6 Strategies to Reduce Your Ecommerce Customer Return Rate

ecommerce-return-rate-strategies

Did you know that one out of every three products purchased online will be returned? And in luxury fashion ecommerce, the return rate can be even higher.

While some brands chalk up these unfortunate statistics to consumer behaviors that are outside of their control, the reality is that 67% of the time these returns are actually the retailer’s fault. Some informative ecommerce return statistics show:

  • In 23% of returns, the customer had received the wrong product
  • In 22% of returns, the product was different in appearance than advertised
  • In 20% of returns, the customer had received a damaged or defective item

High return rates can attack profit margins, affect customer retention, and impact overall company growth—and major e-commerce brands are responding in a variety of innovative ways, including ecommerce third-party fulfillment

Amazon has begun closing the customer accounts of serial-returners. Other companies, such as Stitch Fix, have adopted a try-before-you-buy model that offers a monetary incentive to consumers who keep items. Still, others are offering promotions only to certain customers based on their prior return-risk or adopting extended return policies to increase overall growth and improve customer retention.

With online sales now firmly established as a large segment of fashion commerce, and free shipping—both ways—becoming standard practice, the cost of returns has become a significant problem.

Here are some of our top tips to help reduce e-commerce returns, increase profit margins, and satisfy more online shoppers:

1. Optimize Product Visuals

High-quality photography can help bridge the gap between product reality and customer expectations. Photos should display multiple product angles, allow 360-degree views, offer a zoom feature, show lifestyle images, and, when appropriate, play product videos. Images for all product color options and other variations should also be provided. Along with professional photography, consider embedding an Instagram gallery onto your site. This element will seamlessly show your products being worn or used by a wider variety of consumers.

2. Describe Products in Detail

Customers can’t touch or feel online products, so written product descriptions matter. A well-written one will allow the customer to virtually experience the product through all five senses, as well as present all applicable product details—such as materials used, special care instructions, and other reasons why your product is unique.

3. Provide Accurate Sizing Information

Returns due to poor fit are an inherent problem in fashion e-commerce. Because customers can’t try on apparel before ordering, it is very important to calculate sizes accurately and consistently, along with providing measurements and brand-specific size charts on your site. Some companies now offer calculators that allow customers to type in their height and weight for best size suggestions; AI fitting assistants are another increasingly common option. By providing enough pre-purchase sizing information, a customer can confidently order a single size that will fit well—instead of ordering multiple different sizes and styles, then returning all but the ones they like best (In the luxury space, 51% of shoppers do this, a practice known as “bracketing.”).

4. Collect Customer Feedback

Gather information about why customers are returning your products on return forms. Read online reviews. By taking the time to understand what is prompting returns, you can then address those issues by taking appropriate action: add more product views, write improved descriptions, correct size discrepancies, etc.

5. Check Orders for Accuracy

Placing internal measures to ensure the correct items are being shipped out initially is well worth the time investment. This will ultimately prevent lost sales, negative customer experiences, extra shipping costs, liquidated products, and time spent processing returns and exchanges. This is also the right time to confirm that all items are shipped in packaging to prevent potential damage.

6. Establish Generous Return Policies

Establish generous return policies. While this may seem counter-intuitive, return rates actually decrease when there’s no urgency to return a product. This may be related to customers growing attached to these items that they keep around longer. Zappos is a good example of a brand that has successfully embraced this model by offering a 365-day return policy.

It’s no secret that hassle-free returns and exchanges encourage consumers to buy from certain brands and improve the overall customer experience. 95% of customers will shop at a store again that offers easy returns. You can keep this process customer-friendly by including a prepaid address label or envelope with shipped items and allowing returns at retail locations.

Need Help Reducing Your eCommerce Return Rate?

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While there will probably always be customers who take advantage of generous return policies, the bottom line is that the majority of customers prefer not to have to deal with returns. Connect with Nogin and learn how we can help your brand implement strategies to decrease high return rates—and, instead, increase profits. 

