No retailer wants merchandise returned. And for a web-only furniture retailer like Floyd Inc.—a return is an expensive cost.
“Logistically, furniture is big and bulky to handle; We want to mitigate returns as much as possible,” says Aaron Turk, senior vice president of operations and corporate development at Floyd.
While returns are not common for the consumer brand manufacturer—returns make up less than 5% of its sales, Turk says—they still occur frequently enough where the merchant knew it could come up with a better solution than its current practice.
Before Floyd changed its system, if a shopper wanted to make a return, she would ship the merchandise back to one of Floyd’s three fulfillment centers. The best-case scenario is that the product is in perfect condition, such as still new in its box, and the retailer could resell it on its ecommerce site FloydHome.com. If the product is not new, such as slightly damaged, the product is inspected and set aside to either donate or resell at its annual warehouse sale. If products are deemed unsafe or unusable, then those products are recycled.
In May 2020, Floyd decided to pilot a program with FloorFound, a vendor that handles returns for about 20 retailers and then resells the merchandise via a portal on the retailer’s own website, via FloorFound’s marketplace or through a handful of other marketplaces, says FloorFound CEO and founder Chris Richter. FloorFound manages the return and new transaction, including picking up the product at the customer’s house, having its warehouse employees inspect the merchandise, documenting any imperfections, managing this section of Floyd’s website and shipping the resold product to the new shopper.
Floyd calls this resale program Full Cycle, and shoppers can find the page on Floyd’s main ecommerce site under “sale.” The products are discounted 15% and 50% off, and shoppers can see the pictures of the exact piece of furniture and notes of any imperfections, such as scratches or dirt.
Floyd lists any imperfections with the product and photos of the exact item.
The pilot routed Floyd’s California returns to FloorFound, and every week it has allocated more of its returns to FloorFound, with the goal of getting it to 100% soon, Turk says.
The Full Cycle program is a success, Turk says, citing how quickly the returned furniture sells. The average time from when a reduced product is listed on Full Cycle to when it sells is
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