it up. You know that that can be a slippery slope sometimes when you try to do proactive change within an organization. So I think anytime you can use data to your benefit, fantastic. That's awesome. So q4, you know any like last minute, like what should a retailer be thinking about when it comes to returns, post holidays and anything they can do at this point, to be more proactive as opposed to reactive in January?

Christine Bradford 34:57

Well, I think having a system like this Some place during the holidays helps you see what is happening in the moment, rather than waiting to the end of January to analyze what happened in November, December, January. So you could even course correct. I know everybody goes into a freeze, right. But if you can still make minor tweaks to the PDP in real time to reduce those returns, or the friction points with your customers, having the system in place during the holidays, will help you, you know, fix some of those things in real time. And then at the end of the holiday season, you can do a deep dive to really understand what happened, what went well, what didn't go, well. What do you what are we going to do for the next holiday season in preparation, you know, and making sure that then you're prepared for the next holiday season. And using those trends and seasonality is to make adjustments. Also, using the predictive capabilities can start to allow you to predict out what might happen this holiday season. Understanding your key drivers will also allow the business to understand what might be you know what's going on. I think sometimes people just panic, right? They're like, Oh, no, my return rate went up. Why did this happen. But if you understand that, your your first time buyers are going to return at a higher rate than your repeat buyers, and you just acquired a ton of new customers during the holiday period. It's natural for your return rate to go. Now let's identify from there. How do we prevent those in the future? How do you start to curb that customer behavior with a first time customer? So I think you know, it's it's just important for people to monitor and get ahead of it as much as they can and take action in as much real time as possible versus trying to be reactionary. Yeah,

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson 36:55

the real time. That's key to for January you think January is a big redeeming giftcard season. So if you can make those reactive real time changes in the middle of the thick of it, which I know was a crazy time in December. But if you can, you can reap those benefits too. And increase your LTV and new customer acquisition in January with the gift card redemption. So something to think about. Awesome. Well, Christine, thank you so much. Always bring awesome Intel to these webinars greatly appreciate it. Definitely encourage follow up conversation with the Returnalyze team. We'd love to have a conversation with you. That's how we get the topics for our future events. So feel free to email me Tiffany@bwgconnect.com. And we can get some time on the calendar. So with that it's a wrap. Happy wins everybody. Have a lovely week going into the weekend and Christine hope you feel better.

Christine Bradford 37:48

Thank you so much, guys. Thank you forever

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