How Orvis Cut WISMR by -42% and Recovered $185K in Returns Revenue

How Orvis Cut WISMR by -42% and Recovered $185K in Returns Revenue

$185,000+

$185,000+

Recaptured returns revenue
Recaptured returns revenue

+124%

+124%

Lift in new orders following a return
Lift in new orders following a return

-42%

-42%

Fewer WISMR queries
Fewer WISMR queries

To increase efficiency and boost revenue, Orvis added a free-shipping promotion to their return confirmation emails (Orvis’ alternative to an exchange program). Consequently, Orvis customers felt the online returns experience became more convenient. As a result, Orvis saw a 124% lift in post-return orders (netting $185,000 in recaptured revenue), and 42% fewer WISMR inquiries to their call center. 

In the fall of 2020, Orvis added a free-shipping promotion to their return confirmation emails using Narvar’s WYSIWYG editor as a way to incentivize customers to make more post-return purchases.

Though seemingly small in nature (it only took a few hours to roll out), the free-shipping campaign had a massive material impact on the company.

It generated:

  • $185,000 in recaptured revenue
  • 124% lift in post-return order volume
  • 12% boost in average post-return order value 

Even better, 44% of shoppers who took advantage of the free-shipping promotion went on to make three-plus purchases in the next six months. 

"What was probably five hours of work all the way around netted these recovered sales. It's really phenomenal."

Amy Williamson, Voice of the Customer Supervisor at Orvis

Cutting WISMR by 42%

As expected, the transition to a more automated returns process also reduced the burden on Orvis’s customer service staff.

“Originally, if you wanted to set up a [return] with Orvis, you had to call us so our agent could set up the return authorization program, which was a pain for customers who wanted self service—customers purchasing online should be able to return or exchange online too,” said Amy Williamson, Voice of the Customer Supervisor at Orvis.

"Narvar reduced the number of customer contacts asking, ‘Where is my return?’ or ‘What’s the status of my refund?’. We’ve seen WISMR queries decrease by -42%, compared to customers still processing returns by phone."

"What really differentiates Narvar from other companies is that I have a person I can go to if I have a question, day or night."

Amy Williamson, Voice of the Customer Supervisor at Orvis

Hours instead of days

The ability to add new promotions to existing marketing assets in hours rather than days (no substantial changes to Orvis’ e-commerce tech stack required) also fueled the success of the free-shipping campaign.

 “We’re aware of the API option to have a full exchange program through Narvar, but due to how uncertain the supply chain was last year, we didn’t want to promise customers we had something when things were so crazy for us,” Amy noted. 

"This program provided us with a much-needed interim step, allowing us to track online returns and give customers the necessary incentive (free shipping) to perform something more akin to an exchange than a true return."

Returns data amplifies Orvis’ marketing success

In addition to improving customer retention, running online returns through Narvar’s portal is expanding Orvis’ access to data.

Using this data, Orvis is making revenue-influencing changes to its marketing, including website updates and product detail page (PDP) optimizations.

"The visibility into what customers are doing and how many times they're clicking different things…I use that Narvar data to perform quarterly, department-by-department rollups that detail which items are being returned and why,” says Amy.

“It lets us detail which returns are true returns, and which are effectively exchanges because the customer used our free-shipping promotion to make a replacement purchase."


"Narvar has done a great job of building out the way that it supports us, so that we can support our customers."

Amy Williamson, Voice of the Customer Supervisor at Orvis

Company Info

In 1856, Charles F. Orvis founded Orvis in Manchester, Vermont to sell fishing tackle. Today, in addition to fishing, Orvis retails hunting and sporting goods across multiple channels including ecommerce and mail-order. Originally partnering with Narvar in 2017 to develop a custom fishing rod repair program, Orvis now uses Narvar’s Track, Messaging, and Return solutions to provide its customers with an exceptional post-purchase experience.

Results

$185,000+

Recaptured returns revenue

+124%

Lift in new orders following a return

-42%

Fewer WISMR queries

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