Can returnless refunds become a new standard?

If returns guilt weighed as heavy on the hearts of consumers and retailers as its actual poundage, then the reported 5 billion pounds of retail returns waste a year should be enough to incite lasting change. But what if customers didn’t have to return their goods at all to get an immediate refund?

Returnly, the post-purchase payments company that caters to retailers and brands dealing with single-use products, such as beauty and intimates products, unveiled its Green Returns to help brands decrease waste with a holistic return policy.

“Traditional return policies don’t give direct-to-consumer brands the flexibility or freedom needed to meet modern shoppers’ expectations,” said Eduardo Vilar, founder and chief executive officer of the San Francisco-based company. Returnly allows its clients’ customers to be credited, to buy again from the retailer or brand before even shipping the original item back. Assuming the risk on behalf of merchants such as Thinx, Outdoor Voices, Untuckit, and others, Returnly offers real-time return tracking, online returns and exchanges and its latest Green Returns. All options are fully brandable, so direct-to-consumer brands can maintain control throughout the post-purchase journey.

Untuckit is one brand using Returnly to maximize customer loyalty. 

As it stands, brands must be open-palmed with customers who return their goods, or else they risk a closed fist and quick exit. To carve out new loyalty, Returnly offers its “returnless refunds,” whereby the customer is refunded without being required to return the original item, reducing waste for the retailer, while hoping to satisfy the customer without overexpending efforts.

“It just makes good business sense to reward our best customers instead of moving forward with a return that cannot be resold,” said Brendan Hastings, vice president of engineering and digital product at Thinx, a women’s intimates brand. “Green Returns has made a huge impact on consumer happiness and our bottom line, while doing the right thing for the planet,” he reiterated.

A problem of scale requires automation to ensure efficiency. Returnly monitors the reverse logistics event data and automates 99 percent of a brand’s returns processing, while integrating with third-party technology and e-commerce software. Reducing friction for the consumer, while “doing the right thing for the planet,” is the business acumen of post-purchase companies such as Returnly.

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