For most retailers; the holidays mean peak season. About 19% of total sales take place in November and December, but as your sales go up – so do your returns. As you’re doing your best to meet the increased customer demand, you’re also concerned about the impact on your business's carbon footprint. Is it even possible to meet your sustainability goals while also satisfying your customers during the festive season?
The retail industry plays a vital role in transitioning to a more circular economy. E-commerce returns produce as much CO₂ emissions as three million cars in a year, and due to bracketing, footwear makes up a significant proportion.
Conscious retailers are turning to technology to improve their purchase and return processes to reduce the negative impact. This article lists the three most effective ways to utilize technology in your footwear sales operations to reduce your climate footprint during the holidays.
3 ways retail technology make your peak sales season more sustainable:
1. Find the Right Fit
70% of all returns are caused by poor fit. This is not surprising as customers tend to systemically over-order to find the right size and style. Sharon Cullinane, professor of sustainable logistics at Gothenburg University, says it’s “very much an information problem. Customers have to take a leap of faith when shopping online.”
Standardization is still a long way away, so you must ensure that you offer your clients effective methods for determining the best fit for them. Ordering 9 pairs of sneakers because you don’t know which one will fit is not a sustainable way of shopping. Volumental’s Retail Scanner can help end unnecessary bracketing by combining AI, and 3D foot scans to prevent fit issues. No need to buy several designs in several sizes anymore!
2. Give Personalized Recommendations
Lower your return rates by up to 20% (and increase sales) by giving your customers personalized shopping recommendations. When you verify that your customer buys the right style and size, you increase their confidence and lifetime value while simultaneously reducing unnecessary returns.
Volumental’s Retail Scanner gives your clients personalized recommendations on the best possible fit in less than five seconds, in-store and at home. And when spring is approaching, send your client the best shoe recommendations based on their previous scan. They don’t even have to try them on at the store!
3. Improve Your Inventory Management With Retail Technology
To meet your sustainability goals, you must rethink your inventory management and ensure that less of your stock becomes obsolete over time – but not at the cost of critical shortages.
With high return rates, getting an accurate overview of your current stock is nearly impossible. This directly affects your environmental impact due to unnecessary packaging and transport.
By connecting your store’s inventory to Volumental’s solution, you reduce returns as the software only recommends shoes that properly fit each customer. Your inventory reflects what you actually have in stock, and your customers won't need to over-order anymore.
Meet your sustainability goals with Volumental
The holidays are an important time of year for footwear retailers – but it can be overwhelming when your operations aren’t running smoothly. Do you want to learn more about how Volumental’s AI-driven Fit Engine™ can minimize your environmental impact with fewer returns? Contact us, and we’ll show you how it would apply to your business!