With the advent of COVID-19, the e-commerce industry is one industry that has seen a boost. People are not allowed to step out of their homes, which pushes them to buy everything online. Encouraging people to stay at home has caused online shopping to become the new normal. Apps like Amazon and Flipkart have become household names. As the number of items being bought online increases, so does the number of returns.
The Market Online
As a customer, when one is dissatisfied with a product ordered online, one can return it with ease. However, from the perspective of the owner, it’s a different story entirely. After going through the tiresome and long process of having a product delivered, one of the worst feelings is seeing that “Item has been returned” notification pop up. However, business owners are not the only ones who suffer because of these frequent returns. Though many may not know this, this long and hectic process also negatively impacts the environment.
These returned items generally end up in landfills and garbage dumps. They very rarely make it back onto the shelves or with some other customer. A research conducted in the US indicated that around 25% of returns end up in landfills, releasing about 15 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is equal to the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by three million vehicles in a single year.
Why Do We Do It?
The reason for doing so is simple. It’s easier and cheaper to dispose of an item than to recycle and process it.
Since the start of virtual market spaces, companies like Amazon have offered free and hassle-free return policies to help build customer trust. With free returns and instant refunds, customers overcome their hesitation of buying online. They feel much more confident about the purchase, but recently, there has been a huge rise in the misuse of this service.
People have started using their homes as their trial rooms to try on the product and return the ones that they don’t like. Consumer trends research indicates people buying multiple sizes of the same product and returning the sizes that don’t fit.
Many people don’t know that each returned package leaves a long trail of emissions, starting right from the train, truck, or planes that carry these products. This entire process causes pollution, which worsens the air quality. Most of these products then end up in the dumping ground.
So how can we become environmentally friendly and not lose money at the same time? The introduction of these virtual stores to the e-commerce market might just be the solution to this! The phenomenon of virtual stores and virtual market spaces is the high-tech answer to the current shopping demands. Through virtual try-on and live videos, people can make sure of what they want and in which sizes.
One of the first examples to start virtual try-ons would be Lenskart. They provide you with an option to try the glasses on virtually through your phone. This helps avoid multiple purchases just to return the item that doesn’t suit. This feature has gained popularity with brands like Nykaa, ASOS, and other fashion brands, helping users select the right shade and style of product.
Virtual try-ons aren’t just a great way to help the environment. They also reshape customer experience. They ensure customer satisfaction as they can “touch and feel” the product in a new way. Customers can be sure of what they are purchasing and how the product will look on them. They can try on different styles and be confident about making the purchase.
Finding the Size
Almost 40% of buyers often buy several sizes of an item, returning the ones that don’t fit properly. Customers must be satisfied that the items they purchase will fit them as anticipated in order to minimize the number of returns.
Thanks to live videos, one can shorten the lengthy process of size selection of goods and make it almost as short and convenient as visiting a store.
Putting in your size credentials and getting system-generated size guides in accordance with the different brands is the newest trend. Combine it with live video try-on, and we have the perfect size for everyone available with just a click. This will avoid multiple size purchases and reduce the impact on the environment.
Plaza helps fast-growing direct-to-consumer (DTC) businesses in using live video to generate genuine interaction at each stage of the customer’s purchase cycle. The utilization of interactive live videos as a new channel for marketing, sales, and customer retention is made possible by our built-for-commerce video solutions. Our initial product is a Virtual Showroom solution, which enables businesses to conduct one-on-one shoppable video conversations with their customers. Increased conversion rates, greater order values, reduced contact times, and happier customers are some of the things on the long list of positive reviews shared with us by brands who use Plaza.
Not only can a company save money by avoiding costly returns, but it can also respond to a growing trend among customers that are concerned about the environmental effect of their purchases. Today’s customers are becoming increasingly cautious about the environment, and with the right amount of awareness we can create a better and environment-friendly market space.
Our single piece of advice to any DTC business is, start now! Visit Plaza for more.