The influence of influencer hauls: navigating the impact on fulfilment and returns
Social media influencers
Social media influencers have a large and loyal following online, and can influence the opinions and behaviours of their audience. Influencers often collaborate with brands to promote their products or services, and sometimes receive free or discounted items in exchange for their endorsement. One of the ways that influencers create content for their platforms is by doing influencer hauls, where they purchase large amounts of products from a specific brand or category, and then showcase them in a video or a post. Influencer hauls can be a great way to generate buzz and exposure for your brand, as well as to increase sales and conversions.
Influencer hauls do pose some challenges and risks for the fulfilment and returns processes, especially for eCommerce businesses. They can create spikes in demand that are hard to predict and manage, as well as increase the volume and complexity of returns. This can affect the inventory management, order processing, shipping, and customer service of eCommerce businesses, and potentially result in higher costs, lower profits, and lower customer satisfaction. Therefore, it is important for eCommerce businesses to be aware of the impact of influencer hauls on their fulfilment and returns processes, and to take some measures to optimise them.
Top tips for eCommerce businesses on the impact of influencer hauls
Monitor influencer activity and trends.
eCommerce businesses should keep track of the influencers who are relevant to their niche, market, and products, and monitor their activity and trends. This can help them anticipate the demand and returns that may result from influencer hauls, and adjust their inventory levels, order processing, shipping options, and customer service accordingly. For example, if an influencer announces a planned haul or posts a teaser of their haul, eCommerce businesses can prepare for a surge in orders or returns by increasing their stock availability, streamlining their order processing, offering alternative shipping options, or increasing resource for customer service.
Communicate clearly and proactively with customers and provide them with accurate and relevant information about your products, policies, and processes.
This can help you manage customer expectations, reduce confusion or frustration, and increase customer loyalty and satisfaction. For example, eCommerce businesses can provide detailed product descriptions, images, videos, reviews, or ratings on their website or social media platforms, to help customers make informed purchasing decisions. They can also inform customers about their shipping costs, delivery times, tracking numbers, return policies, refund methods, or contact details, to help customers with their fulfilment and returns processes.
Handle returns efficiently and effectively to minimise the impact on their costs, profits, and for brand preservation.
This means that they should have a clear and fair return policy that is easy to understand and follow for both customers and team members. They should also have a fast and simple return process that allows customers to return their products without hassle or delay and a robust system that tracks and manages the returned products, ensuring that they are inspected, sorted, repaired, restocked, resold, donated, or recycled as appropriate. Additionally, they should have a feedback mechanism that collects and analyses customer feedback on their returns experience, identifying areas of improvement and implementing changes accordingly.
By following these tips, eCommerce businesses can navigate the impact of influencer hauls on their fulfilment and returns processes, and ensure a smooth and successful operation for both themselves and their customers.