Belated Merry Christmas, folks! HSN is doing 24 hours of jewelry clearance today, which is tempting even for those of us who rang up our charge cards shopping for the holidays.
We were so busy it has taken us a few days to blog about a Wall Street Journal story earlier this week, one where QVC stuck its two cents in.
The Journal article, “Rampant Returns Plague E-Retailers,” described how online retailers are using their data on orders to try to cut down on returns. As many of us know from personal experience, one way that QVC and other home shopping networks try to reduce returns is by threatening to cut off shoppers who return too much merchandise, despite the channels’ 30-day-unconditional return policies.
QVC didn’t talk about that little fact in the story.
Instead, the No. 1 home shopping channel told The Journal that in some cases it is emailing customers after they get their products to explain how to put them together and use them. QVC’s return rate has been on the rise. The article said that QVC’s returns bumped up to 19.4 percent of gross product revenue last year from 18.9 percent in 2010.
The Journal said that QVC recently “began sending customers post-purchase emails with instructional videos on, say, how to put a vacuum cleaner together or the best ways to style a scarf.”
The story goes on to report that when the home shopping network noticed a high return rate for the $295 Nu-FACE Trinity face-toning device, it sent customers an email with a video on how to use the item.
Returns on QVC’s version of ShopHQ vendor Suzanne Somers’ FaceMaster plummeted 30 percent, eliminating returns of an estimated $55,000 worth of product, according to The Journal.
We still find that a more interesting story would have been on the “you-return-too-much-you-can’t-shop-anymore-with-us” strategy of home shopping nets.