SML RFID State of Retail Insight Report 2023—Part 2: Returns Management and the Customer Experience

Retail continues to adapt to post-pandemic trends as consumer demands evolve. In the years that have followed, retailers have recognized an increased need to focus on the customer experience across both online and offline sales channels, and the important role that technology plays in facilitating that.

SML RFID commissioned an independent research report, analyzing the current trends and challenges impacting daily retail operations. Surveying more than 500 senior decision-makers from apparel retailers within the U.S. and U.K., part one of SML’s “State of Retail 2022/2023” report uncovered how retailers are traversing the long-term implications and hurdles following the pandemic and beyond, with a particular focus on order fulfilment and the in-store customer experience. Part two takes a closer look at the growth of consumer returns in the current climate, and the impact that it is having on the industry.

This report explores how retailers can improve their returns operations, and utilize return transactions to extend customer engagement. The rise of returns has become a growing issue for retailers and their revenue streams in recent years. It is clear that returns are eating into a growing amount of retailer profit, and in the current economic climate, businesses cannot afford to continue suffering from returns. Instead, retailers need to consider the returns process as part of the overall customer journey and this report will uncover the challenges and solutions to delivering this.

View part one of the report.

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