Interview

Interview: Why returns must be a boardroom focus

Retailers must take returns more seriously and put it as a board level priority, according to Graham Best, CEO of Rebound Returns. He said that it was mainly about knowledge and criticised the fact that so few people in retail have returns within their title. “You rarely find a Mr or Mrs Returns,” he said.

He said it was slowly moving up the agenda to a top three priority but needed to move faster. “Retailers have underinvested in this area for so long so are cherry picking services from all over the place. What people want is someone to help set the strategy,” he said.

He said retailers also need to look at incentivising customers around returns. “You have got to be able to sell the returns experience – for instance offering a discount on a new order. It’s about linking returns and sales together,” said Best. “Good returners often buy more – it’s about data and visibility,” he said.

“People needs to start investing in returns skills. It’s not a black art it’s about knowledge but it’s a very underinvested part of the business,” he said. “The average retailer has one or two people that understand it and yet we’ve seen brands like Asos create an amazing returns service, leading from the top with a dedicated head of returns which has undoubtedly paid off.”

Businesses need to particularly attract younger talent to deal with the returns challenge within their businesses given the revenue generator it can be, he said.

ReBound revealed its latest research into returns this week.

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