Returns are a powerful engagement opportunity - one you can’t ignore

Produced by Appriss Retail

Dale Foster, Director of Asset Protection at Advance Auto Parts, shared how his company uses technology to engage customers and provide a great customer experience. Advance Autoparts is a leading automotive aftermarket parts retailer with 4,912 stores in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico, operating under several banners such as Advance Autoparts, Carquest, and Worldpac. The company serves two types of customers: professional B2B and DIY customers. By utilizing Appriss Engage, the company has successfully improved the customer experience and increased the 'Purchase After Return' metric. They launched a pilot program with the Engage capability in 200 stores in 2020, which was hugely successful, and rolled it out to the rest of the chain in 2021. Daily tracking of the program's performance has shown no margin erosion and higher margins on those transactions compared to everyday transactions. The Engage capability also integrated a customer appreciation offer program, which rolled out five different offers aimed at specific customers, such as $5 off $25, $10 off $50, and 15% off the total purchase. Using a test versus control methodology, Advance Auto Parts found that the program successfully targets specific customers to improve their experience and influence them to make additional purchases in-store, resulting in higher margins on transactions compared to everyday transactions, even with the discounts offered.

David Speights, chief data scientist at Appriss Retail explained how the company uses data science and  and machine learning to provide customers with personalized offers after they return a product. The company creates hundreds of features that feed into their models to decide the best offer for each customer. The offers are determined through a process called reinforcement learning, where offers are randomly handed out and the system learns which offer leads to the best gross profit based on the customer's features. The goal is to increase the probability that customers stay in the store and shop, and they want to do so profitably. The process is easily extendable to other situations, and the platform can support online solutions as well.

Appriss Retail, which provides data analytics solutions for retailers across the globe, has around 270 clients globally, is in about 45 countries, and represents 180,000 physical stores. The company's solutions are aimed at improving retailers' profitability, preventing fraud, and increasing operational efficiency. The company receives around 60 billion retail transactions each year, giving its team of data scientists plenty of opportunities to study patterns and build solutions that help retailers be more profitable, take advantage of opportunities, prevent fraud, and increase operational efficiency. Appriss Retail's data geeks connect data from various sources to give dynamic offers at the point of return.

FEB 2023