GANDT Fireside Chat #048 | Dealing with returns in online retail and app development with Flutter


True to our motto “Working Out Loud”, we at GANDT Ventures exchange our thoughts and ideas on current news topics in the world of online marketing, digital retail, and e-commerce. This helps us uncover opportunities that can be used for companies and our clients as part of our daily business.

But most of all, it is a lot of fun and a great way to share knowledge.
Our podcast-style chats are available to anyone who is interested to find out more about what Google, Facebook, Amazon and the likes are up to.

Dealing with returns in online retail

A topic that is certainly not new, but always emerging, and a problem for many online retailers: Returns management.
A recent article has once again brought the topic to our attention – Digitec Galaxus has delivered new goods incorrectly to a Swiss customer, but does not accept returns; the customer can keep the goods or dispose of them themselves.

Similar incidents occur not only at Switzerland’s largest online retailer, but from almost all e-commerce sectors. This is because the acceptance, processing and, if necessary, preparation of returns cost companies dearly.


The effort of returns

The returned goods must be checked for damage, must be repackaged and processed.
But even if a company wants to donate used goods, this does not make economic sense – VAT must also be paid for these products. Destroyed products, on the other hand, can be depreciated.

Sustainability in online retail is therefore difficult to implement, but there are also examples of how companies can still work efficiently with returns goods.
On the one hand, Zalando stated that about 97% of the returned goods can be sold again via the Zalando shop after inspection.

On the other hand, the returns themselves open their own business branch. In fact, returned items usually do not end up with the original dealer, but with so-called “return management companies”.
Via ebay, or Amazon, such second-suppliers try to make a profit with the goods with significantly reduced prices.

Listen to our Fireside Chat and learn more about the challenges of returning goods in e-commerce!


About You App developed with Flutter

Hardly visible to the user, the Otto subsidiary About You has already changed the system ware of its app with a soft launch some time ago.
The app is now based on Flutter, an open source development kit from Google.

The software is based on the programming language Dart.
According to Google, Flutter’s focus is mainly on the short development times, as there is already a kind of “building kit system” for apps. Fast execution speeds and a “native user experience” are also part of the USPs.

But above all, Flutter can do one thing: The framework runs on Android and iOS. Where app developers have had to write two codes in the past, the Google system can help.

One disadvantage, however, is that the applications built with Flutter do not correspond 100 percent to the respective operating system (Android and iOs) in appearance and behavior.
There have been similar products in the past that have competed with the same demands – and failed.
Because one thing cannot be concealed: The performance of Flutter apps is naturally worse than with native apps. This is certainly not an obstacle for simple applications, but it can make a difference for more complex requirements with many features.

In addition to saving two apps, About You also promises to have to further develop further advances in personalization.

You can find out how important apps are in e-commerce and when it is worth investing in the development of an app in our Fireside Chat!


Agenda | GANDT Fireside Chat Video #048

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