Home Featured Forget Returns Reduction, it’s Time for Returns Prevention (i.e. the Ideal Model)

Forget Returns Reduction, it’s Time for Returns Prevention (i.e. the Ideal Model)


In today’s guest post, Greg Moore, CEO of BodyBlock AI, shares his ideal model for strategic returns prevention. Greg is a corporate visionary with nearly 15 years’ experience in applying innovative technology to key business verticals for increasing profits and enhancing consumer experience.

As fitting rooms turn virtual, eCommerce turns to personalization, and AR lives somewhere in the mix, we’re all trying to integrate solutions into our retail environment that will better engage consumers, increase conversions, and reduce returns. After all, we’re here to drive a business, and that means satisfying consumers and driving profits.

While all of these technical solutions are sexy and drive a ton of press, are they really moving the needle? Will a hologram or a smart mirror drive the engagement, satisfaction, and profits that brands and retailers need in order to survive this hyper competitive market? Maybe, but we think there’s an even bigger opportunity lurking out there. It may not be sexy, but it is valuable.

In our experience, brands are looking to increase conversions, reduce returns, or better manage inventory. This makes sense given that apparel returns and egregious conversions account for more than $300B in lost annual profits, unneeded and sizable CO2 emissions, substantial material waste, and a generally frustrated consumer experience. This focuses on the middle of the sales funnel, but doesn’t look at the full spectrum of one’s business. When we ask brands, “What is your Returns Prevention Strategy?” it stuns everybody. While we’re used to turning our heads to look for the next big thing or focus on reducing returns, we need to be reminded that the source of the problem starts much earlier in the supply chain and perpetuates throughout.

We believe there’s an ideal model:

  • Design & Manufacturing: Brands integrate their consumers’ body dimensions into their size constructs, grade rules, and technical patterns.
  • Inventory Management: Brands and retailers carry best fitting size runs based on the consumers’ body dimensions of a specific territory and channel.
  • Targeted Marketing: Brands and retailers only advertise to consumers that fit their size constructs based on inventory availability.
  • Sales: Brands and retailers integrate size recommendation engines, ensuring each consumer knows what size fits them best in every garment.
  • Data: Territorial body dimensions are measured, tracked, and utilized to optimize the model as consumers move, consumer behavior changes, and brands and retailers explore new markets.

If you were to be able to introduce the Ideal Model into your business you’d see some tangible results:

  • Prevent Returns: Your brand is much more likely to fit your consumer because you already know their body dimensions.
  • Reduce Waste: You reduce your logistics expenses because you only ship what fits.
  • Increase Lifetime Value of Customer while Reducing Consumer Acquisition Costs: By only advertising to consumers that fit the products and sizes you offer, you can better target your advertising i.e. increase conversions and reduce the likelihood of returns.
  • Increase Consumer Confidence In Your Sizing: Yep, size charts suck. Because consumers trust your sizing, they don’t feel the need to purchase multiple sizes of the same product, or let a product sit in the cart because they don’t know how it will fit them.
  • Continued Optimization: Your consumers and their behaviors change, along with their body dimensions. By tracking all of this data, you give yourself the best ability to continue to scale efficiencies throughout the business.

You may be thinking, “This sounds like a fantasy or the Mass Customization holy grail that always seems out of reach.” It’s not… It’s a “Returns Prevention Strategy”.

The right data and tools can enable the Ideal Model, such as:

  • A vast collection of current, accurate, and validated 3D body scans, captured from a global network of thousands of 3D Body Scanners. (At BodyBlock, this scanning network is continuously surveying global population 3D body and persona data.)
  • Predictive body measurement technology that can accurately predict body measurements from a few images or user selections, deployable on mobile or web.
  • Size recommendation technology that validates your size constructs and recommends the best fitting size to every consumer. (At BodyBlock our size recommendation technology predicts and tracks the measurements of the consumer’s body and then recommends the best fitting product)
  • Technology that allows us to study the body dimensions of your consumers, match them with your grade rules and size constructs, and optimize it all as desired.
  • The ability to track Fit Coverage of your digital ads, and help optimize your ad spend to maximize your fit coverage.

Hopefully, after reading this, you’re asking yourself, how can we integrate a Return Prevention Strategy. We’re happy to help you plot a path to the Ideal Model.

Lydia Mageean Lydia Mageean has been part of the WhichPLM team for eight years now. She has a creative and media background, and is responsible for maintaining and updating our website content, liaising with advertisers, working on special projects like our PLM Project Pack, or our Annual Publications, and more.Joining mid-2013 as our Online Editor, she has since become WhichPLM’s Editor. In addition to taking on writing and interviewing responsibilities, Lydia has also become the primary point of contact for news, events, features and other aspects of our ever-growing online content library and tools.