Since onboarding with Loop, the Canadian eco-friendly apparel company DUER has transformed their returns into exchanges.
Previous returns solution
DUER, the proud purveyor of “the world’s most comfortable pants” is a Canadian lifestyle apparel brand that creates high-performance clothing from plants and recycled materials.
The brand was founded in 2014 by Gary Lennett, a minimalist who was having trouble finding high-performance clothing that wasn’t synthetic-based – so he decided to launch his own brand of fiber-rich products that could effortlessly go from the office to the hiking trails.
“DUER is focused on experiencing more with less,” says Calvin Roex, Director of Ecommerce & Omni-Channel Experience at DUER.
“You can have a few pairs of really great pants that you can do everything in, taking that decision fatigue out of your everyday life.”
Since its launch, DUER has expanded from its Canadian roots to build a robust international omni-channel marketing strategy – selling both through online channels and in retail locations across Canada and the United States, with consistent 100% YoY revenue growth. But until recently, the brand struggled to recapture lost revenue from returns.
That changed once it implemented Loop’s automated returns management solution.
Since partnering with Loop, DUER has seen:
While the DUER team delighted its customers during the initial customer journey, things fell apart during the post-purchase experience when customers needed to return items.
Before implementing Loop, all returns were handled manually.
“Because of our team’s lack of bandwidth, returns and exchanges were sort of on the side of their desk when they would get to it,” says Roex.
Adding to their challenges, DUER only had a warehouse in Canada, so their customers based in the U.S. would need to ship their returns there through a third-party consolidator – which meant that customers could be waiting 30 days for confirmation that their return had been processed.
“It was a super clunky process to return products. The exchange process was really clunky, too – it required a full refund and a new order.”
The returns process put a strain on the company’s lone customer support agent, and led to frustrating experiences for their customers – and more often than not, DUER was in the dark about why customers were making returns, eliminating any opportunity to improve the shopping experience.
That’s when they turned to Loop to transform their returns experience.
Roex had already been a fan of Allbirds’ ecommerce returns experience: “I like their exchange process, it was really seamless and great.”
When Roex discovered that they were using Loop, and that Loop offered cross-border logistics for Canadian companies – which many competitors didn’t – implementing the platform was a no-brainer.
“One thing I love about Loop is the push for an exchange, versus a refund-first mentality,” says Roex. “When we implemented it, friends in the industry were really impressed by the ease of the exchange and the process.”
Previously, very few customers chose to exchange products through DUER’s manual returns process, but today, exchanges and credits represent almost 36% of their returns.
Nearly 18% of customers returning items choose Instant Exchanges, in which they choose a variation of the same product they’d originally purchased. Another 18% choose Shop Now, which offers instant store credit that the customer can apply towards any product in the store.
“The Shop Now feature is awesome,” says Roex. “You get to shop our site in a way that makes it super easy for customers, and encourages upsell to try out new products.”
In fact, the brand has been able to capture over $80,000 in upsell revenue over the last 12 months through the Shop Now feature, with an average $4.48 in upsell per return.
Over the past year, even though the brand has grown by more than 100%, DUER has barely needed to scale their customer support team – they’ve gone from one CS team member to 1.5.
“We haven’t expanded the team much because Loop took so much of that need to handle returns away from us,” says Roex.
Automating the returns process eliminates multiple CS touch-points, while improving the customer experience and the efficiency of returns processing – a win-win for all sides.
Every month, the ecommerce team exports the data from Loop to analyze trends in returns and the reasons their customers share for why they’re returning a certain item.
“We’re able to identify sizes that are out of tolerance, or something that is fitting a bit tighter than usual, much faster than we ever were before,” says Roex. They can use those insights to update the product page with recommendations to size up on a specific product, for example.
“Loop gives our product team full visibility into why individuals are returning products. That feedback loop is so great.”
And with these customer return insights, DUER worked with their Shopify Plus Design and Development agency partner iamota to create and launch a new site redesign.
A key focus of the redesign was to help shoppers understand DUER’s styles and fits as a means to guide their shopping journey.
And everyone’s shopping journey is different.
Understanding this, iamota worked with DUER to realign first on the customer messaging that’s delivered on the site about styles and fits.
“It’s common for brands to use ‘internal terminology messaging on their storefront that the brand team understands. Which makes sense because they live and breathe that messaging every day as they build the brand. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that first time shoppers of the brand will understand that messaging as well,” says Siobhan Carr, Strategy Manager at iamota.
Product education on a storefront is an art form just as much as it is science when helping shoppers find the products they will love.
Part of the art is knowing how to influence, through design, the pace at which a customer goes through their shopping journey. This is especially crucial around fit and sizing.
With the whole customer journey in mind, Carr shared that they considered the points in the customer journey that new shoppers are going to go through when they come to DUER. And how they could inch them a bit closer to understanding fit.
“Because you don’t want to drop a shopper on a site and overwhelm them with all the information about fits and styles and a ton of detail, you need to educate the customer through the journey which will provide a better experience,” says Carr.
Not only does progressively educating the shopper provide a better customer experience, but it also provides an opportunity for DUER to build rapport with shoppers.
To do this, DUER and iamota focused on recreating the navigation, collection page, PDP, and a detailed fit guide.
For example, they have and are continuing to contextually optimize DUER’s fit guide.
“We see women’s wear brands, especially intimates, making continuous improvements in fit education by showing an eclectic variety of body types on their PDPs. Doing this allows for shoppers to have a higher chance of finding a more accurate fit. So our team used that inspiration to create a unique fit guide for DUER,” says Carr.
Moving from a manual returns process to Loop’s exchange-first automated returns management platform has enabled the DUER team to do more with less, much like their products do for their customers.
Loop facilitates seamless returns and exchanges, making it easy to transform returns into exchanges – and even incentivizes upsells to gain more revenue in the process. Loop’s self-service platform effortlessly recaptures revenue with no work involved from the DUER team.
“Loop feels so hands-off, and is able to run and execute in the back end,” says Roex. “It’s the strongest UX experience for a customer I’ve seen.”
Meet Calvin Roex, DUER
Calvin has been the Director of Ecommerce & Omni-Channel Experience at DUER for 4.5 years.
He’s been in the digital & ecommerce space for 10+ years working for both DTC brands and the NHL.
His passion lies in helping brands scale their digital experience and building a robust tech stack to support high growth.