/ Aetrex
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How Aetrex improved their customer experience by 141 NPS points with AfterShip

50%

reduction in operation costs

86%

shorter return processing times

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Aetrex - Developing footwear that’s better for your health

Aetrex, Inc. is widely recognized as a global leader in foot scanning technology and data-driven orthotics and comfort footwear. Their mission is to help customers stay healthy and happy on their feet. Aetrex has developed a series of state-of-the-art foot scanning devices, designed to accurately measure feet, determine foot type and pressure points. The company is renowned for their over-the-counter orthotics – the worlds #1 premium foot orthotic. Aetrex utilizes the data and learnings from their database of over 50-million foot scans to design and develop anatomically correct footwear and orthotics that fit and function better.

Industry Team size Location
Branded Retail, Footwear Over 200 North America

“After using AfterShip Tracking for several years, if we were going to trust anyone to invest money into a returns solution—would put my money on AfterShip.”

Rui Kojima, Senior Director of eCommerce @ Aetrex

The challenges

Aetrex was in pursuit of a more holistic solution to their post-purchase challenges. With heavily manual processes, Aetrex needed help meeting customer demands while providing a consistent experience. Without action, they risked losing customer re-engagement opportunities, overwhelming volume, and hefty operational costs.

Shipment tracking challenges

Aetrex needed a low-development tracking solution while staying within its budget. Shoppers craved clear shipment tracking information, especially for upcoming arrivals and delivery exceptions like shipping failures. Other solutions risked additional work as most couldn’t import existing and past orders via CSV, requiring brands to input orders manually line by line. With their then-smaller team, Aetrex knew this workflow was not scalable and needed the ability to parse imported data and pull orders from their platform automatically.

Return & reverse logistics challenges

Aetrex prided itself on providing a 30-day wear test guarantee and a hassle-free return, but when plagued with manual processes, it could not meet the volume efficiently. The brand wanted to improve its returns process and align its systems with specific policies. Their manual process caused delays and communication issues, leaving customers dissatisfied. As they grew, so did their returns backlog, setting back quality control, prolonging processing time, and hindering efficiency. Without timely return updates, Aetrex saw further strained customer relationships and a potential impact on future sales.

Additionally, Aetrex’s ERP struggled to keep up with the scaling volume of returns. With each credit memo or return request, their eCommerce platform could not issue refunds automatically, requiring manual cross-checking of relevant inventory, item discount, and pricing information before restocking an item.

The Solution

As a brand dedicated to providing excellent customer service, Aetrex turned to AfterShip for help. On the tracking side, they needed shipping end-to-end visibility, a branded tracking experience, and automatic notifications. Data connectivity between their other tech stack solutions, like Klaviyo, would also be beneficial. As for returns, they sought a solution to communicate with their ERP and eCommerce platform, automate each step of the experience, reduce manual re-entry, and provide real-time data insights.

"Unlike many SaaS platforms prioritizing immediate functionality over sustained improvement, AfterShip stands out by consistently enhancing features. Their commitment to understanding our needs and ensuring ongoing support maximizes our ROI."

Rui Kojima, Senior Director of eCommerce @ Aetrex

Leaning on AfterShip Tracking and AfterShip Returns was the holistic solution that resulted in significant improvements across multiple metrics, including:

  • 141-point increase in Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • 86% reduction in return processing time
  • 74% decrease in WISMO tickets
  • 50% savings in operational costs with better returns management

Here's how Aetrex did it.

The Strategy

Partnering with a platform that listens to their post-purchase needs

With many challenges with their post-purchase experience, Aetrex needed to find a platform that aligned their strategy and supported their current tech stack. The last thing they wanted was a long and drawn-out integration process.

When faced with many options, they needed a platform to support their growth. Kojima recalls, “After exploring an alternative to AfterShip, it became evident that we wouldn't receive the same high level of customer service and personalized attention offered by AfterShip.” Finally, they decided to partner with AfterShip with AfterShip Tracking, attracted to its ease of implementation and impressive capabilities.

"The onboarding process with AfterShip was exceptionally smooth and flexible, adeptly meeting our needs at each stage,” continued Kojima. “The collaborative approach taken by their team ensured that the system seamlessly aligned with our specific business requirements. Their attentive listening and understanding of our use cases were particularly commendable."

During this process, Aetrex also re-evaluated its eCommerce platform and began migration to Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC). In addition to re-platforming, this transition would be crucial for their overall business strategy and growth.

"Rather than undergoing an extensive and expensive development process or adding a cartridge, AfterShip Tracking stood out as one of the few software options providing multiple implementation solutions tailored to our tech stack. The replatform to Salesforce Commerce Cloud, especially for AfterShip Tracking, was swift and seamless."

