The Cost of E-Commerce Returns
John Hardy, renowned for its bespoke jewelry crafted by Balinese artisans from 925 Sterling Silver and occasional 14-24 karat Gold, embarked on enhancing their E-Commerce platform amid the pandemic's influence.
However, this shift to online shopping led to a surge in return rates, a challenge to address for this unique and esteemed brand.

In the US, it is estimated that 20-30% of sales are eventually returned. [i]
​​​​​​​
When a client decides to return any merchandise, the retailer is financially responsible and incurs a cost for the following:
• The Shipping cost to have the merchandise returned
• The cost of removing the merchandise from the packaging
• The cost of storing the item (albeit a fixed cost)
In total, 70% of e-commerce returns are not easily restocked and will require more funds to handle. [iii]
E-Commerce returns cost the industry US$3,000,000,000 a year [ii]
Affirming Our Assumptions
Interviews
The initial focus was on understanding the sharp rise in returns.
After analyzing data from client inquiries, it was discovered that around 30% of our overall inquiries are about sizing. 
To enhance bracelet sizing convenience, I interviewed 17 diverse clients to gather insights on their shopping preferences and gather valuable feedback.

Pre-Existing Size Guide

Branding Analysis
Consistent branding is how we gain the trust of our users. Being that 67% of our client base is aged 50+, we want to refrain from creating an unrecognizable guide. 
There were several things to consider when building a recognizable brand for this product:​ Logo & Imagery, Typography, and Color Scheme.
Our primary font, Niramit, a stylish sans-serif Thai and Latin typeface, perfectly captures the brand's elegant yet relaxed vibe. We've increased the font size to accommodate older users, and we prioritize accessibility by carefully selecting text colors against the background.

The Business Needs
Next, we conduct a SWOT analysis to evaluate the pros and cons of launching the sizing guide at John Hardy.
Strengths
+ Will help reassure users pre-purchase
+ Lower call and email volume
+ Lower size returns
Weaknesses
- Program needs to be customized for each bracelet
- Sizing has to be accurate or else users will lose trust in feature
Opportunity
+ Can expand sizing to other products like rings, etc.
+ Will attract newer users who never shopped with John Hardy
Threats
- Competitors can show that their products are a general size

While clients often have their size for a specific bracelet, they might not be aware of the size range across products. Recognizing this, I opted to create a new comprehensive sizing guide to better assist customers.
Putting it on Paper
Below are sketches I made before moving to Figma to build out the product.
Introducing the Size Bottom Sheet
Our core consumers are usually between the ages of 30 and 70. Considering that this age group tends to appreciate simplicity in tech, I decided that there should not be more than 3 steps to this function. [iv]
Language translation was also considered to ensure that non-English speakers could still enjoy the size guide as well.
Although the actual measurement of the wrist is critical in getting the correct bracelet size, so is the preferred fit. Included a simple check box option to account for this preference. 
In coding, the Loose option will add an extra 0.5 inches to the wrist measurement. 
The Snug option will not add any additional length to the wrist measurement.
A small check will appear when a checkbox is clicked for Loose or Snug.
Why this Design Matters
Users of the Sizing Guide loved the simplicity it brought to figuring out their size. Many appreciated that it stayed in line with John Hardy's visual language. There were also no complaints regarding language translations for our international users.
Using this model, I was able to advise my team to add a calculation feature to our site that will streamline the users’ experience. Our returns made due to sizing decreased by 10% following this addition. 
In the new iteration of the guide, I would add a feature that can measure any item in real-time based on the length of your device. 
This would make the guide more accessible for those who do not have access to measuring tapes or printers. 
-
[i] Lionel Valdellon, "Must-Know Ecommerce Return Rate Statistics and Trends in 2021," 2021, https://clevertap.com/blog/ecommerce-return-rate-statistics/ (accessed August 29, 2021).
[ii] Jessica Schiffer, "The unsustainable cost of free returns," 2019, https://www.voguebusiness.com/consumers/returns-rising-costs-retail-environmental (accessed September 13, 2021).
[iii] Courtney Reagan, "That sweater you don’t like is a trillion-dollar problem for retailers. These companies want to fix it," 2019, https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/10/growing-online-sales-means-more-returns-and-trash-for-landfills.html (accessed September 10, 2021).
[iv] SA Mathieson, "Designing software to include older people in the digital world," 2020, https://www.computerweekly.com/feature/Designing-software-to-include-older-people-in-the-digital-world (accessed September 13, 2021).

Back to Top