Like many buzzwords in the industry, from cloud to big data, the term “digital” is evolving. In the retail realm, the term “digital” is creating a customer experience that is easy to use and highly reliable with no manual interference required. But what does becoming a “digital retailer” really mean?
If you think embracing omnichannel is tough, you’re not alone. According to the third annual Retail Insight industry benchmark report, 94% of retailers, suppliers and logistics firms surveyed haven’t executed a longterm omnichannel strategy, and 37% don’t even have one.
In the last 12 months the buzz around omnichannel has become the most consistently discussed trend for major retailers. It’s always noteworthy when a trend emerges and becomes a part of the mainstream conversation so quickly, but what is even more noteworthy is how fast omnichannel has become standard operating procedure.
The way people shop has completely changed over the past five years. A large part of this change in behavior has been driven by online access to information. Shoppers now have easy access to more product information than ever before. Yet as the modern buying experience has changed dramatically, the in-store experience at most retailers has remained frozen in time.
The retail industry will lose an estimated $8.76 billion to return fraud this year, and $3.39 billion during the holiday season alone, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2013 Return Fraud Survey. Overall, 5.8% of holiday returns are fraudulent, up slightly from 4.6% last year.
A recent string of media reports has focused on major retailers that track customers who return merchandise. While the plaintiffs’ bar and the media are seeking to transform return monitoring into a headline-grabbing consumer privacy issue, the practice is hardly new, it is certainly justified as an anti-fraud measure and any litigation or compliance risk should be mitigated by appropriate disclosures.
More than 80% of U.S consumers more likely to become loyal customers to retailers that provide an integrated experience across channels, according to a study by Hybris, a multichannel commerce and communication software provider.
Although online sales grew 15% from 2010 to 2011, many retailers' online ordering, shipping and returns processes failed to keep pace, according to management consultancy Kurt Salmon's rankings of 50 retailers.
According to the National Retail Federation’s annual Return Fraud Survey, completed by loss prevention executives at 103 retailers, the retail industry will lose an estimated $3.5 billion to return fraud this holiday season, down from $3.7 billion last year.
The wheels of justice turn slowly. So slowly in fact that just last week a former adviser to President George W. Bush was stripped of his license to practice law in Washington, D.C. for one year in connection with a fraudulent return scheme perpetuated at Target and other retailers in early 2006.
For years, many retailers have at least informally been on the lookout for customers who abuse the return transaction process, and in some cases, declined to engage in further business with customers perceived to be engaging in abusive or even fraudulent return transactions.