Last week, ReBOUND were delighted to be a part of 2016's E-Commerce Worldwide Summit, powered by our friends over at IMRG. The event was spread over two days at the prestigious London ExCel; the first comprising of pre-conference workshops for retailers only, and the second being the main event where everyone was welcome.
The pre-conference workshop gave us a chance to talk more intimately with brands wishing to get more momentum cross-border. We were also able to share some of our key findings from our returns benchmark 'The Great Returns Race' by suggesting new ways to improve their current returns proposition.
Up bright and early the following morning, we set up stall with our friends at P2P Mailing who kindly invited us to join them to represent returns on stand 11 and to promote this latest research.
Great speaking slots from the likes of Boden, Virgin, Shop Direct and Clarks followed and a fantastic panel session featuring New Look, Hobbs, JD Williams and Deckers rounded off the morning nicely.
One of the common themes that cropped up during the day was the shared interest of UK brands looking to do business in Ireland. Sally Heath, E-Commerce Director at New Look said '50% of the brands EU sales were from Ireland alone'. There is without a shadow of a doubt that the shared culture makes Ireland an easy target for brands when they decide to expand beyond the UK. It is no coincidence then, that the organisers released their latest Passport to Ireland report to coincide with the event.
Returns, once again, seemed to be the issue no-one likes to talk about openly. Cheryl Clifford, Head of International at Hobbs London did emphasise how getting the back-end of the business correctly in place is key, 'since returns could break a business before it even starts'.
There were also a couple of nods towards the impact of offering free returns from Geoff Scully of Shop Direct who spoke about how "incremental sales increased by about 27% in the first year" when they offered domestic free returns.
Sally Heath from New Look also spoke honestly about their trial and error approach to cross-border to manage customer expectations from around the world. This includes their recent free returns promotion in Germany. We're looking forward to hearing the outcome of this trial and whether this will lead to the addition of local hubs abroad or instant refunds which Sally indicated could be a possibility for New Look.
All in all, a very successful couple of days with some of the UK's biggest brands in attendance! Hope to see you at the next one.