When returns cut into profits from influencer sales, it’s time to look at the data. Learn 5 ways returns data helps businesses optimize their influencer marketing efforts.
While Shopify has referenced data that shows “the ROI of influencer marketing is 11x greater than some types of digital marketing like banner ads,” its success can still vary depending on a number of factors. That may include the size of the influencer’s audience, engagement rates, platform, niche, and more. Additionally, assessing the success of influencer marketing based solely on top-line sales misses an essential piece of information. Returns.
While leveraging an influencer’s audience may initially result in impressive sales, high return rates will impact the bottom line. Not only does that result in less profit, but it means that any influencer marketing efforts aren’t as successful as top-line sales might initially indicate.
That’s why analyzing returns data from these kinds of sales is essential. Returns data can provide much-needed insights into what’s working and what’s not working in a business’s influencer marketing strategy. Not only can this help increase profits, but it can also help measure the effectiveness and success of influencer marketing efforts.
1. Returns Data Can Uncover Specific Influencers Whose Sales Result in High Return Rates
If there are high return rates related to specific influencers or even a group of influencers, returns data can show who they are. This is important for several reasons.
If all of your influencer partnerships are resulting in high returns, then it could be related to a broader issue regarding product quality, shipping, the way you’ve asked influencers to describe or feature the product, or even the selection method of your influencer partnerships.
On the other hand, high return rates among a smaller group, or even individuals, can help fine-tune your overall strategy and avoid actions that may be contributing to returns. For example, perhaps the influencer didn’t thoroughly discuss the sizing or stretch of a garment. As a result, their audience may have ordered the incorrect size or engaged in bracketing.
In this scenario, it would be beneficial to communicate this issue to the individual to ensure all necessary information is conveyed to their audience. If this is an issue for multiple influencers, then it may be time to revise any educational materials you provide to influencers so they’re aware of sizing features they need to convey.
2. Returns Data Can Uncover SKUs or Brands with High Return Rates
If a particular SKU or brand has high return rates, continuing its marketing can lead to additional poor consumer experiences which can erode customer loyalty. Not only is that damaging to the business’s image and bottom line, but it can also discourage influencers from wanting to partner with you in the future.
It goes so much further than that though. Depending on the reason that a SKU or brand has high return rates, it’s possible that returns are happening across multiple sales channels. While that isn’t always the case, the potential impact on the bottom line is significant.
Until a business determines why a product has a high return rate, it may be a good idea to replace it with a product that performs better to reduce the likelihood of negative experiences.
3. Return Data Helps You Understand WHY a SKU or Brand Has High Return Rates
Whether a return is acceptable (customer dislikes a product) or the result of a critical retail error (damaged item, shipping issues, inaccurate descriptions, etc.), returns data can help businesses determine the factors that lead to high return rates among specific SKUs or brands.
This information helps businesses create targeted solutions to resolve high return rates. For example, imagine that a particular shoe has a high return rate because customer expectations about heel height weren’t met. It could be time to update your product descriptions or sizing charts and ensure influencers are aware of these changes.
Not only will these types of targeted solutions improve your influencer marketing efforts, but they can lead to fewer returns across multiple sales channels.
4. Cross-Reference Returns Data From Other Channels to Verify Returns Issues
If returns are not due to influencer marketing strategy but to critical retail errors (manufacturing issues, material quality, shipping issues, etc.) then returns data from other channels can be cross-referenced to verify this information. Additionally, while knowledge of returns issues is essential in order to develop targeted solutions, this also creates marketing opportunities.
If critical retail errors have resulted in many negative consumer experiences, being transparent about implementing solutions is a powerful way to rebuild trust and brand image. Encouraging influencers to discuss these improvements can show consumers that their complaints were heard and that their opinions matter.
5. Returns Data Can Uncover SKUs or Brands That Perform Well
Returns data can highlight additional marketing opportunities by uncovering products or brands that perform well and have low return rates.
Increasing marketing efforts for such items positively impacts the bottom line in several ways. For example, if customers are satisfied with a purchase and choose not to return it, this can indicate they’ve had a positive consumer experience. That can lead to greater consumer trust, loyalty, and higher lifetime value.
Additionally, if a product has performed well in brick-and-mortar locations, it may be beneficial to have influencers promote it via social media as well.
Improve the Success of Influencer Marketing with Targeted Solutions from Returns Data
While influencer marketing is a long game, leveraging return analytics allows businesses to have more control over their bottom line—but only when it’s expertly analyzed and used to develop targeted solutions.
The Returnalyze Intelligent Dashboard provides businesses with detailed analytics to help identify issues, opportunities, and solutions. Additionally, that access comes with essential step-by-step guidance and expert data analysis so businesses can leverage this information efficiently and effectively.