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How Vitality uses Loop + Return Bars to deliver personalization at scale

Vitality leverages Loop and its Return Bars integration to deliver a seamless, personalized returns experience at scale that maximizes margins and customer satisfaction.

Estimated reading time: 6 min

Vitality with Loop:

10%

return rate (below apparel industry benchmark of 13%)

32%

of revenue retained via exchange or store credit

68%

refund rate, 7% lower than industry average

>80%

of returns go through Return Bars

Learn more about Vitality:

Vitality is an athleisure brand that prioritizes size-inclusivity, sustainability, and giving back to its community. Founded in 2018 by sisters Chloe Chamberlain and Taylor Chamberlain-Dilk, along with Taylor’s husband, Steve Dilk, the business launched out of Chamberlain’s garage and gained customers rapidly. Six years in, the brand has built a thriving Shopify-based ecommerce store with a loyal and growing customer base.

The Challenge: Scaling sustainably

When choosing a returns management solution in 2020, Vitality researched several options, and quickly decided on Loop. “Even where Loop was three years ago was so much more advanced and forward-thinking than the other competitors that we were in discussion with at the time,” says Audra Shipstad, Vitality’s Operations and CX Manager. “They’ve always been really ahead of the curve.”

Shifting from a manual returns solution to Loop’s automated workflows immediately helped them reduce operational and reverse logistics expenses. 

But in 2021, the brand conversation turned towards scaling: Vitality was seeing massive growth, and needed to rely on robust and reliable tech partners that integrated seamlessly with the rest of their tech stack. As a young brand, they also needed strategic direction from partners who could share industry best practices that would help them make better decisions as they scaled their business. 

On both those counts, Loop proved its value time and again.

Workflows offer seamless customization in minutes

One feature that stood out was the ability to create customized Workflows based on different variables, enabling the brand to effortlessly offer personalization at scale.

Last year, for example, Vitality had a sale event, and the team was able to use Workflows to set up custom rules for returns around different variants, in which some of the products or bundles were marked as final sale while others weren’t. Rather than engage customer support around responding to non-eligible return requests, they were able to quickly set up “if this, then that” scenarios to determine which returns could be processed based on the customer’s situation.

“We don’t even have to reach out to the technical team to set up these Workflows,” says Shipstad. “It’s extremely user-friendly. We go in and we do it, and when we don’t need that Workflow anymore, we take it away.”

“Sometimes when we need a solution, you’ve got to go through so many hoops just to get that solution—whereas Loop already has that roadmap laid out in front of you with all the Workflows.”

Happy Returns integration delivers on sustainability

One of Vitality’s key pillars is its approach to sustainability: The brand uses recycled and reclaimed materials in manufacturing some of its apparel, and they’ve taken steps to reduce waste and lessen the environmental impact of their shipping process. 

By taking advantage of Loop’s Happy Returns integration, they’re now able to minimize the environmental impact of returns as well. When a customer takes a product to a Return Bar, there’s no packaging required—returns at each location are consolidated and shipped back in bulk in a reusable container. Vitality is able to save money and reduce its carbon footprint through bulk shipping, while eliminating packaging waste during the returns process.

This partnership is also key to customer satisfaction, says Shipstad. “The convenience factor of it is incredible. It offers a way more streamlined customer experience in today’s day and age, where nobody has a printer.”

The customer can walk into a drop-off center with their product, and the Return Bar staff “will take care of everything for you, even down to scanning it on your phone,” Shipstad adds. “It makes the user experience so much better in the long run.”

Reduced fraud and returns abuse with better data

Vitality has also found that using Loop with the Happy Returns integration has cut down their incidence of returns abuse and fraud. 

Previously, says Shipstad, when a customer requested a refund, “we’d process it right away because that makes for a better customer experience. We’re putting a lot of trust in the customer, and 99% are great.”

Occasionally, however, customers took advantage of Vitality’s policies, and sent in items that weren’t eligible for a refund. “But because so many of our customers now use Return Bars, where the item needs to be inspected before the refund is issued, fraud has decreased for us. So it’s a win-win for us and the customer.”

And even if customers decide to ship products directly back, Loop’s integrations with warehouse and 3PL solutions make it easy to assess item condition, so that fraudulent behavior can be easily identified and prevented.

Loop’s merchant success team supports strategic growth

For Vitality, the value of their relationship with Loop goes beyond the technology—they see Loop’s merchant success team as true strategic partners in their brand’s success.

Shipstad notes that when Vitality faces challenges around returns, their Loop merchant success team is able to share strategies that have worked for other brands. “Loop was able to come to the table and say, “Let’s look through your data. Let’s see what makes sense,” she says. “They’re a strategic partner who can walk with us in this path of growth, and help us move in the right direction.”

As one example, Vitality was concerned about whether charging for returns was likely to impact customer satisfaction. After talking through options with their Loop merchant success manager, they decided to charge a $6 fee for processing refund requests, while offering free exchanges – a strategy that’s helped them to boost retained revenue while lowering refund requests (all while keeping customers happy).

The Outcome: Customized solutions that help Vitality scale

Over the three years that Vitality has partnered with Loop, they’ve seen tremendous growth—and Loop has been there to support them with customized solutions at every stage.

“When you’re in ecommerce, you’re working with so many tech stacks. Those needs change every year, and you need to be super dynamic in that growth,” Shipstad says. “Loop thinks outside the box.”

“If we lost Loop? My gosh, I don’t even want to think about that!” says Shipstad.

“Loop allows us as a brand to automate transactions so that customers have all their needs met. We couldn’t operate at the scale that we do, with the headcount we have, if it wasn’t for Loop.”

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