A new business wants to reshape product returns
It’s long been understood that a return policy directly affects how consumers view a retailer’s customer service. Companies with liberal return policies, such as Amazon.com, Costco, Nordstrom, L.L. Bean and Trader Joe’s, are often included in lists of the most customer-friendly retailers. Now, comes a third-party startup that is looking to change how consumers return unwanted purchases bought online.
Happy Returns, a company founded by two former executives at Hautelook, wants to offer consumers the option of returning items bought online to a physical location for an immediate refund rather than boxing up items and shipping them back. Research conducted by Happy Returns found that 78 percent of customers prefer to shop with a retailer that offers in-store returns.
“We are transforming returns from a painful chore to an efficient and delightful experience that encourages shoppers to increase the scope and frequency of their online purchases,” said David Sobie, co-founder and CEO of Happy Returns, in a statement.
Mr. Sobie and his co-founder, Mark Geller, believe that their new service will not only improve customer satisfaction, but will reduce costs for retailers by “aggregating products for shipment and eliminating customer support calls inquiring about the status of returns.”
Happy Returns is opening its first kiosk, known as a Return Bar, at the Santa Monica Place Mall in California. Mr. Sobie told Internet Retailer that the malls and stores where Happy Returns sets up shop will benefit from the increased traffic its kiosks generate. The company plans to open a network of Return Bars in the Los Angeles area this summer and expand nationally from there.
- Happy Returns Launches In-Person Return Solution for Online Shoppers with $1.9M Seed Financing from Upfront Ventures, Lowercase Capital and Maveron – Happy Returns/Business Wire
- This startup wants to convince online shops that more returns can equal bigger business – Re/code
- Happy Returns looks to simplify online returns for shoppers, retailers – Internet Retailer
Do you see Happy Returns as a means for online retailers to improve customer satisfaction levels and reduce costs associated with returns? What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for retailers using a third-party vendor to manage product returns?