How Filling Pieces reduced returns by 21% in 2 months
About Filling Pieces
Filling Pieces is a Dutch clothing brand founded in 2009 by Guillaume Philibert. Based in Amsterdam, the company offers fashion that combines luxury and streetwear, with the motto "Bridging the Gap." They have built a strong presence in the fashion world since their inception and are worn by people all over the world.
Filling Pieces has a flagship store in Amsterdam where customers can view and purchase their products. The clothing is also available at more than 200 retailers worldwide, including Bijenkorf, Selfridges and Kith.
We spoke with Jeroen Overweg, eCommerce manager at Filling Pieces about what's going on in the market, what that means for returns and how to turn returns into repeat purchases.
Low consumer confidence, rising acquisition costs, and margins under pressure
Overweg, 31, lives in Amsterdam and has been working in eCommerce for the fashion industry for 8 years. Jeroen: "If I had to summarize what I stand for it would be diversity, design and quality."
We asked him about his views on the current state of the market and what all stands out to him in his day-to-day work at Filling Pieces.
Overweg: "First of all, we see that consumer confidence is very low at the moment. Overall uncertainty about the economy is having a huge impact on purchasing behavior. Price-quality ratios are increasingly being scrutinized. In general, we notice that consumers are simply becoming less adventurous."
Overweg also notes that margins are under pressure as labor and other costs have risen sharply. In almost all markets, price levels do not always seem to be able to keep up with these rising costs.
Add to that the current skyrocketing acquisition costs, and it becomes clear that online stores need to adjust their strategies. "There is a clear shift from a focus on acquisition to a focus on retention. Here, providing good service and fostering customer loyalty play a major role."
A changing market and the effects on Filling Pieces' return strategy
What does this mean for returns? Jeroen Overweg identifies a number of opportunities to counter the effects of the changing market.
Overweg: "The increased focus on retention also means a greater focus on offering exchanges during the return process. In doing so, make sure you make your customer the right offer at the right time. Respond to customer needs with personalized recommendations and exchanges."
With margins under such pressure, reduced return rates can be a solution. The lower the return rates, the more margins increase. "We need to fully understand why customers return, and act accordingly. That way we can turn returns into exchanges. Ultimately, this also helps strengthen our position in relation to our competition."
With respect to low consumer confidence and increasingly discerning consumers, Overweg's solution is simple: "Make sure you surprise consumers with excellent service!"
From returns to repeat purchases with Returnista
Before Filling Pieces started working with Returnista's returns software, the returns process was not automated. Overweg: "We did not previously offer automatic exchanges. However, it was possible to do it manually. In addition, we did not yet have an online solution for the returns process."
The goals for implementing Returnista were clear. "We wanted to reduce our return rate through an easy, fast and scalable return experience. We also wanted to make our business more sustainable as well as retain more sales."
The results don't lie. After implementing Returnista's returns platform, Filling Pieces saw a reduction in returns of up to 21%. In addition, some 20% more revenue was retained per month. Additional benefit: the number of customer inquiries was also reduced by 10%.
Jeroen Overweg also sees a bright future for the cooperation between Returnista and Filling Pieces: "In the next three months we want to go from 20% to 40% exchanges. A good insight into stock levels is important here. We are really going to use the exchange service as a USP and we also want to start working with store credit."
The return rate also needs further shaking up. Overweg: "We want to reduce the return rate by another 10%. One aspect we are going to work on is customer education in the sales process. For example, we are going to use insights from the return process to optimize product detail pages (PDPs). That way we can easily reduce that return rate."
July 28, 2023
Michaela - Netherlands
Exchanging, packing and returning my stuff was so quick!
Peter - Netherlands
Everything was simple and absolutely perfect!
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