STORES 2014 BIG Show Daily - January 14, 2014 - 24


Tuesday

24

Returns
A retailer'
s
best
customers
often make
more returns
than other
shoppers,
simply
because
they're
making more
purchases.

Continued from page 22

manage fraud," Webster said.
Once the transaction is complete, the
solution can update the information across
multiple systems. "As soon as a return is
made, the information is integrated to the
POS, then inventory, and then it can go
into the merchandising system and update
that," said Webster. As a result, the solution
can "simplify the customer and associate
experience and IT architecture."
In addition, because the solution
is built around a central database that
provides visibility to all transactions, a

customer can make a purchase at one store
and return the item at another, Black said.

A few tweaks

Most retailers using Oracle's Retail
Returns system license and deploy it on
their own premises, Webster said. Stein
Mart is deploying the solution within its
own data centers; Black said that he'd be
leery of running this sort of application
on a Software-as-a-Service basis because
"there's a lot of customer data in there."
The implementation period covered
about eight months, and the system required a fair amount of tweaking: Early
in the process, it became clear than many
shoppers came into the stores without
receipts, but were more interested in exchanging the product rather than getting
credit or cash back. While these initially
were counted as "strikes" against the customer, Flanagan and his team later removed
these transactions from the database used
to determine which shoppers and returners
might be running up against the returns
limit.
Similarly, they removed from the database returns of less than $50, Flanagan said.
"We've tried to scale it to target the type of
people we want to keep out of the store."
Webster said that minimal training is
necessary for store-level implementation,
since the solution automates the return
process for sales associates. "It gives stepby-step instructions," he said.
When Stein Mart implemented the
system, management waited to see if
sales associates would receive any pushback from customers. "It didn't happen,"
Flanagan said. The retailer received very
few complaints, in part because it didn't
focus on "customers who don't do a great
job of keeping their receipts," he said.
Instead, "the system is intended to catch
habitual refund fraud artists."
While fraudulent returns are a serious
challenge, most returns actually include a
receipt or the store associate can look up
the purchasing card, Black said. If an associate is able to find the receipt by looking
through the store's database of credit, debit
or loyalty card transactions, the return is
treated as a receipted return.
Among commonly realized benefits
of the system are its ability to enhance
inventory and stock control, ensuring that
an item being returned was legitimately
purchased and that the return meets any
criteria set by the retailer.
In addition, the solution can boost
sales asasociates' productivity, making
the returns experience easy and quick,
Webster said.
Flanagan said Stein Mart's "shrink is
certainly lower since we implemented the
tool," and now is either industry-leading
or very close.
"By taking the refunder out of the
store, we're also taking out the potential
shoplifter," he said. "We feel this system
fits our culture and heritage. We're servicing our good customers and chasing out
the bad guys."


http://www.mi9retail.com/

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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