We offer the most advanced ecommerce software platform and enterprise ecommerce solutions. Schedule a quick chat with our team to learn how our platform can explode your ecommerce growth. In the meantime, check out some more of our ecommerce content to help improve your online operations:

Evolution of Ecommerce: Trends, Innovation, and What the Future Holds

evolution-of-ecommerce

The world has changed quite drastically over the first half of 2020. The ongoing pandemic has forever altered the way people work, live, and shop. The ecommerce revolution that was once promised with the dot-com boom of the 90s seems to have finally come to fruition.

People are shopping online more than ever before, and ecommerce is growing and evolving in real-time. Large or small, the digital landscape has forced retailers to overhaul their entire operations and move towards omnichannel software solutions. Large retailers are building their platforms and whole teams of web developers to make the shift, while smaller brands find themselves hamstrung by the development costs and operational shifts necessary to make the change.

So, where does ecommerce go from here?

Every day more and more platforms are popping up to accommodate the need for ecommerce. For every entry point software like Shopify, three new companies pop up. Even Salesforce has moved quickly into the space with its CommerceCloud suite. So how do these platforms compare? How do they distinguish themselves from one another? We know that nothing is certain. This revolution started 30 years ago, and the coronavirus pandemic has exponentially sped up the process.  

However, when looking at the last 30 years, it becomes pretty clear where these trends are taking us. Moreover, by analyzing those trends and insights, we can better understand where online retail goes from here. Let’s discuss how ecommerce has transformed business in our country and the latest trends that will guide the future of commerce. 

How Has Ecommerce Changed the American Economy?

ecommerce-trends-statistics

There are between 12-24 million ecommerce sites across the world, and new merchants continue to enter the marketplace to capitalize on consumer shifts to online retail. In 2020, the new coronavirus ecommerce landscape launched online shopping into the stratosphere. Online shopping accounted for 21.3% of total retail sales in 2020 alone, compared to 15.8% in 2019. Additionally, consumers spent $861.12 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2020, a 44% increase from the $598.02 billion spent in 2019. 

Ecommerce is the fastest growing sector in the United States marketplace. Businesses can run more efficient and cost-effective operations using online storefronts by leveraging 3pl ecommerce fulfillment and ecommerce conversion funnels. Also, online retailers have access to a bounty of informative analytics to help them understand their target audience and refine their marketing strategies. They can establish ecommerce KPIs and effectively assess their results month-over-month to improve their operations. 

Why is Digital Commerce Important?

Digital commerce is becoming more important for businesses since customers continue to shift their time, attention, and money towards online mediums. It will be tough for a company to survive if they have little online presence and can only rely on foot track for transactions. 

Consumers rely on digital content, such as written descriptions, images, and videos, to learn more about the products and services they want to buy. No longer can a shopper ask retail employees for recommendations or physically touch a product before checking out. 

Businesses must invest heavily into their online presence and create a dynamic and attractive experience for visitors. 65% of customers feel that a company’s app or website impacts their overall experience. 92% of people also are more likely to purchase from a company that provides an emotional journey. 

Merchants must develop a comprehensive online experience and shift budgets towards ecommerce rather than a physical storefront. They have to create a complete marketing plan that encompasses social media, SEO, PPC, and digital content to attract customers from various avenues. They have to cater to mobile shoppers because mobile transactions continue to become more prominent. In fact, 51% of website traffic comes from mobile alone. 

If you need help building your online empire, invest in the best ecommerce software and enterprise ecommerce solutions to dominate your market before your competitors take your spot. 

What Percentage of Ecommerce Businesses Fail?

Around 90% of ecommerce startups fail within the first four months of operations. Merchants cite the main reasons for failure include poor marketing and search engine visibility. It is especially hard for new brands and merchants to reach their audience if they are battling goliaths in their industry. Many top brands invest millions into marketing to capture and convert leads. 

If you want your business to thrive, it is imperative to carve out a niche and develop an effective marketing funnel to draw in your target audience. Check out our guide to learn how to properly scale your ecommerce business from scratch and our ultimate product listing strategies to ensure your customers convert. 

