Editor's Comment

Editorial: Why retailers need to make products better fit

The latest returns data from Barclaycard this week shows that UK retailers are seeing £7 billion of purchases returned each year. Unsurprisingly the rate is higher for fashion, footwear and accessory retailers and the report highlights the importance of fit for those surveyed. Nearly half of those surveyed said they returned clothing bought online because fit wasn’t as expected.

One solution around it is the growing trend for try before you buy services. Amazon’s version of this – Prime Wardrobe – has just been rolled out to all Prime members in the US. The move comes a year after the service was first trialled on an invitation-only business.

Of course ideally retailers want to get fit right first time so that even if customers are doing try before they buy services any products returned are because they don’t suit rather than don’t fit. The subject of fit is a key one for retailers currently and is the focus of a recent whitepaper eDelivery.net produced in association with Rakuten Fits Me. The Fit for Purpose: Apparel Fit Trends Report for Ecommerce whitepaper highlights the various technologies and techniques that retailers are already using to try to improve fit choices online and to reduce returns as a result. If you haven’t downloaded it yet do take a look soon.

Also on the subject of returns is the news that business to business marketplace for returned, excess and other liquidation stock B-Stock has received $65 million in funding from private equity – the first time PE funding has been pumped into the reverse supply chain and liquidation sector. eDelivery.net and InternetRetailing have also produced a whitepaper on the subject of secondary markets which you can download here.

In the UK women’s value fashion retailer Bonmarche has revealed the changes it has made to modernise its logistics and reduce costs. It has made a number of changes at its distribution centre to improve efficiencies and is also working closer with suppliers to improve agility and react quicker to customer demand.

Many retailers are looking at this subject as they try to improve efficiencies. Automation and robotics obviously plays a part in this. In our final story this week we have the latest future of logistics report from DHL. It says that despite the increased use of technology people will still remain critical to success.

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