Published on 24/05/19 by James Vjestica.
Are you interested to find out what is happening in the eCommerce industry in terms of retail and customer experience? Remarkable.net have launched a series of monthly round-up videos, hosted each month by different members of the agency. This month Heather Tomlinson (Business Development Executive) and Polly Oakes (Product Marketing Assistant) discuss the month’s outstanding news amongst the most popular brands.
In May, Heather and Polly discuss hot topics including ASOS’s return policy change and the bad news surrounding Debenhams. Check out what they had to say by either clicking on the video or reading the full transcript below!
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Heather: Hello there and welcome to our ecommerce catch up, with me Heather and Polly!
Heather: This is new and we are just going to be doing a monthly roundup of all eCommerce news in the industry. We’re going to pick out topics that we think are interesting ourselves and have a little chat about them and hope that you enjoy listening to us!
Polly: And find some of the things pretty useful.
Heather: Useful, yes, as we do.
Polly: Yes, ok, so what will we be covering today? We have the ASOS return policy change, Lush taking a step back from social media, New Look menswear becoming online only, Next to stock F&F and also Debenhams – what went wrong with them?
Heather: What went wrong with them? So, let’s start with ASOS then. Obviously you’ve just mentioned that they’ve – have they changed their return policy, what have they actually done?
Polly: So, they changed it and made it very unclear, so basically what they’ve said is if you are a serial returner, we will deactivate you.
Heather: I’m not sure if that’s a brave move or if it’s sort of taking a step back, because obviously the likes of Next make it so easy for us to shop online with the peace of mind that they can return in store with no issues and I think what they are doing is making it more awkward and I think that’s going to have a negative effect on them.
Polly: I agree, I mean, I don’t know about you but when I’m shopping online I buy multiple different sizes, different styles, different jeans, not all with the intent to buy them and keep them but to try them on to see if they do fit.
Heather: Yeh, it’s like you want the in-store experience in your bedroom because as we all know, all the retailers sizes are different; you could be a size 12 in one shop, a size 14 in another, a size 10 in another, so you have to buy multiple just to cover all sizes.
Polly: Yeh, exactly and with this it makes it very unclear, you know, they said that a serial returner is someone who returns, way, way more than the most loyal customer and I mean, what does that mean?
Heather: I think, which I read yesterday, once I knew we’d be chatting about this is they are trying to target what they call ‘wardrobing’.
Heather: Which is a person buying a product item of clothing with the intent of returning it after they have worn it.
Polly: Wow, that’s an actual term?
Heather: Yeah, ‘wardrobing’, so I presumed keeping the tags in, which you wouldn’t want to risk but some people do do that in returning it, but I think that is a minority that actually do that and is it worth changing your entire return policy for those small amount of people who may or may not do that?
Polly: I’m not sure, it will be interesting to see if whether it changes anything –
Heather: If others follow suit? I don’t think they will –
Polly: Don’t you?
Heather: I think it’s a step back, I think the easier a return policy, the more likely you are going to be inclined to shop with them.
Polly: Yes, and then it makes returns very easy and there are some people, some shoppers, who do shop online for negative reasons and you know, these ‘wardrobers’ they’ll be coming out of the cracks and creeks all to this one store –
Heather: There’s always going to be a ‘wardrober’, I guess, out there.
Polly: You were telling me about Debenhams?
Heather: Well, I was upset that they’ve sort of gone into this decline and obviously Debenhams have been around years – I remember going as a little girl – and I was just sort of intrigued as to what went wrong and I think from what I can gather is they didn’t keep up with the tech trend. I think that they clung on too much to the stores and sort of embracing the new sort of change in how people shop, which is online, more these days, they thought that their brick and mortar… is it mortar and brick or brick and mortar?
Polly: Brick and mortar.
Heather: Brick and mortar. Could sort of stand against that and I think that is where they went wrong and I think they failed. I think they should have put more significance in the technology and people’s online experience than they have done. That obviously along with Debenhams have really huge buildings and you know, with the rent costs and looking after it with the maintenance and the staffing – all that combined has unfortunately meant that they fell behind. I think it would be a ‘wake up’ call to all the sort of brick and mortar retailers to look at their customer and have a look at their online experience and not only that is people are – or companies rather are perfecting these online experiences to make it even more smooth and get the products in a more timely manner and so I think it really is, you know, in the fashion industry and every industry turning more towards technology and online.
Polly: Yes. What do you think Debenhams will be doing in the future? Do you think they’ll come out of it; do you think they will survive?
Heather: I’m not sure. I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I think it’s going to take a lot of, sort of, pulling back from how long they’ve left it to sort of look at. So, again, good luck to them.
Polly: Yeah, I really do hope they pull through, you know, they‘re part of a lot of history and a lot of everybody’s memories, you know, like BHS was. R.I.P.
Heather: There’s empty stores everywhere –
Polly: Let’s hope it’s not the same story for Debenhams.
Polly: Fingers crossed
Heather: So that is our round-up for today, we hope that you’ve enjoyed our topics that we’ve covered and that you will tune in again!
Polly: Yeah, alright. Well, if you did happen to like it, give us a ‘thumbs up’ down below, subscribe and you know what, any feedback is really appreciated. Drop us a comment down below and we’ll –
Heather: Yeah, that would be – it’s our first ever news, sort of, bulletin so any comments and feedback would be much appreciated and any topics that you would like us to cover we’d be more than happy to do that!
Polly: Yeah, alright –
Heather: Thank you!
Polly: See you next month!