Rui Kojima, Senior Director of eCommerce @ Aetrex

AfterShip Tracking ultimately helped to lower costs for Aetrex by omitting the need to develop custom tracking solutions that usually require constant maintenance and can be expensive.

Personalized shipment updates with AfterShip’s Klaviyo integration

Futhermore, AfterShip Tracking's advanced integration with Klaviyo provided even more control and automation.

“Klaviyo’s integration with AfterShip Tracking has helped automate our order tracking notifications,” explained Kojima. “It’s wild how effective they are on open and click-through rates. The notification flows are consistently highly performing and have supported our customer engagement strategy.”

The integration allowed for personalized content delivery and enhanced engagement. Aetrex effectively communicated tracking updates to keep customers informed by utilizing notification triggers. This personalized approach fostered stronger connections, reflecting the brand's commitment to excellent service and support.

Reinforce return policy and reduce operational cost with AfterShip Returns

Aetrex's decision to implement AfterShip Returns was vital in effectively handling the growing volume of returns and meeting customer expectations for a smooth and prompt process. Integrating the Automated Return Window functionality was instrumental in streamlining the entire procedure.

"Enforcing our return policy has become seamless,” raves Kojima. “Previously, customers would submit items beyond the allocated return windows, expecting full refunds. Thanks to AfterShip’s customizable return windows and non-refundable tagging, we can now effectively deter fraud, preventing customers from creating requests and generating shipping labels."

This is where some of the most significant gains have been made. By defaulting customers to the 30-day return window that they set up, Aetrex experienced an 86% reduction in returns processing time and saved over 50% in operational costs. The customer experience team can now spend less time processing returns, manually re-entering data, or keeping up with the high volume. Instead, they can allocate more time to training and enhancing service quality.

This was also made possible because of the seamless experience of using AfterShip Returns' API to sync with SFCC.

"In search of a system compatible with SFCC, we found AfterShip Returns’ API offering a vast selection of key data points between SFCC and our ERP—a capability that was necessary to complete the implementation but wasn’t offered by other return management solutions."

Rui Kojima, Senior Director of eCommerce @ Aetrex

Previously reliant on paper slips and manual data entry, Aetrex streamlined its processes by allowing AfterShip Returns to feed return data automatically into their SFCC store and ERP system.

AfterShip Returns enabled Aetrex to automate post-sale discounts and order modification retrieval from their ERP system. Information could be seamlessly communicated with SFCC, eliminating the need for manual credit memo cross-referencing and validation.

"When utilizing Salesforce Commerce Cloud, there is typically a need for additional effort and enterprise-level development costs,” described Kojima. “AfterShip and their onboarding team, however, made the implementation exceptionally smooth and cost-effective."

Having such seamless integrations allows Aetrex to process returns faster and more accurately. From the customer's perspective, this means a faster resolution and less uncertainty, leading to a better post-purchase experience overall. In fact, their returns NPS improved by 141 points after implementation. But they didn't stop there.

Aetrex connected their AfterShip Returns experience to Happy Returns, taking advantage of their easy and convenient return drop-off locations. The label-less and package-less drop-off system saves Aetrex money, achieving 6% savings return per drop-off. Moreover, with quality control at Happy Returns Return Bars, Aetrex ensures standards are met before further processing.

Identifying product issues efficiently with AfterShip Returns analytics

AfterShip Returns analytics eliminated the need for additional analysis and streamlined their processes, saving valuable time. The platform provided easily accessible data snapshots that could be effortlessly shared with the team, promoting collaboration and informed decision-making. Additionally, AfterShip Returns analytics enabled Aetrex to quickly identify frequently returned items and determine their root causes.

"AfterShip Returns allows me to log in, capture a snapshot of our analytics and trends, and share that directly with our product development team. No longer do we need to export data and run formulas to obtain a comprehensive view of overall product performance. It enables us to effortlessly identify heavily returned items and pinpoint their root issues."

Armed with this insight, they could take proactive measures to minimize future return requests, such as removing these items from sales or designating them as final sales. This proactive approach reduced return volumes and enhanced overall customer satisfaction by addressing potential pain points in the product lineup.

Moving forward confidently with AfterShip

With AfterShip, Aetrex provides a more holistic experience that meets customer post-purchase needs, providing a quality experience that plugs directly into their existing tech stack. Their customers can be more engaged while simplifying potentially complex processes.

“We’ve been happy with AfterShip Tracking; there’s no downtime or issues. When evaluating a returns management solution, going with AfterShip Returns made sense. We can simplify our tech stack and leverage the data together.”

Rui Kojima, Senior Director of eCommerce @ Aetrex

Products used
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Tracking
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Returns

120,000+

packages shipped annually

1.16%

annual average return rate

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