Serial returners 快購時代的 “連環退貨買家”

Are you a serial returner? Find out in this Take Away English!

207

在當今時代,時尚業競爭激烈,零售商們用各種方式讓退貨變得不再困難。大多數情況下,消費者們只需要把服飾帶回服裝店就可以了。這雖然讓退換貨物變得非常方便,卻催生出了不少先大量購買商品,再退還回去的買家。這看似無傷大雅,但公司的利潤卻因此受到影響。面臨這一趨勢,很多公司卻沒有想出相應的對策。本集《隨身英語》討論 “連續退貨族” 給賣家帶來的影響,並介紹一些和購物有關的英語詞彙。

Vocabulary: shopping 詞彙: 購物

We’ve all done it. We buy something we think we like and then change our minds about it. Whether panic buying, an impulse purchase or shopper’s remorse, we’re fortunate many companies allow us to easily exchange or refund items. In fact it’s so easy these days that retailers are seeing an increase in a new type of shopper: the serial returner.

A serial returner is someone who buys items, often in bulk, only to return most of them. 41-year-old Hester Grainger, founder of Mumala Club, estimates spending £300 to £400 each month on clothes, but returning “around 80%”, she told the BBC. This isn’t unique. Barclaycard, which processes nearly half of the UK’s credit and debit card transactions, says that in the last two years 26% of retailers have seen an increase in in-store and online returns – with the number of items being sent back up by 22%.

It’s a problem for companies. Handling these returns eats into profits. Free delivery for the customer means the company foots the bill. Items may need to be repackaged. They are damaged – making them unfit for resale. Tony Mannix, CEO of Clipper, a logistics firm that handles returned goods for major retailers, said about 5% of them end up “being binned.” Sometimes the fast fashion cycle has moved on. By the time the item comes back, it becomes a cut-price item on a reduced-to-clear rail – at further loss to the company.

Some companies are taking action to deter this behaviour. According to a BBC article, four in ten retailers now say they charge for returns to discourage the sending of non-faulty items. Online retail giant Amazon was reported to have started barring customers with too many returned items. This is something a study by retail management system Brightpearl found over half of UK fashion retailers would consider. And Barclaycard says a third of retailers have hiked their prices to cover these returns.

But Vicky Brock, director of data innovation at ReBound Returns, a returns management software system, believes this isn’t the best strategy. Speaking in a BBC article, she says discouraging returns shows a lack of understanding by the retailer. Using data, companies can reduce returns by helping customers choose better. Some companies such as Uniqlo and Asos already provide a suggested size based on the customer’s previous purchases and information on height and weight. Ultimately, she says, returns are now as much a part of the shopping experience as buying things, and shops need to take this into consideration.

詞彙表

panic buying (因害怕商品短缺的)恐慌性購物
impulse purchase 衝動消費
shopper’s remorse 買了後悔的心態
exchange 換(貨)
refund 退款
retailer 零售商
serial returner 連環退貨的消費者
in bulk 大量、成批
transaction 交易
foot the bill 掏腰包
repackage 重新包裝
logistics firm 物流公司
fast fashion (緊跟流行趨勢、價格低廉的)快速時尚
cut-price 降價出售的
reduced-to-clear 清倉減價
rail 掛衣桿、架
charge 收費
returns 退貨
hike (價格)大幅增加
suggested size 推薦尺寸

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. True or false? Serial returners are on the rise.

2. Approximately what proportion of her clothes purchases does Hester Grainger return?

3. What actions are companies taking to stop serial returning?

4. What does discouraging returns reveal about a retailer, according to Vicky Brock?

5. Which word used in the article means ‘thrown away’?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. I don’t know why I bought this chocolate. I’m not even hungry! It was an ______.

panic buy       impulse purchase       refund       fast fashion

2. They were so cheap! I bought them in a ______ section of last season’s clothes.

shopper’s remorse       suggested size       exchange         reduced-to-clear

3. With the hurricane approaching, people have started ______ water and food.

panic buying       impulse purchasing       serial returning       in bulking

4. It was a bad date. She left without me early and I had to ______ for the meal!

feet the bill       foot the bill       eye the bill       leg the bill

5. A bad potato harvest has led to retailers ______ the price of crisps as supplies grow scarce.

panic buying       impulse purchasing       hiking       cutting the price

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. True or false? Serial returners are on the rise.
True. In the last two years 26% of retailers have seen an increase in in-store and online returns – with the number of items being sent back up by 22%.

2. Approximately what proportion of her clothes purchases does Hester Grainger return?
Hester returns around 80% of her clothes purchases.

3. What actions are companies taking to stop serial returning?
Some retailers charge for returns, some bar customers with too many returns and some retailers have hiked their prices.

4. What does discouraging returns reveal about a retailer, according to Vicky Brock?
She says discouraging returns shows a lack of understanding by the retailer.

5. Which word used in the article means ‘thrown away’?
Binned. “Tony Mannix, CEO of Clipper, a logistics firm that handles returned goods for major retailers, said about 5% of them end up “being binned.”

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. I don’t know why I bought this chocolate. I’m not even hungry! It was an impulse purchase.

2. They were so cheap! I bought them in a reduced-to-clear section of last season’s clothes.

3. With the hurricane approaching, people have started panic buying water and food.

4. It was a bad date. She left without me early and I had to foot the bill for the meal!

5. A bad potato harvest has led to retailers hiking the price of crisps as supplies grow scarce.

下載

下載文字稿
下載聲音檔