BoxGarment – a new online retail packaging solution invented by BBC Apprentice 2012 Candidate, Stephen Brady – is due to be trialled by major retailers in the run-up to Christmas. The re-usable box was soft-launched in September of this year and has already been adopted by a number of high-end Savile Row bespoke tailors. An updated version of the box was unveiled at the ECMOD Direct Commerce Conference in London last week, and will be trialled by a number of UK retail chains over the busy Christmas shopping period.
'Tis the Season to Return Things
Online shopping is set to hit record highs this Christmas. Recently, 'Cyber Monday' was confirmed to be the busiest day of 2012 for Amazon.co.uk, while comScore is predicting combined Dec-Nov spend to reach $43.4Bn in the US alone - up 17% on the previous year. However, while sales are high, Christmas is also one of the most notorious peaks of the year for online retail return rates, which can reach up to 70% during the period (Fits.me, 2012).
The environmental implications of retail returns cannot be ignored and will become increasingly important as manufacturers and retailers aim to reduce CO2 emissions and their overall carbon footprint over the coming years. Returns also represent a particularly expensive part of the fulfilment process for the industry, with UK returns costing retailers and customers over £100 million each year in combined distribution, postage and packaging costs (Kelkoo, 2011).
Returning Cost Savings for Retailers and Convenience for Customers
BoxGarment has been specifically designed to reduce return rates by delivering garments in pristine condition ready to wear out of the box. It sits within the dimensions of all parcel carriers in the UK and internationally, is 100% recycled to reduce carbon footprint, and allows for the despatch of multiple types of item within a single box to reduce retailer costs and consolidate orders. For customers, the reusable box means that items can be returned directly to the retailer in saleable condition without the need for additional packaging.
"BoxGarment is a solution that will benefit retailers and customers alike," said Stephen Brady, founder of BoxGarment. "We spoke to a number of major UK and international retailers about areas of improvement within their current logistics set-ups, and the one thing that kept coming back to us was 'returns'. Particularly at Christmas, online retail return rate can be significantly higher than in-store, due to customers being unable to physically try on garments before they buy. With BoxGarment, items arrive un-creased and in pristine condition, delivering that all important high street shopping experience through the online channel. This – coupled with the box's ability to be reused by customers directly for returns – removes the headache of garment returns on both sides, and that of course is particularly useful at this busy time of year."
Click and Collect Points Provide Multiple Options for Delivery & Return
The BoxGarment solution provides maximum fulfilment of orders to customers depending on their delivery preference, whether that be to their home address or a convenient collection point. This multi-channel customer experience fits within all 'Click and Collect' models to allow customers to collect and return goods from all available locations including home, work, high-street, newsagents, smart-lockers, and the retailer's own store.
This is particularly important because the fulfilment of goods remains the biggest inhibitor to online retail purchasing. A 2012 OnePoll Research Study for delivery specialist DPD found that 73% of the 2,000 Britons surveyed said they had abandoned a purchase at the checkout stage because the delivery options were too restrictive or expensive. Home delivery only options are particularly limiting. BoxGarments distribution infrastructure makes deliveries and returns as flexible as possible, again enhancing the customer experience to deliver greater sales.