Woolly Clothing Increases LTV with ReturnGO & Amazon MCF
Reduced Refund Rate
Woolly Clothing, a Seattle-based retailer specializing in everyday Merino wool clothing, has streamlined its returns process since using ReturnGO in conjunction with Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF).
Woolly Clothing’s Story
Woolly Clothing was founded over 10 years ago with a mission to bring Merino wool underwear to the masses and has grown into a sustainable catalog of Merino wool clothing for everyday wear.
With a commitment to making wool more accessible and fostering a community around sustainable fashion, the company offers its products through both an eCommerce site and Amazon.
Selling on Amazon enables Woolly Clothing to make their high-quality Merino wool products available worldwide, wherever Amazon ships.
Woolly Clothing had a cumbersome and manual return process before adopting ReturnGO. Woolly Clothing’s use of Amazon MCF provided significant benefits in both managing growth and inventory across sales channels and ensuring a positive customer buying experience.
However, with growing demand and increased fulfillment, the difficulties with a manual return process compounded the issue as, prior to ReturnGO, there wasn’t a seamless returns solution in place, which further complicated the process of managing MCF returns.
The native Amazon MCF returns process is fully manual and with it, customers had to email Woolly Clothing about a return, and the customer service manager would need to create a return label in Amazon Seller Central and email it to the customer.
Customers would then notify Woolly Clothing once they’d shipped the item back, and the company had to continuously check Seller Central to verify whether an item had arrived back to the warehouse. Once an item had arrived, a Woolly Clothing customer service manager would issue the customer a refund.
This process was initially tracked manually through spreadsheets and later through a returns form populated in a spreadsheet, which was still very clanky and time-consuming to manage. Emailing back-and-forth with customers was inefficient, and Amazon Seller Central was cumbersome for tracking the status of returns.
As sales and returns volumes grew, the workload became unmanageable for the small team. Woolly Clothing needed an automated, scalable solution to simplify and streamline their returns process in conjunction with Amazon MCF.
“Returns were the biggest headache since the beginning. We used Amazon for fulfillment, but we didn’t have a system to handle returns, it was all manual.”
– Carly Cahoon, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Woolly Clothing
Why Woolly Clothing Chose ReturnGO
Woolly Clothing’s journey to finding a returns solution began when a representative from Amazon introduced them to ReturnGO, inviting the company to join the beta testing of ReturnGO’s Amazon MCF integration. The setup was smooth and quick, and the support and chat availability during implementation proved to be invaluable.
The seamless integration with Amazon MCF and the overall efficiency of the ReturnGO solution immediately made a huge difference to Woolly Clothing’s returns process.
How Woolly Clothing Uses ReturnGO
ReturnGO has automated the majority of the returns process for Woolly Clothing. In particular, the company has seen a drastic improvement in how easy it is to manage returns with Amazon MCF.
Using ReturnGO, when a customer requests a return through the branded return portal on Woolly Clothing’s website, a return authorization is automatically created in Seller Central and a return label is sent to the customer. ReturnGO’s built-in interoperability with WebBee, a leading Amazon MCF order management integrator, ensures data accuracy.
Since ReturnGO seamlessly integrates with Amazon MCF’s dynamic return locations, Woolly Clothing can be sure that returned items are routed properly to the correct Amazon facility and does not have to worry about manually creating return labels.
All updates and information within Amazon MCF are synced in ReturnGO, providing a one-stop-shop for tracking return status, item condition, and other relevant details.
Through ReturnGO, Woolly Clothing has been able to provide customers with a variety of options to choose from, resulting in a whopping 60.3% now opting for store credit and exchanges instead of refunds. This helps Woolly Clothing retain customers and increase customer LTV.
“More than half of our customers are now opting for either store credit or exchanges. This is a huge improvement for us as these two were not options for our customers in years past. We wanted to create an easy process to get more wool in more hands, and having these options helps us more easily make sure our customers are happy!”