The Impact of Ecommerce on Emerging Markets and Consumer Behavior

Ecommerce has changed the way people approach shopping. The ecommerce industry is part of the larger digital ecosystem, and different components influence how consumers find and buy products. Social commerce is an integral part of electronic commerce, and digital social interaction is directly tied to the online shopping experience. For instance, brand partnerships and celebrity collaborations can support a product’s growth and entice consumers to purchase items. The marketing is embedded into social media posting rather than a traditional advertisement. 

Online merchants can employ retail pricing strategies coupled with their marketing efforts to entice consumers. People can discover discounted products by searching for particular items in search, and PPC links can display links to exclusive deals. They can also run A/B tests to evaluate the best prices for their products. 

Consumers also are much more invested in a company’s mission rather than just their products. For instance, a visitor may feel more compelled to purchase from a particular brand if they work with charitable organizations or humanely produce their products. Ecommerce has transformed how sellers must approach branding and interaction with their customers. They must design a storefront that is not just a place to buy something but an immersive experience to guide consumers on a journey, especially in the luxury ecommerce industry. 

How to Grow a Category in Ecommerce

There are many ecommerce myths out there, but there are several strategies that are sure to compel your business to the next level:

  • Develop content with high-purchase intent. Once consumers land on your product listings, make sure to include value-based descriptions, high-definition images, and video demonstrations. 
  • Have a comprehensive marketing plan that encompasses web and search engine optimization, social media ads, and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads. Test which channels are best for reaching your audience and generate the best return on ad spend. 
  • Use a variety of keywords to categorize your product listings. Always have a main category listing but use subcategories to help match user search intent with your product pages. 
  • Utilize testimonials on your website and compel your customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing or product pages. Products with many high-star reviews are an excellent way to demonstrate your product’s quality and build trust with new visitors.

Top Ecommerce Trends and Innovations

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Let’s discuss some of the most noteworthy ecommerce trends and innovations in the industry and how you can use them to your advantage:

1. Your Store lives on Social

People live their lives on social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp, Tumblr, or another burgeoning platform, most people share their lives on some medium of social media. It’s only natural for shopping to evolve to be a part of that experience.

Over the last year, social media has gained tremendous momentum in the world of ecommerce. According to Forbes, there has been a 146% year-over-year growth in online retail orders alone, and almost all social platforms now have some sort of commerce offering.

Understanding the value of placing products where people shop, Facebook first introduced Marketplace in 2007. Although it may have been a bit ahead of its time as it never really gained traction and was spun off to Oodle, they continued building the platform. They re-introduced a new marketplace in 2017 with the idea of engaging shoppers through social interaction.  

Likewise, in March of 2019, Instagram launched an ecommerce checkout feature to allow brands to meet customers where they live. The feature enables users to make product purchases without ever leaving the app while enabling IG brands to build actionable consumer profiles.

Instagram order screen

Seamless purchases through social media are essential in today’s marketplace. If consumers find your brand in their social feeds but have to leave the platform to make a purchase, chances are, the sale is lost. Whether it’s email marketing, webpage optimization, or social sales, the fewer clicks it take to complete an action, the better, and conversion rates agree. An impulse buy should never take more than three clicks.

Suppose your brand is not utilizing all that social media offers. In that case, you are quite simply missing a critical opportunity to connect with your audience (and future audiences) on a far more profound, emotional level. From chasing trends and hashtags to laser-focused audience targeting and utilizing influencer marketing, brands should be using every tool they can to access those that directly align with their brand.

2. Tell Your Audience What They Want

Predictive analytics is nothing new, but it is primarily utilized by big box stores and those brands with billion-dollar budgets. However, through the growth of Big Data and machine learning, coupled with the surge of online shopping, platforms such as Nogin have helped brands leverage their data to deliver solutions to brands at a much more affordable entry price.

Predictive Analytics allows brands to:

  • Predict what people are planning to purchase
  • Determine a successful pricing strategy
  • Improve logistics
  • Grant more significant insights into promotions
  • Minimize fraud

The future of retail is entirely reliant on predictive data, regardless of product or vertical. If your brand isn’t utilizing statistical techniques, data mining, predictive modeling, and machine learning to analyze historical data and make predictions relevant to your business, you are left behind. Understanding customer behavior is one of the keys to competing with big retail.

