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By Returnalyze on May 18, 2023

Using Returns Data to Improve Sales Across Channels - Returnalyze

When expertly leveraged, returns data can identify issues and opportunities across sales channels for increased net revenue.

As many consumers have begun using multiple channels for the same buying journey, selling across multiple channels is necessary for businesses to stay competitive. In 2021, a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review found that “only 7% shopped exclusively online, 20% were in-store only shoppers, and 73% of customers moved across multiple channels.” And as younger generations gain buying power, it’s likely those numbers will only increase.

Simply listing products on multiple channels is just one part of the process though. Whether it’s from brick-and-mortar stores, a business website, or even via social sales, each of these provides an essential set of analytics that can be used to improve sales across channels. If it wasn’t already obvious, we’re talking about returns data.

The data gained from return analytics can be used to increase top line sales, identify marketing opportunities, reduce operational costs, and more. In the end, returns data helps businesses increase their net revenue. 

Returns Data Can Help Optimize Prices For Higher Net Revenue

Imagine that a brand has products listed both online and in department stores. A dizzying number of factors influence prices and, in this particular instance, the same style of product listed online is priced lower than the same style in department stores. While a brand may be content with the sales they see from products in both channels, returns data can provide insights that increase net revenue.

For example, let’s say that the website conversion rate on certain products was relatively similar to the department store listing. However, if the conversion rate for the product listed in the department store was just slightly higher than its website counterpart, this might suggest that there’s no significant cannibalization due to price. In this case, raising the price of the website product listing will result in a net revenue increase.

Using Return Rates to Increase Sales Across Channels | Returnalyze

Returns Data Can Be Used to Identify Marketing Opportunities 

While it may seem obvious, it feels like an oversight not to mention that pushing high-performing products leads to higher net revenue. Analyzing returns data across sales channels, however, can help businesses identify those profitable marketing opportunities. It can be beneficial, for example, for products that perform particularly well in one channel to be marketed more heavily in another channel. 

It’s important to remember, however, that it’s not just about top line sales, it’s about sales that stick (i.e. net revenue). Returns data can help businesses understand the driving factors behind a product’s performance. This type of granular data helps create strategic solutions that increase net revenue across channels.

Use Returns Data to Reduce Operational Costs

Reducing operational costs is essential in times of economic uncertainty. However, doing so without negatively impacting other areas of the business can be difficult. Fortunately, returns data can identify such areas.

For example, if a style has a high return rate online, retailers can choose to promote it less online and encourage customers to purchase it in-store instead. This strategy would reduce the operational costs involved with processing all of the returns while also encouraging additional in-store purchases.

Returns Data Can Be Used to Identify Channel-Specific Issues

Returns data can help identify channel-specific issues, such as inconsistent product descriptions, so they can be addressed efficiently and effectively. 

By comparing channel performance and return rates by channel, brands can determine if issues are related to the product or if they are channel specific. 


If product descriptions vary from channel to channel, then consumers may not receive the necessary product information from one of those channels. That can lead to higher product returns on one channel. The obvious solution is to ensure that product descriptions are consistent across sales channels.

Whether the issue lies in the product descriptions, images, or even a lack of sizing chart, returns data helps identify these kinds of channel-specific issues so returns can be reduced and net profits across channels can grow.

Returns Data Can Be Used to Identify Product Design Issues

Imagine that a brand lists products on its website, in department stores, in its own brick-and-mortar locations, and in marketplaces like Amazon. By comparing channel performance and return rates by channel, brands can determine if issues are related to the product or if they are channel specific. 

If it’s performing poorly across multiple channels, it’s likely a product design issue that may require going back to product development. In addition, the granular data from returns analytics helps identify the specific issues that may be causing problems for a product. Whether it’s related to material quality, sizing issues, or even product defects, this information is necessary in order to resolve product design issues. 

Partner With Returnalyze For Expert Returns Data Analysis

While managing sales across multiple channels can provide an overwhelming amount of information, this data includes a wealth of insights that can help your business run more efficiently while increasing profits. 

The Returnalyze Intelligent Dashboard gives you access to a number of datasets that can be cross-referenced to uncover issues and opportunities. Granular data of that nature is only as good as the experts that analyze it though. That’s why a partnership with Returnalyze comes with step-by-step guidance and analysis from our data experts. 

The data is already there. Let us help you see it and effectively leverage it to develop targeted, data-driven solutions.

If you'd like to see how our intelligent dashboard can help you improve sales across channels, schedule a demo or contact our team today.

Published by Returnalyze May 18, 2023