Bestseller, the Danish fashion retail giant, has effectively addressed the rising issue of online returns with its project “Return Revolution.” Over the past five years, Bestseller observed a worrying trend of increasing return rates in its online sales. In response, the company formed a team of 10 e-commerce specialists from various departments to investigate and tackle this problem head-on.

While specific figures regarding the reduction in return rates were not disclosed, Bestseller expressed satisfaction with the outcomes achieved. The company successfully reversed the upward trend and attained a significantly lower return rate compared to the previous year. Jordan Burke, the overseer of Return Revolution, expressed concerns about the impact of returns on profitability and the environment. The team’s goal was to reduce both the business and environmental costs associated with returns by considering different approaches.

Throughout the project, the team generated more than 130 ideas and pursued 100 of them. These initiatives encompassed data and financial analysis, as well as changes made to the company’s brand websites and operations. One notable change was extending the online return window from 30 to 100 days. Surprisingly, this extension proved to be advantageous for both customers and the company. Customers now have more time to try on items at home without feeling rushed to make a quick decision. As a result, customers are keeping more items and returning fewer.

Furthermore, Bestseller implemented a tagging system in its Fulfilment Centre for high-value, high-return items. The objective is not only to reduce the return rate for these items but also to dissuade customers from wearing products and then returning them. In addition to minimizing the volume of returns, the project focused on minimizing their environmental impact. This involved investing in environmentally-friendly cleaning equipment at the Return Centre in Poland to effectively remove stains and odors, significantly reducing the need for external cleaning. These new cleaning options not only restore products to pristine condition faster but also have a positive environmental impact by reducing water, paper, and chemical usage.

The success of the Return Revolution project has led to its evolution into a new e-commerce Customer Team, now headed by Jordan Burke. Sofie Bertholdson, in her role as Operational Excellence Specialist, oversees ongoing innovation. Bestseller continues to gather more data through its online return portal to gain deeper insights into why customers return, which items they return, and when. This data will further inform future strategies aimed at reducing returns and improving customer satisfaction.

By taking proactive measures and conducting a comprehensive analysis of the returns process, Bestseller has effectively tackled the growing trend of online returns. The company’s commitment to sustainability and customer experience is evident through its efforts to reduce both the business and environmental costs associated with returns. Through measures like extending return windows, implementing tagging systems, and investing in environmentally-friendly cleaning options, Bestseller sets an example for other retailers in addressing the challenges presented by returns in the e-commerce landscape.

Useful Links:
1. Bestseller Sustainability
2. About Bestseller