3. Improved Logistics: The Future of Ecommerce Delivery

Consistent delivery across all of your sales channels is pertinent to a brand’s success. When Amazon can ship almost any item within 24 hours at no cost to the brand, this can seem like a daunting task for small to mid-market brands to keep pace. Brands need to self-reflect on what they can deliver and be honest with their customers as to delivery times. That may still leave your brand behind and needing to pay for a logistics solution that can compete, which can shrink profitability.

Finding a solution to handle all three flows of logistics while maintaining competitive SLAs can be difficult. Therefore, your primary focus must start with inventory management; knowing where everything is along your supply chain is critical. Utilizing a system that manages reordering, deliveries, fulfillment, and more is essential.  When completed, you will have created that high-level view of your inventory. It becomes time to focus on a delivery service that aligns with your brand’s needs.

Once your brand has determined the necessary services, the next step is to ensure they display them everywhere. They should ensure that they appropriately optimize them for search rendering with quick access to delivery options.  Every page should clearly present the offer and a link to the delivery options. 

Merchants should display shipping rates, delivery time, and other information clearly and concisely throughout the buyer’s journey.  Then repeat it. And repeat it again at checkout.  Managing customer expectations can be a brand’s greatest promotional tool.

4. Talk to Your Customers

To put it into terms that Visa gave us:

Getting a customer to your website: $10 in SEO. Getting direct one on one conversation with your potential buyer: Priceless.

However, hiring the staff necessary to handle direct inquiries does have a price. It wouldn’t be financially feasible for many brands to hire an entire call center in-house to deal with direct customer interactions.  Therefore many brands have created AI chatbots loaded with answers to common questions to limit human customer relations.  

Over the years, these chatbots have become unbelievably proficient in solving customer’s needs, and in the future may be impossible to distinguish between a real human interaction.

As brands continue to fight to improve their customer service with chatbots and various instant messaging applications, outsourcing to a call center is always an option. Either way, ensuring that the potential customer has productive, practical, and timely information in response to their inquiries is once again critical to the success of competing with larger retailers.

The Art of a Deal: Sitewide and Exclusion Sales

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It’s a given that consumers love sales, but they’re also a necessary part of doing business online beyond being a key driver for purchases. Whether it’s a sitewide sale or a special promotion where exclusions apply, a lot of thought goes into crafting a deal that benefits both the brand and its customers.

Let’s discuss some of the best strategies for your ecommerce sitewide sales and the best retail markdown and promotional strategies to maximize your profits. 

Why Sales are Important?

Ecommerce storefronts carry costs of keeping products in inventory. Businesses can use markdown strategies and promotional cycles to lower costs while also driving revenue to move products off the shelves. They are especially important for fashion brands, where many of the products have a shorter shelf life—roughly a 2-3 month cycle—due to seasonality and style trends.

Sales are an excellent tool for moving merchandise quickly, but there is more to sales strategy than meets the eye. “When planning a sale, a brand first needs to figure out the end goal,” says Jeff Deisner, Nogin’s Chief Customer Officer. “Is the goal to drive people to the site to purchase a lot, drive top-line revenue numbers, manage a level of profitability on the storefront, or something else completely?”

That goal can help influence the decision on what kind of promotion to offer. Sitewide sales are the simplest to execute, but in many cases, exclusions make sense—perhaps they’re a better fit for the nature of the overall promotion, or perhaps brands want to avoid discounting an item they’ve already discounted.

Running a promotional sale on social media or a Google ads campaign is an excellent way to bring attractive leads through your ecommerce conversion funnel. Entice viewers by highlighting the sale, the minimal quantity, and specify it is a limited-time offer to drive urgency and scarcity. Both elements are essential to any product listing strategy or retail pricing strategy

The Three Best Sales Promotion and Retail Markdown Strategies

There are three key concepts to keep in mind when formulating sales offers:

  1. How are brands promoting the product?
  2. How will brands reach out to customers to let them know about the promotion?
  3. What is the end goal for the product?

