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case study

How Protest manages to reduce returns by 48%

Reduce returns with 3 simple steps

Key metrics

The results in brief

8% fewer returns overall

Through a product-driven approach

48% fewer returns on bikinis & bottoms

Thanks to smart use of data

Reduced processing costs

Through fewer returns and operations

Protest Sportswear


Protest Sportswear

Protest Sportswear focuses on fashionable and functional sportswear at an affordable price.




1000+ per month per month

Number of employees

100+ permanent employees


How Protest manages to reduce returns by 48%

About protest

Protest was founded in the Netherlands. One of the flattest countries on earth. Home to exactly five hills and fourteen waves. They counted the number of hills and waves and said, "Away with logic, away with obstacles - let's do what we love." Since day one, they have done their part to make the world a better place for boarders - both on the slopes and in the water. They do this by designing fashionable and functional sportswear at an affordable price.

The challenge

We talked to Michiel van der Poel, Head of Data at Protest about the method they used to reduce returns. 'We saw a higher than average return rate on certain products, this was the starting point of the project. We want to lower the return rate on an ongoing basis to increase profitability and customer satisfaction on our products. So we decided to dive into the data and figure out how to achieve the goal of lower returns.'

Michiel van der Poel

Embracing data-driven solutions

Michiel explains: "we identify through Returnista items that are returned much more than our average return rate. We want to reduce those returns, so we dove into the Returns data to understand what reasons were dominant for certain products. The Return-rate impact index helped us easily determine which products to focus on first. This index identifies which products are returned relatively most often, so it also takes into account all sales data. We also looked at the differences by country in the Returnista dashboard, allowing us to make adjustments to our product offerings even at the country level.'


The outcome

This proactive, data-driven approach results in up to 48% fewer returns on affected items. Michiel: "This decrease is a significant win for Protest and results in improved customer satisfaction and higher profitability; we are currently reviewing more and more product categories to bring down the total of products. The process never stops, every time we launch a new category or a new collection we try to incorporate insights from previous collections. We are very pleased that we were able to reduce the overall return rate by 8% relatively quickly and now we are taking the next steps to achieve even greater results with this.


The case of Protest Sportswear offers valuable lessons for companies seeking better profitability and lower costs in the area of returns. Here, in brief, are the three steps you can follow to lower your return rate even in the short term:

1. Collecting data: Data is powerful. Using data to understand why customers return products can yield great solutions. Use a solution like Returnista or your own BI tools to collect the data to move on to step 2.

2. Analyze data: It's not enough to just collect and analyze data; companies must take informed actions based on their findings. Need help analyzing this data? We are happy to help you with this, even if you are not a Returnista customer.

3. Take action: Take action based on the previous steps, it is important to realize that this is a project that is always ongoing - with every new collection or products, this analysis should be done so that you have more left over at the bottom line, more satisfied customers and fewer return costs.

Want to lower your return rates, too? Ask here request a demo and find out how we can help you reach your goals

Protest Sportswear



February 23, 2024




Michaela - Netherlands

Exchanging, packing and returning my stuff was so quick!


Peter - Netherlands

Everything was simple and absolutely perfect!

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