Lee Metters, Brand Partnerships at Awin also explores the value of adding a gift with purchase; ‘Using brand partnerships enables retailers to upsell their customers to a complementary brand offer. In turn, retailers can enhance their customers shopping experience, incentivise customer loyalty, and drive inbound revenue through brand ad-spend.’

He continues, ‘One of the most successful forms of brand partnership is ‘Gift with Purchase’ whereby the retailer offers customers a free gift from another brand post-purchase. Brands like Myprotein, Boohoo and Currys have all made a success of this in recent times. Offering a gift at checkout can also boost basket completion, by up to +40%, driving significant incremental volume.’

The key is to work with brands that share complimentary customer demographics, without being direct competitor.

Another way to give customers extra value at the post-purchase stage is offered by Bill Schneider, VP of Product Marketing at SheerID. He gives an example of ‘a big box retailer that gives teachers an exclusive offer, verifies their identity, and enrolls them in its loyalty program when they redeem it.’

Bill says, ‘Then it re-engages them with relevant, seasonal promotions, like discounts on apparel and school supplies during back to school and holiday breaks. The teachers become loyal customers because they feel recognised and valued by the retailer.’

Optimise your returns

IMRG research has shown that customers find the following aspects very important for convenient returns: confirmation their parcel has been received (86.8%), access to tracking information to confirm the safe arrival of a return (79.1%), and access to a convenient drop-off location (72.9%).

A significant proportion of the 1000 customers surveyed (60.1%) revealed that they would also like a returns collection service where you can specify the time slot. While collection services may not always be possible, it is good for retailers to consider how their current offering can be more customer-centric. Can their returns portal provide accurate tracking, and offer extra benefits such as faster credit?

Alexandra Romantseva, returns expert at ReBound highlights the importance of foregrounding returns. She says, ‘Given that a third of consumer purchases now lead to returns, according to the latest ReBound data, the post-purchase experience is now inextricably linked to a retailer’s reverse logistics.’

‘Retailers can benefit from being smart with their returns, monitoring consumer behaviour, analysing reasons for returns, and ensuring customer happiness,’ says Alexandra. ‘By using data to improve efficiency and accuracy, brands can then drive customer-centric policies by streamlining the process. This could include offering different returns options, making the experience quicker and improving customer loyalty.’

Fraudulent returns have been on the rise, says Amal Ahmed, Director, Financial Services & EMEA Marketing at Signifyd. Consequently, ‘retailers have resorted to charging returns fees to cover the costs. But, as we found in our recent research, 60% of European consumers would be less likely to shop with a business that charged for returns.’

Amal recommends ‘Retailers should instead focus on verifying users, enabling free, fast returns and refunds while fighting fraud.’

Reduce extra hassle

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