To help you answer these questions, use our three best sales promotion strategies to guide your efforts. 

Listen to Your Audience

For pricing, Deisner says brands should study how their customers. For example, do a particular brand’s customers prefer sitewide sales, buy-one-get-one-free deals, gift-with-purchase promotions, or percentage- or dollar-based discounts? To determine what will work best, brands can leverage data on past purchases or examine larger industry trends. This is where it can be helpful for brands to partner with an ecommerce specialist. By integrating advanced ecommerce software, ecommerce businesses can access deeper insights into their customers’ buying habits to optimize their storefront for conversions and improved retention. 

“We recently worked with a brand that traditionally ran percentage-based promotions, 30% or 40% off, and it was clear there was an uptick in consumer demand for those products,” Deisner says. “We’d seen success in other areas where we took a dollar amount off and tied it in with something like free shipping, and we wondered if it would have more of an impact for this brand. We alternated those promotions: one week, it would be a percentage off. The next, it would be a dollar amount. We ended up finding that the percentage off was much more enticing, especially if it was a sitewide sale. We made a sitewide sale with a small number of exclusions, so we didn’t discount already marked down products too significantly, and we messaged it the right way.”

Make Your Promotional Product the Star

In terms of messaging, brands should advertise their sales on their sites and mention any applicable exclusions. “Generally, we find that when a website makes it clear what product is being promoted, it’s a big contributing factor in driving conversion rates higher for the promotion,” Deisner says. “We leverage strikethrough pricing, which is a way to present the original price crossed out, with the sale price beside it. Customers can see the price difference and know it’s a good deal.”

A good sale announcement will spark a lot of interest right away, but brands will want to sustain that momentum. Emails can effectively communicate promotional offers to customers along with social ads and SMS texts. Brands can craft campaigns around them that run throughout the sale period. To reinforce a sense of urgency, brands may put time limits on promotions or advertise a limited stock of items on sale.

Partner With an Ecommerce Expert to Guide You

Sometimes sales get an overwhelming customer reaction with products flying off the shelves; other times, a promotion just may not be taking off. In either case, Nogin gets real-time results that help brands respond quickly, for instance, by ordering more inventory for sale or crafting different messaging to get the word out.

“There is no magic wand for brands to figure out how best to promote and sell their product,” Deisner says. “They will benefit from engaging a partner like us that can drive decisions based on past experience and understanding best practices, for the greatest likelihood of success.”

By the Numbers: Cyber Monday, Black Friday and Thanksgiving Online Performance Report

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Retailers have been preparing for the holiday season for months, and by many accounts this year has been a resounding success. The National Retail Federation (NRF) has reported that over 189M consumers in the US participated in the Thanksgiving weekend sales extravaganza, and according to Salesforce, global online sales saw a 15% gain of over $768B during the shortened holiday push between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday.

Ecommerce sales surged this year with Black Friday reporting over $30B in sales, Cyber Monday over $40B, and Thanksgiving Day posting ecommerce sales of over $24B, a net growth of 24% from last year. The growth of ecommerce has caused the lines to blur between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and studies have shown that digital traffic from Black Friday has begun to outpace that of Cyber Monday.

Nogin has analyzed the data from over 500M shoppers through “Cyber Week”, the time from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday, and has found many innovative marketing strategies used to attract online shoppers.

Here are some of the highlights of Cyber Week 2019:

