Rent the Runway Redefines Returns

Today, retailers are challenged with keeping themselves relevant and standing out from the pack in the market. Whether it’s the in-store or omni-channel experience, retailers have to offer unique customer experiences that differentiate themselves from others.

Rent the Runway has been exploring on how to speed up returns and exchanges at its retail locations. The 9-year old company manages about 450K pieces of designer fashion and collects data on users’ interaction, enabling a more efficient operation. The company partnered with Aila Technologies to streamline customer returns with self-return kiosks. The new iOS-based scanners and kiosks can foster a more personalized consumer interaction.

Aila interactive kiosks feature TrueScan technology where customers can quickly pick-up and drop-off orders and exchange clothing on the spot of the company’s New York City flagship store as well as stores in California, Washington D.C., and Chicago. Aila’s proprietary technology converts the iPad’s cameras into image scanners that can read anything from barcodes and IDs to advanced visioning like customer counting and facial recognition. The goal for partnering with Aila technology was to ensure that as the company continues to expand, the customer experience doesn’t deteriorate.

Traditional scanning devices and systems can often be slow and difficult for consumers to use and are bulky in size, making the design unappealing. Aila’s iOS-based kiosks and devices rely on proprietary and integrated scanning technology that can read the smallest barcodes. The sleek store-ready design also coincides with Rent the Runway’s brand and vision.  

Rent the Runway has been wanting to develop their own software system for a while to ensure a consistent and enjoyable user experience that is fully integrated with the systems. The fashion rental company now has self-service kiosks that allow returns to be instantly credited to the account as opposed to waiting for a UPS return. The self-return kiosks were introduced to customers in 2018, but new kiosks are opening in high-traffic WeWork locations.

Rent the Runway’s success with Aila Technology has already shown to be return on investment. The scan speed and transactions are dramatically faster than other scanners. This allows customers to move in and out of stores faster and more efficiently, as well as providing stylists more time in helping the consumers find what they love.