Return analytics can provide important customer behavior insights that help improve the customer experience, optimize marketing efforts, and increase net revenue.
Considering the many hurdles that businesses and consumers have faced over the last few years, understanding customer behavior is essential. Forbes has recently even stated, “The retail industry may be facing the most challenging year since the pandemic, as consumer spending begins to slow in 2023 and other factors, like rising interest rates, increased wages, and the higher cost of goods, continue to plague companies.”
Even in an ideal economic environment, understanding customers is a pivotal aspect of running a successful business. A comprehensive view of customer behaviors can help you understand market demand, product performance, driving factors behind purchasing behaviors, and so much more.
While there are several different strategies for gathering this information, a gold mine of data can be gathered from return analytics. When expertly analyzed, the granular data from return transactions can help us better understand consumer needs and preferences. This allows us to develop strategies that improve the customer experience, optimize marketing efforts, and increase net profits.
Returns Data Provides Customer Behavior Insights at the Channel Level
Listing products across multiple sales channels allows customers to shop and purchase in the method that best suits their needs. That doesn’t mean, however, that shopping habits and behaviors will be consistent across those channels.
While a customer might first see a product while shopping inside a department store, it might not be until they see it again on social media that they begin looking into product details. Perhaps they purchase directly from social media, but they may opt to look at the brand’s website first. Each of these channels needs to be optimized, and the customer behavior insights gathered from each of these channels can be used to increase top-line sales, identify marketing opportunities, and more.
For example, returns data can provide insights into how customers perceive prices between sales channels. In this instance, adjusting the price of a product could result in a net revenue increase.
Returns Analytics Can Improve Understanding of Returns by Region and/or Country
While brands usually appeal to specific demographics, applying the same marketing techniques across regions or countries isn’t always the best route. It’s possible that some products are more popular in certain geographical regions than others. Furthermore, there may even be certain times of the year when sales of that product ebb and flow between regions and/or countries.
When it comes to optimizing marketing spend, this information can be invaluable. Imagine a brand decides to continue a marketing campaign in a region where consumer behavior indicates a product won’t perform as well. In this instance, the marketing ROI would be significantly lower because the campaign was not tuned to the consumer needs in that region.
That’s why analyzing the returns data between different regions and countries is so important. These kinds of customer behavior insights can help businesses adjust marketing efforts to reduce unnecessary ad spending while leveraging opportunities in specific regions.
Returns Data Can Provide Customer Behavior Insights Into Bracketing
Bracketing is when an online shopper purchases multiple sizes and variations of an item, selects their favorites, and then returns the rest. While this might not sound ideal for net revenue, the behavior insights gleaned from these types of returns can reveal important opportunities.
Many customers bracket for size, however, customers also bracket for color, material, and other features. Those in the latter groups often end up keeping more than one item. We’ve found that the keep rate for bracketing that’s unrelated to sizing can be higher than 75%.
Understanding the behaviors that drive this type of bracketing can help businesses make decisions that encourage similar purchases with high keep rates. Whether that means offering a clothing item in multiple colors or even offering a shoe with various heel heights, these kinds of offerings can encourage customers to purchase additional items.
Returns Data Can Help Discern Returns Impact on New and Loyal Customers
Analyzing returns data across transactions from new to loyal customers can reveal important insights that can reduce losses, increase retention, and increase customer lifetime value.
For example, behavior insights from new customers can be used to make changes that increase the likelihood of repeat purchases from other new customers. Details such as sizing, product details, and customer reviews are all important aspects of that first purchase. If a first-time customer indicates that any of these issues influenced their return, then it may be time to adjust those features.
Return analytics can also reveal behaviors from existing shoppers that indicate they’re having a mediocre or poor consumer experience. In this case, granular returns data can help identify areas where even slight improvements may increase customer loyalty.
Important behavior insights can even be gathered from returns made by particularly loyal customers. For example, if your most loyal customers often have a negative experience with a specific product or brand, it’s unlikely a new customer who purchases that product will become a repeat customer. On the other hand, if loyal customers indicate high satisfaction with a particular product, marketing that product to emerging loyal customers can help transition them into a loyal category.
Partner with Returnalyze to Effectively Leverage Customer Behavior Insights
Customer behavior insights gathered from returns data are invaluable and often overlooked. When effectively leveraged, however, businesses can use this information to improve online user experiences, optimize product marketing, improve and inform return policies, and so much more.
What’s more, we’ll help you develop targeted solutions from insights uncovered by returns data. Not only does the Returnalyze Intelligent Dashboard give you access to returns data, but a partnership with Returnalyze also comes with step-by-step guidance so you can leverage this information effectively.