STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 22


Tuesday

22

Stein Mart Implements Returns Management Solution

F

inding the right balance between
customer service and fraud prevention is key when it comes to
returns management. One particularly
knotty dilemma is determining how best
to handle customer returns that lack a
receipt. According to NRF's 2012 Return
Fraud Survey, retailers estimate that 13.4
percent of returns made without receipts
are fraudulent.
Yet, it's not uncommon for frequent
- and honest - customers to forget or
misplace their receipts. To distinguish
these customers from would-be fraudsters,

Jacksonville, Fla.-based Stein Mart implemented tools and processes that allow it
to better determine which non-receipted
returns come from loyal, honest customers, and which are likely to be suspicious.
Several years ago, the retailer discovered that criminals in Texas were making
photocopies of receipts and returning items
that had been stolen, getting cash in return,
said Ed Flanagan, Stein Mart's director of
investigative support. At the time, Stein
Mart had no system in place that allowed
the retailer to determine if an item being
returned had already been returned. In

STOP Buffering

all, the fraudsters were able to
steal more than $30,000 over a
period of several months.
That was sobering enough.
But, as CIO Andrew Black
points out, "The ones you catch
make you afraid of the ones you
didn't."

A policy-driven
solution

Not long after that, Stein
Mart began working with Oracle's Retail Returns Man-

IN ITS TRACKS

Come see us at NRF booth #629
within the Mobile and Digital Pavilion

stratacache.com/retailcache.php

agement solution, Black said. A primary
goal was reducing the risk of illegitimate
returns, but the retailer also wanted to
improve its data collection.
A retailer's best customers often make
more returns, simply because they're making more purchases. Any savvy retailer
wants to know when to accept those returns. "If you have good data, it's easier to
say yes to the return," Black said.
Another objective was enabling sales
associates to process legitimate returns
easily and quickly. "The faster you can do
it, the happier the customer is," Black said.
Stein Mart management also wanted
to boost the consistency with which returns
were handled. "When you don't have a
system to enforce or execute policy, you
can get highly variable results," Black
points out.
Working with Oracle's system, Stein
Mart can more effectively track and manage its returns. Management has defined
the number of non-receipted returns it
will accept within a 45-day period, as well
as the maximum number overall. Once a
customer reaches this threshold, in terms
of either the number of returns and/or their
dollar value, the system won't allow a sales
associate to accept any without a receipt.
The Retail Returns Management
solution is part of Oracle's suite of retail
architecture, said general manager Mike
Webster, and is typically deployed by
retailers that generate more than $500
million in revenue annually. Because most
retailers want a balance between customer
service and fraud management, the solution is policy driven, he said - retailers
can customize policies for each customer
segment, so that the system guides the sales
associate through the appropriate process.
It does this by assessing the various elements of a return, including the customer
and her buying and return history, and the
type, value and condition of the item itself.
Very loyal customers who make frequent
purchases and occasionally return items
can be treated differently than customers who constantly buy and return items:
The former might be able to make returns
without a receipt, while customers in the
latter category may be denied the privilege.
"This allows retailers to express their customer service strategy to the customer and
See "Returns" on page 24


http://www.stratacache.com/retailcache.php

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014

STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 1
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 2
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 3
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 4
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 5
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 6
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 7
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 8
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 9
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 10
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 11
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 12
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 13
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 14
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 15
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 16
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 17
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 18
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 19
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 20
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 21
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 22
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 23
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 24
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 25
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 26
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 27
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 28
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 29
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 30
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 31
STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 32
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