Woolly Clothing charges return label and handling fees to help offset costs. For refund returns, there is a flat fee per return, and if customers opt for an exchange or store credit instead, Woolly covers the return shipping cost as an incentive for the customer to choose a return resolution that keeps the revenue in the store. As Carly Cahoon, Woolly Clothing’s Chief Customer Experience Officer explains, “I thought to myself – What would incentivize me as a consumer? Free return shipping is a huge incentive.”
The combination of using Amazon MCF to fulfill orders and ReturnGO to facilitate returns and exchanges has produced significant advantages and amazing results for Woolly Clothing.
Some of the metrics improved include:
Reduced Manual Work
By automating the returns process almost completely while syncing everything with Amazon MCF, Woolly Clothing has halved the amount of manual work involved in returns management.
With everything automated and easily accessible in one place, returns and exchanges can be processed faster and with less effort.
Now, instead of handling every request individually, the Woolly Clothing team only needs to go over the edge cases that need manual intervention and keep an eye on things to make sure everything’s running smoothly.
“ReturnGO simplifies our process, it’s so good to have a system that talks with MCF and makes it easy to keep an eye on returns coming in. Having that all in one place has been very helpful.”
More Retained Revenue
A major impact of using ReturnGO has been Woolly Clothing’s ability to retain significantly more revenue on returns. By reducing refunds by 35.3% from the 75% they were before using ReturnGO, the company now has an average retained revenue rate of 60.3% on returns.
Since using ReturnGO, 60.3% of returns are now exchanges or store credit rather than refunds. Of that 60.3%, 43.8% are exchanges and 16.5% are store credit, with just 39.7% of returns still being refunded.
By keeping over half of returned revenue in-house through exchanges and credit, rather than issuing refunds, ReturnGO has greatly increased customer lifetime value.
Increased Orders and LTV
Since using ReturnGO, Woolly Clothing has seen an overall of 25.8% increase in monthly order volume. This is primarily fueled by a strategic emphasis on exchanges and the utilization of store credit.
The fact that nearly half (43.8%) of all return requests are now exchanges leads to new orders and often to upselling when customers exchange for more expensive items and pay the price difference.
Offering store credit has also greatly increased customer LTV and volume of orders. More than half (55.8%) of customers who receive store credit buy again shortly after returning, and on average, they add around $40 to their orders when redeeming store credit.
Woolly Clothing’s increased monthly order volume can be partly attributed to the fact that the majority of their returns are now exchanges or store credit instead of refunds, resulting in increased repeat purchases from customers.
Improved Data Visibility
Having a centralized system has provided visibility into returns and enabled Woolly Clothing to effortlessly track essential data including return rates, reasons behind returns, and the outcomes of each resolution.
This newfound visibility empowers Woolly Clothing to make informed decisions, identify patterns, and proactively address emerging trends, ultimately contributing to a more data-driven and strategically informed approach to returns management.
Enhanced Customer Experience
Faster return authorization turnaround time and a simplified process for requesting a return or exchange have improved the customer experience significantly.
Woolly Clothing has received appreciative feedback in customer ratings and testimonials, including comments about how the self-service returns process is “so much easier and more convenient,” and they value having multiple return resolution options to choose from.
“It’s made returns an easier and smoother process for both Woolly and the customer. We believe this will continue to foster loyalty as we strive to create an easy process for customers to reach self-identified solutions!”
Implementing ReturnGO has been transformative for Woolly Clothing, addressing the operational challenges around their manual Amazon MCF returns process and providing a scalable, automated solution.
Offering easy exchanges and store credit has increased repeat orders and retained more revenue, and Woolly Clothing is now able to manage everything in one place thanks to the seamless synchronization between Amazon MCF and ReturnGO.
ReturnGO has proved to be a valuable asset in optimizing Woolly Clothing’s returns workflow, contributing to its ongoing success and growth.
“ReturnGO helps us sync together our fulfillment center and website to make returns as seamless as possible, and it automates that process so we can think less about the mundane task of returns and think more about scaling and building our company.”
Chief Customer Experience Officer, Woolly Clothing