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Chandralika Hazarika: Leveraging AI to Reduce Returns for Online Apparel Retailers

Chandralika Hazarika: Leveraging AI to Reduce Returns for Online Apparel Retailers


Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.

Hi friends, it’s Spiffy, back again on Planet Earth with an eye on entrepreneurs making the world a more equitable place! I have one more interview for you this week. Today I’m excited to cruise around with Chandralika Hazarika, managing director of Bigthinx. Are you ready to be inspired?

Spiffy: Welcome Chandralika. Let’s jump right in. Can you tell me what challenge Bigthinx is addressing?

Chandralika: It’s great to be here, Spiffy! 30% to 50% of all apparel items bought online are returned, up to 84% of which are destroyed through land-filling or incineration which has a huge impact on the environment. 70% of these returns are due to incorrect size, fit, or look.

Spiffy: What motivates you to do it?

Chandralika: I love to shop online but hate returning items because of the environmental impacts of shipping, unnecessary costs, and knowing that my returns are unlikely to get re-sold. I want the fashion products I order online to fit and look right on me the first time around, and not have to size sample or return products unnecessarily.

Spiffy: What would you say is the impact of your work?

Chandralika: We help online retailers to become more profitable and sustainable at the same time. By giving consumers confidence in their purchases, our artificial intelligence (AI) products reduce returns by up to 70% for online apparel retailers. At the same time, they increase sales conversions by 250% and average order values by 20% and boost customer experiences and brand loyalty.

Spiffy: Tell me about a recent milestone/initiative by you or your org. What impact does that make?

Chandralika: We brought down fashion returns for a Fortune 500 retail company by 40% with far-ranging impacts on the organization's sustainability measures, as well as their profitability.

Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?

Chandralika: Technology holds enormous power to transform our world for the better, and I am a strong supporter of women in tech. Young women often shy away from professional endeavors in technology, and I teach at universities around the world to motivate young women to take up careers in tech.

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Chandralika—it’s been an honor!

A branding and marketing professional with over 15 years of experience, Chandralika Hazarika co-founded Bigthinx to create revolutionary new ways to put consumers first and foremost with highly engaging products for fashion retail. She is the recipient of the distinguished Accenture "Women in Tech" 2021 award. (Nominated by Max Kahn at SAP.iO. First published on the Ladderworks website on March 18, 2024.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2024 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Sujit Kunte. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.