Since they serve a demanding customer who expects the best from a design, experience, and reliability standpoint, this fast-growing startup knew they had to infuse the same high standards they put into their product across the customer journey, including post-purchase.
“Our business can seem easy from the outside. But it’s much more complex than people think since we’re serving customers worldwide in New York City, Shanghai, London, Capetown—every one of these markets is different and presents unique challenges,” says Rafael Haymann, COO Horizn Studios. “You have customs rules, call banks, dangerous goods documentation for batteries in some cases—all of that needs to be taken into account.”
When they started shopping for an end-to-end returns management solution to their biggest pain point from both a customer and support perspective, Horizn turned to Narvar, whom they knew had a proven track record of simplifying the complexity of global retail at scale. “We were searching for an international solution, a robust solution, which led us to choose Narvar,” says Haymann.
“We were searching for a robust international solution that could handle the complexities of our business, which led us to choose Narvar."
“As our business grew, there came a turning point. If we had a big sale campaign or other period of high volume, we couldn’t necessarily increase our workforce quickly and flexibly to meet the demand, and sometimes customers had longer wait times to get a response to their queries,” says Haymann.
Before implementing Narvar’s end-to-end returns management solution, Horizn’s customer service team processed returns manually. Despite having a fairly low return rate, around 25% of the brand’s support tickets were related to the return process, making it the number one operational concern.
After launching their self-service returns portal to streamline the process, the volume of return-related support tickets went down by 47%, while time spent on a return ticket decreased by 66%. In addition to these incredible improvements in efficiency, Horizn gained timely visibility into return reasons, which they plan to use for future product development, as well as using the data to understand and monitor return processing times and predict return volumes to optimize warehouse operations.
The improvements on the customer experience front are also tangible, with the new process providing a variety of return options and the convenience of self-service around the clock, regardless of time zone. The portal is available in German and English.
“Customers benefit from our self-service portal to create their return with ease and get full transparency on its status,” said Haymann. “They can choose between a prepaid UPS label in select markets, use their own carrier worldwide, or bring their return to our stores.”
After launching their self-service returns portal, the volume of return-related support tickets went down by 47%, while time spent on a return ticket decreased by 66%.
Given that sustainability is core to Horizn’s brand DNA, they’re excited that the Narvar returns solution enables them to make their logistics and operations more eco-friendly. Driving in-store returns, where possible, is a part of their omnichannel strategy. Not only does it save return shipping, but it can also reduce the number of replenishment shipments to the store since the items can be evaluated and resold there. They also offer a trade-in program with incentives at the store, to ensure that used luggage is properly recycled.
Horizn will be able to reduce the return rate through optimizing product detail pages — as well as through adjustments to the product itself—which is now possible due to the return data they receive from the portal. By combining that data with other shipment-related data, they can optimize their return logistics, which will also lead to a lower number of returns in the future.
As the brand grows and adds additional fulfillment centers with the capability to process returns, they’ll be able to dynamically direct returns to the closest location and reduce emissions with a shorter return journey.
“All the areas that Narvar is working on are critical for us as a brand,” says Haymann. As COO, he’s also responsible for Operations & Logistics, including everything that's related to logistics and supply chain, customer service, as well as the store and business intelligence. “That's basically the intersection where Narvar comes in.”
“It was important to us to find a global, scalable solution that allowed us to own the customer relationship and communication. Even if a customer wants to return their goods, it’s an opportunity for us to make a good brand impression for the future.”
Started in 2015 by modern urbanite travellers to serve kindred souls, Horizn Studios is a Berlin-based D2C luggage and accessories brand. Their ethos combines the complementary concepts of sleek design, performance and sustainability. Constantly pushing the envelope of product innovation, Horizn Studios stands for a sustainable future of travel.
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