We visited Fashion SVP not so long ago, and as ever found it a worthwhile event. But one thing stuck out. Customer returns. Brands are tearing their hair out.
So at Fashion SVP we were fascinated to hear what Kim Winser OBE of womenswear brand Winser London was doing as a solution. Given that Kim was head of womenswear for M&S in their heyday and spent £2billion annually on manufacturing clothes, surely she must know a trick or two?
Speaking on the podium at Fashion SVP, she gave two tips she’s incorporated into her own brand:
- Slight oversizes. Throughout her ranges, Winser London make sure there is slightly more room in each item than if they were a precise fit. For ecommerce, especially high ticket fashion items, returns are high because often the items are slightly too tight for the wearer….Winser London tries to avoid this by oversizing each item….just slightly….but enough to reduce returns. It works.
- Add an element of stretch fabric. A smart #hack this, but by adding an element of stretch fabric to every item in her clothing range, once again there is more chance of a garment fitting. And fewer returns.
Does this completely solve the issue of returns? Not at all. But it helps – enough to ensure that most of Winser London’s garments are slightly oversized and have an element of stretch in them.
As for us at i.LEVEL Software, we are trying to help our brands with their customer returns by developing an IT capability for wholesale called ‘i.LEVEL’s Customer Returns Section’. Key features include the ability to identify individual customers alongside the reasons for the return and allocate them to the source, supplier or factory.
The latter is especially important to determine whether the problem rests with a fault with the garment itself at the source of production. If faulty, our Customer Returns Section allocates it back to the factory concerned in order to keep a tab on the quality level of each source.
Perhaps the most valuable feature is a reporting structure which allows a fashion brand to analyse hundreds of returns in one go. This helps identify key patterns in returns and empowers a fashion brand to quickly implement solutions, for example, if one single supplier is primarily at fault.
If you’d like to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01234 761 757, email or DM us using our Twitter handle @ilevelSoftware. We’d be glad to demo our fashion wholesale returns section, both face-to-face or via Skype.