  • AI-driven product recommendations are increasing sales. From Social Media sales numbers, BOL found that 13% more units per transaction were purchased through AI recommendations versus those not served recommendations.
  • Retailers need to understand the value of Free Shipping. According to Forrester’s study, 47% of US adult consumers consider free shipping the second most influential factor in determining which retailer they will purchase from online.
  • DTC brands experiment with Cyber Monday sales. In years past, direct-to-consumer brands refrained from offering deals or discounts on traditional shopping days like Black Friday because they felt their brands “were always on sale,” read a 3-year old email from Amway. However, over 60% of the sites analyzed this period displayed some type of holiday offer ranging from free shipping to sitewide discount codes.
  • Department stores ramped up online sales to stay competitive. As the brick and mortar giants shift to stay competitive in an online marketplace, department stores were working hard to provide shoppers with a seamless omnichannel experience. Many offered a variety of deals including deep discounts on selected items and massive reward point deals.
  • Cyber Week will have accounted for over 20% of all holiday season revenue with online holiday spend surpassing $140B, and Cyber Monday alone setting a new record of almost $10B, representing 14% growth YoY.
  • Smartphone shopping will account for almost 50% of retail holiday growth. Visits to retailers from social media grew threefold over the last 3 years, and for the first time, more purchases will have been made from phones than desktops.
  • Retail ecommerce continues to outpace overall retail growth (14.1% online vs. 4% overall), 63% of the overall retail growth is represented by ecommerce. Cyber Monday was the first $9B day in ecommerce revenue, an increase of almost 19% over 2018. While Cyber Weekend as a whole has contributed over 20% of the total holiday season’s revenue thus far.

With a shorter holiday season this year, brands and retailers have been under pressure to meet goals and to deliver to a growing number of consumers looking for convenience and personalization before the holiday shopping window closes. Retailers are making up for the fact that there were only 22 days between Cyber Monday and Christmas, 6 fewer days than last year, by starting sales earlier. This strategy has proved fruitful, in that Thanksgiving Day sales alone grew over 20% than in 2018. Moreover, every day in November and December has surpassed $1B.

Looking ahead, the ecommerce growth trend shows no signs of slowing down. For 3 years in a row ecommerce growth has outpaced traditional in-store retail, and with that in mind Nogin expects next year’s holiday season to be even larger. For brands to succeed and capitalize on this online trend, they will need to partner with someone who understands the importance of creating a true omnichannel experience. Brands will need a partner that can deliver the right technology to support the most important channels for their growth. Learn more about how Nogin’s innovative and affordable ecommerce solutions can level the playing field and fuel your brand to compete with big retail: contact us at hi@nogin.com or call us at (949) 336-1416.

Nogin New Client Announcement: Hurley

hurley nogin press

Nogin Set to Deliver Comprehensive Ecommerce and Omnichannel Retail Solutions for Legendary Lifestyle Brand, Hurley

Nation’s Leading Provider of Global Ecommerce Solutions to Apparel, Beauty, and Fashion Brands Positioned to Deliver Enhanced Customer Experience 

LOS ANGELES – Nov. 14, 2019Nogin, a full-spectrum ecommerce partner and leading provider of end-to-end digital commerce solutions, today announced it has signed an agreement with Bluestar Alliance, LLC, to be the ecommerce operator and omnichannel retail solution for its newly acquired brand, Hurley. As part of the relationship, Nogin will re-launch Hurley.com, integrating new tech tools and an optimized logistics plan to ensure a consistent consumer experience across all channels.

“We could not be more excited to help Hurley – a local legend and one of the world’s most innovative brands – expand its reach to new customers across the globe,” said Jan-Christopher Nugent, CEO of Nogin. “Our advanced technology and deep omnichannel experience are ideally suited to help Hurley scale and evolve its brand.”

The Nogin team will soon introduce a new look for Hurley’s direct-to-consumer online store, featuring creative design to increase conversions and enhance the overall experience. Utilizing its advanced technology to optimize product offerings, promotional messaging, and prospective customer targeting, Nogin will create a more cohesive and engaging customer journey from discovery to delivery.

Additionally, Nogin will provide a range of premium services and technologies for  Hurley, including warehouse management, inventory control, order fulfillment, returns management, and call center operations.

Bluestar Alliance and Nogin have a long history of partnering to launch and build highly-successful, enterprise-class apparel brands online.  Nogin is thrilled to help grow the Hurley brand to its fullest potential.

For more information about Nogin, visit https://nogin.com.

GET SOCIAL: Tips, Tests & Best Practices for Paid Social to Build Purchase Affirmation & Increase Conversion

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Case study: Nogin and Reyn Spooner partner for fashion ecommerce success

Reyn Spooner

When you need help building an online presence for your brand, you want an ecommerce specialist that has both the technological solutions and the retail savvy to be a true partner in your success.

