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eCommerce: Bracketing might be your new headache

Some people make brackets for fantasy football or the World Cup. And others prefer making brackets for… merchandise.

According to a recent survey, 63% shoppers reported bracketing this year, a practice where they order variations of the same item, keep the one that fits, and return the rest.

It’s a hair-puller: 15% of users say “it’s just the way they shop,” and for better or worse, bracketing is rapidly becoming a habit among consumers…

… And a logistical nightmare for e-commerce brands.

Getting items back via carriers after investing resources in packaging and fulfillment, plus removing items someone else could buy from stock… you get the gist.

What you can do: It’s a tough problem for retail brands. Scrapping free shipping and returns takes away convenience, which could also hurt your brand and make you fall behind competitors.

However, some surveys found that offering sizing charts, precise measurements, and honest customer reviews can prevent bracketing.

So can new technologies like virtual and augmented reality, which can help customers try on or visualize items before they order them. The more you know…