Returns are inherently expensive due to shipping and restocking fees, but some retailers are finding ways around those issues. In the process, they’re coming up with new strategies for building revenue streams from customer returns.
Students across the country are returning to the classroom this month — some for the first time in more than a year. While early indications show strong late-summer back-to-school sales, retailers aren’t leaving anything up to chance. Widespread confusion around health policies, safety protocols, and required supplies that can vary by school are leading retailers to rely on social media and artificial intelligence to collect information on emerging themes and trends.
The phrase “by any means necessary” is fast becoming retail’s new mantra. The same industry that is typically viewed as cautious and conservative is moving really quickly. More quickly than I have seen in my 35 years in the industry. And where is the industry moving most quickly? Toward something we now call “contactless commerce.”
Shoppers around the world are afraid. They’re guarded, and they are wary of any contact with any strangers. They don’t want you to come near them. In response, retailers in every category are absolutely scrambling to remove human contact from the shopping journey.
To have any chance for long term survival, retailers and brands need to bring more technology to bear in operating their businesses, enabling them to work smarter, not harder. Here are some strategic ways big retailers can use technology.
The clamor that erupted last year after the Wall Street Journal and other mainstream outlets reported that some big retailers passively tracked users in their stores has waned in recent months, opening the door for an emergent offline analytics sector to become a mainstay retail industry. Euclid, the company that quickly became the poster-child for in-store tracking during the debate, is making its core tracking technology free this morning in an attempt to lure in the millions of smaller, more apprehensive retailers across the country…
Revel Systems wants to bring the tablet-based point-of-sale model upstream and disrupt the entrenched cadre of existing business software providers, which generated billions in revenue last year. Revel’s founder Lisa Falzone, a Stanford grad and one-time hedge funder, spun the company out of an online ordering app in 2010. Since then, Falzone and her team have raised over $14 million in venture funding, and have activated over 5,000 accounts…