Nogin fulfills both criteria, offering innovative services tailored to each client’s specific needs. The result is a thriving ecommerce presence, as embodied by Nogin’s work with Reyn Spooner, the apparel company renowned for clothing with an “aloha spirit.”

Jeff Deisner, chief customer officer for Nogin, talks about this fruitful ecommerce collaboration that has seen great results since it was established a year and a half ago.

Q. What were Reyn Spooner’s needs when the company began working with Nogin?

A. Boosting revenue was the primary driver, but I would also say that the brand’s customer base tends to be an older demographic, typically male and also very beach minded. So how do you operate a longer-term business trying to sell to that demographic when there are a lot of other demographics as well?

They wanted to diversify into other product categories and product lines. So it was about how to do that successfully in an online store that typically caters to a specific demographic. That was the biggest challenge at that time—how to open up to other demographics in an effective way so that they still preserved the brand identity while giving themselves the opportunity to grow and diversify their customer base.

Q. What was the process to help meet Reyn Spooner’s goals?

A. We engaged them as we always do with clients, which is to understand what their pain points were and what their goals were, and devise strategies on the storefront level and also at the general market level to help them achieve those goals.

Also, and this was another challenge, we faced a lot of change within the brand over the last couple of years, both with the brand itself and the underpinning technology that supported the ecommerce business.

As we entered the engagement, we had actually experienced some turnover ourselves in our client teams, so we were faced with this challenge of developing trust with the client to make sure they knew we could perform and help them achieve their goals.

I engaged them and focused on how we could strengthen this relationship at the leadership level. I wanted to understand where their pain points were, both internally with themselves and their challenges with our team, so we could build an engagement model focused on building trust and confidence that we could deliver what we needed to.

We spent a couple of months trying to right size but doing that during the holiday season can be a challenge—it’s such an important part of a brand’s business that you can’t introduce a lot of change during the November and December time frame. We focused on getting through the end of the year and resetting the relationship—really resetting and understanding where their goals were for the future and engaging with the right people to allow us to demonstrate success and build on that success over time.

Following implementation of our ecommerce strategy and tactics, we saw even stronger performance in the store, and we could definitively say that we were aligned with the client’s strategies and could share in some great successes we’ve seen in the store month-over-month and year-over-year. Those give us a great opportunity to build upon them from here.

Q. What were some specific results?

A. The way we typically look at success is in year-over-year trends. In this case, we’ve had some really nice trends. As we look at year-to-date numbers from 2018, we were able to increase traffic to the store year-over-year by and order volume in general by significant percentages.

One off the biggest wins is that during this time we were really focused on growing the store and we’ve grown average order value as well. That’s a key part of what we were faced with because historically the brand was reliant on very deep promotions, which can be unsustainable for the business in the longer term. It doesn’t get long-term customers and it doesn’t get sustainable revenue; it just gets people in the door, they buy something and they don’t come back until they get a deep deal again. We wanted to put promotion strategies together that don’t hurt the price point and in fact can drive it higher focusing on the right products and types of customers.

In doing so, we were able to raise AOV significantly. Specifically within the traffic, one big win is that as we attribute revenue to the paid media channels, the paid social channel year-over-year is up by triple digits. The reason why that’s significant is that channel, if it’s done right, really does drive success on the other channels, because it’s very much a brand-focused advertising strategy and you get more of a connection to the brand than with a keyword search or otherwise.

Q. How does this relationship exemplify a partnership with Nogin?

A. We share in the success our clients achieve. The wins that I’ve shared really do reflect an alignment with the brand and we’re very excited about that. Many times brands don’t initially see that mutual goal we have of success in the store and might still view us as primarily a service provider. But if we truly do align on strategy for the store and a promotions strategy that’s very sustainable for the brand, we can develop a positive relationship with that brand.

Whether you’re starting from square one or optimizing an existing strategy, partner with Nogin for high-performing ecommerce solutions powered by technology tailored to the fashion industry and optimized for today’s challenging online environment.

