Online apparel is booming. What does that mean for returns?
Billions of dollars of apparel sales are moving from brick and mortar to online: the big shift – according to Internet Retailer – occurred last year when web sales of apparel grew 20.4% versus 1% for physical stores. In one year “the web’s share of U.S. apparel sales grew to 17.9% from 15.5%” and that percentage is expected to rise. The growth is good news for apparel-centric e-retailers as well as those stores that have created robust online apparel operations; however as consumers continue to modify their purchasing behavior (heading online instead of into a physical store), e-retailers must be ready for a substantial spike in returns. When you consider apparel – purchased online – boasts one of the highest return rates, that’s millions of dollars worth of merchandise coming back annually that must be accounted for.
This trend creates a new urgency for retailers to put an efficient reverse logistics process in place, including how to capture the most value for the apparel that cannot be returned to virtual shelves and is slated for liquidation or the secondary market.
If you still answer the question, “How do you liquidate excess inventory?” by saying something like, “We have a couple of guys we sell to over the phone,” you are doing yourself a disservice as you are undoubtedly leaving huge amounts of money on the table. By ditching traditional methods like the aforementioned, and applying technology to the process, there is an opportunity to recoup so much more.
Some world’s largest e-retailers are leveraging B-Stock’s award-winning, technology-based, and data-driven solutions to achieve a 30-80% higher recovery rate for their returned and excess inventory, including apparel. This includes B2B and B2C Enterprise Solutions for large organizations and our SMB Solution: B-Stock Supply.
For more information on the clients we serve, please visit our B-Stock Sourcing Network. If you’re interested in learning more about how B-Stock can build a customized web-based solution for returned, overstock or excess inventory, please contact us.