The secret weapon fighting product returns

retail_secret_weapon_ambience_SPT-Football‘How do we maximise the sales of our product and minimise the amount of people who bring it back?’ A question retailers have been asking themselves for years.

Generally, retailers have different strategies to effectively deal with the issue of product returns. But a lot of the time, these approaches can turn a simple sale into a complicated, slow process – leaving staff unable to focus their attention on the next customer or other parts of the business.

The interesting thing is, research tells us that in some shopping categories, less than 5 per cent of returns are actually from product defects. So what’s going wrong? What’s the answer? You probably have it hanging over you right now… lighting. Yes, lighting.

There are many points along the customer journey that can be enhanced by an effective retail lighting plan. One of these is in the fitting room – a crucial juncture in the decision-making process. If a person looks good when trying on clothes, they’re going to feel good. And this is going to have a positive impact at the check-out.

It’s also important to focus on that moment when the happy customer has left the fitting room with their item and moved to the point-of-sale. This is when they might be having second thoughts about completing the purchase. So unless that item packs the same punch as it did in the fitting room – they’re dumping it.

David Justice, managing director of ambience lighting says “The correct and consistent portrayal of colour is critical in the decision-making process”. This is especially true for the shopper experience in the skincare and cosmetics industries. Take for example, foundation returns – a particularly common issue in cosmetic retail. If someone gets the product home and it doesn’t look the way it’s meant to look, they’re coming straight back. Justice adds “The lighting must reflect the true colours of the product, and in the case of foundation reflect the skin tones for accurate matching”.

As well as making customers look and feel good once in the store, it’s equally important to use optimum colour matching and correct colour output to portray a realistic reflection of the product once it’s applied.

And as Justice says “In the end if you get all this right, you’ll have customers returning, for the right reasons”. It’s no wonder they call this often-neglected technology, the retailer’s secret weapon.

To find out how you can get the most from your lighting, speak to Australia’s most in-demand retail lighting experts

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