Nogin New Client Announcement: Brookstone

Brookstone

Brookstone, an Iconic American Brand Known for Innovation, Implements Nogin’s Next-Gen Technology Platform to Streamline Operations, Optimize Inventory, and Drive Revenue

 

LOS ANGELES – Oct 23, 2019 – Nogin, the world’s premier ecommerce platform that bridges the gap between storefront technology and big retail, today announced an agreement with Bluestar Alliance, LLC, to implement its next-generation technology solutions to enhance the shopping experience on Brookstone.com. The new direct-to-consumer online store for the iconic brand known for its unique selection of innovative products in the travel, wellness, home, and entertainment categories, focuses on personalization and discovery, featuring beautiful imagery and content designed to inspire, entertain and educate the guest. Its mobile-responsive design, intuitive user interface, and underlying analytics platform make it easy for customers to uncover new products, get recommendations, and to purchase from any device.

Brookstone’s legacy omnichannel retail solution was built on an operating system designed for streamlining global ecommerce. With the integration of Nogin’s technology, featuring artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced data analytics capabilities, the Brookstone team can now make more strategic, informed forecasting and inventory purchasing decisions seamlessly within an integrated online framework. As part of the next-gen fulfillment architecture, Nogin integrated Ingram Micro Solutions for access to additional distribution centers across the globe.

“Brookstone is a category leader in innovative product offerings and Nogin is excited to be a part of the brand’s evolution,” said Jan-Christopher Nugent, CEO of Nogin. “The newly designed Brookstone.com positions the brand to scale and promptly deliver rapid growth from its online channels.”

For more information about Nogin, please visit https://nogin.com.

Nogin New Client Announcement: Sanrio

sanrio nogin

Sanrio Partners with Nogin to Deliver New Online Shopping Experience Designed to Delight and Inspire Guests Across the Globe 

  Sophisticated Design Paired with Advanced Analytics and Personalization Features, Drive Consumer Engagement for the World-Class Lifestyle Brand

LOS ANGELES – Sept. 30, 2019Nogin, a full-spectrum ecommerce partner and leading provider of customized, end-to-end digital commerce solutions for retail brands, today announced its partnership with Sanrio, Inc. to revamp the beloved brand’s online store. The remodeled, direct-to-consumer sanrio.com and its underlying technology enable a more fluid and personalized shopping experience.

“As consumer demands continue to evolve as quickly as the online shopping industry, it is vital for brands, both young and iconic, to stay current on ecommerce trends while exceeding customer expectations,” said Jan-Christopher Nugent, CEO of Nogin. “With the updates, we have incorporated into the new website, Sanrio is set to scale quickly and continue to carry the torch as a multi-generational cherished brand.”

The unveiling of Sanrio’s new online shopping experience is the latest step in its evolving ecommerce strategy, concentrated on streamlining business operations and propelling direct-to-consumer sales. Along with delivering the technology backbone and design for the retailer’s store, Nogin is providing full-service support including creative and marketing as well as development, logistics, and fulfillment. Additionally, the new site leverages Nogin’s unique Shoot Sheet Management tool, which enables the Sanrio ecommerce team to manage the entire photo production lifecycle from one central dashboard. The time-saving feature gives individuals visibility into timelines at each stage of production; custom shot list management; image and swatch verification; and search by Product Information Distribution Services (PIDS), stock-keeping unit number (SKU), product name, or universal product code (UPC).

Nogin understands that story and magical experiences are the foundation of Sanrio and its beloved cast of characters.  The brand’s official online destination plays a big role in building and nurturing connections with millions of fans across the globe and we are excited about the fun, new interactive shopping experience the site delivers.

To drive engagement and encourage new purchases, personalization and discovery are at the core of the new site design, which features playful imagery and content crafted to delight and inspire. Mobile-friendly design, integration of Nogin’s robust underlying analytics platform, and a fresh, new user interface, ensure a seamless guest experience from discovery to purchase.

Following the reveal of Sanrio’s new online destination, the team will soon unveil an official new site for Hello Kitty, where fans will be able to explore her cheerful world and access the latest trends and exclusive deals.

For more information about Nogin, visit https://nogin.com, and experience the new look of Sanrio at www.sanrio.com.