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About the Author

Scott Deutsch
Director, Global Marketing
Vocollect, a Business Unit of Intermec

Scott Deutsch is the Director of Global Marketing at Vocollect, a business unit of Intermec. Previously, he was the founder and President at Ardenno Solutions, a leading provider of knowledge management and collaboration solutions for research and development organizations. Scott has 20 years of sales and marketing experience in vertical application software companies. His expertise is in the areas of developing successful communications and positioning strategies, as well as the creation of scalable channel strategies and tactical field marketing lead generation programs. He has extensive experience in helping take single-market, single-product company's to expansive levels of growth and profitability. He also has been the Vice President, Global Marketing at LabVantage Solutions, a leading provider of Enterprise LIMS and Channel Marketing Manager at Baan. Deutsch has also held senior sales and marketing management positions at leading software companies such as Prophet 21(Epicor) and Primavera Systems (Oracle).

Deutsch is a graduate of Drexel University with a BS degree in Marketing Management and Operations Management.He is a member of the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) Council.

For more information, please visit

Supply Chain Comment

By Scott Deutsch, Director, Global Marketing at Vocollect, a Business Unit of Intermec

March 14, 2013

I Love Quality Research, but Hate Faulty Research Conclusions

Why Aren't Marketers More Honest with Their Findings?

Deutsch Says:

I see too many organizations who have their marketing or PR team make unfounded claims that they think that by cloaking the claims under the premise of "research" that the industry will believe their findings are credible.
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I love to read about our industry. It's really an exciting place to be as more people place greater value upon their warehouse logistics. The one thing I hate, though, is faulty research all in the name of marketing. I see too many organizations who have their marketing or PR team make unfounded claims, thinking that by cloaking the claims under the premise of "research," the industry will believe their findings are credible.

So what provoked me enough to write this … I read some "industry" research recently that I consider dead wrong in its conclusion. The headline for the research in question stated "...Research Indicates That Most Online Purchases are Returned Due to Retailer Error”. The research goes onto state, "The research results prove that the clear majority - 65% - of respondents answered that most often the reason they return items bought online or by phone is because the item received is incorrect". Their second finding was that "84% of respondents stated that the return process is extremely or very important to their future intentions to shop with a retailer". I was reading this "research" during the week of NRF in New York, it's amazing that any retailer would find any credibility in these "research" assertions. In fact, I bet anyone that actually read the research was offended. After all, what retailer would still be in business if 65% of the goods they shipped were "incorrect"?

I started to think about my own life to quickly invalidate what I believe to be wrong research conclusions. The headline states that returns are “due to retailer error”. Wrong! Most retailers have quite accurate order fulfillment systems in place. Many retailers are now achieving order accuracy over 99%. The top reasons why people return items bought online is because the item does not fit, or it is not the color that they thought, or it’s just not a flattering fashion fit. The consumer returns the item not due to an error by the retailer, but because the item is "not right for them"... no error was committed by the retailer in its order fulfillment process, which is the main faulty assertion in the research findings. As an example from my own life, my lovely wife buys shoes from Zappo’s and clothes from J.Crew more than you might think. I’m treading carefully here... The items she orders show up on-time and are correct virtually every time. Remember, retailers are now achieving order accuracy over 99%, and our household can confirm these accuracy levels. But, once the shoes or clothes are tried turns out that they are not what she expected and hoped for...and probably 35% of her orders are returned smoothly without effort. Over the years, she has become educated to know what designers are not a good fit for her. She knows, for example, that with a narrow foot, only certain manufacturers offer "narrow" sizes that properly fit her feet. None of these "incorrect" orders are the fault of the retailer.

I just wish Marketers would be honest with their findings. As a professional Marketer, it’s something I personally strive for each and every day.

Agree or Disagree with Our Expert's Perspective? Let Us Know Your Thoughts at the Feedback section below.

Recent Feedback

What is the old saying "there are lies, damn lies and then there are numbers..." Sadly, surveys can be designed to generate any conclusion desired. The focus and credibility of the source is key.

Chris Jones
EVP Marketing & Services
Descartes Systems
Mar, 17 2013