Løbeshop.dk wanted to optimise product returns and ended up developing a ground-breaking system that makes a difference for the business and its customers every day. We have taken a closer look at the award-winning feature.

The best innovations in e-Commerce are the ones that truly make a difference for both the business and its customers.

And that is exactly how you can describe the fully automated online system that Løbeshop.dk has implemented to optimise their procedures for handling product returns - a system that was awarded "Optimisation Detail of The Year" at the annual FDIH E-Commerce Awards in Copenhagen on May 18.

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In its essence, the system makes it easier for customers to return or exchange products through a specially designed interface on the webshop - even if that customer has received the product as a gift:

»We realised that we needed an automated system for product returns. The previous process was handled manually and it was extremely resource intensive for us. So to help ourselves and our customers, we started considering how we could handle it smarter.«

Rolf Andersen, Co-Owner, Løbeshop.dk

After a couple of years on the drawing board, the feature was ready to be launched in the Fall of 2015 as part of a new design for Løbeshop.dk.

Everything is automated online

The system that is developed in collaboration with Tric Solutions is fully automated and involves 11 simple steps:

1. Login
The first thing a customer of Løbeshop needs to do when returning or exchanging a product is to login to his/her account. However, to accommodate customers, who have received the product as a gift, Løbeshop have also made it possible to access the order by disclosing the ID, last name and email address connected to that order.

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2. Choose action
Next step for the customer is to click on the button "Return product(s)"

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3. Choose product
Then the customer needs to browse the order history and pick out the product that he/she wants to return or exchange.

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4. Choose cause
Choosing between different options from a drop-down menu, the customer now needs to disclose the reason for returning/exchanging the prouct. This is done from a specially designed basket page that also includes relevant product recommendations to help the customer choose a potential replacement for the product and to increase the average order value.

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5. Choose return
Before moving on, the customer now needs to decide whether he/she wants to move on without buying new products (and thus get a cashback) or spend the value of the product on something new.

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6. Look for replacement
If the customer wants to replace the current product with a different model or size, he/she can now use the onsite search function to quickly find the right match.

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7. Pick new size
Next step after finding the new product is to pick out the wanted size. This is where the system saves both the customer and the employees of Løbeshop much time, as the customer is able to see precisely what sizes he/she can choose from. This means that no time will "go to waste" in communicating back and forth in efforts to find a product that the customer wants in a size that is available.

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8. Overview
After the customer moves on from this step, he/she can now see an overview of the product exchange. The returned/exchanged product will feature with "a negative value" in the basket and any potential new products will be listed below. Lastly, the customer will be able to easily see any difference in product price that he/she can expect to pay or receive as a cashback.

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9. Confirm address
On step 9, the customer confirms the delivery address.

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10. Pick delivery
Almost done now. The customer needs to specify whether he/she wants the product delivered (and by what service) or pick it up in one of Løbeshop's physical stores.

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11. Confirm and complete
All that is left to do now is to confirm and complete the return/exchange.

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Optimisation for webshop and customers

After a customer completes this process on the website, Løbeshop then holds the order until they receive a package from the customer with the product in question.

In this connection, the system of Løbeshop is no different than that of most other e-Commerce businesses. The major difference is that Løbeshop can expedite the exhange/return much faster. Also, there is never any doubt as to what the customer wants in return and that the product is in stock.

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Løbeshop's intention with this system (or one of them) has always been to give the customers a much smoother experience when returning or exchanging a product and it seems to have worked - after 6 months, 83% of their customers used the online system when returning or exchanging a product and the feedback has been nothing but positive so far.

However, the system has not only been a success when looking at user experience:

»Previosuly, when one our customers returned or exchanged a product, it would take us an average of 3,5 minutes to handle each case. Now, we spend an average of 2 minutes, which corresponds to 2 months of salary saved every year. And as an added benefit, we now spend less time dealing with these cases in customer service.«

Rolf Andersen, Co-Owner, Løbeshop.dk

On May 18 2016, Løbeshop was officially recognised for their system and its effects, as they received the award for "Optimisation Detail of The Year" at the FDIH E-Commerce Awards - an honour that brings out the smiles in Løbeshop:

»You can spend many hours coming up with ideas that really only work in theory, so it's nice to be affirmed that we have done something for our customers that other people also think is really smart.«

Rolf Andersen, Co-Owner, Løbeshop.dk