UL offers solutions for retailers navigating today’s environment of high return rates, supply base instability, shrinking margins, growing private labels and the need to transition to online retailing with omnichannel product types.
Our tools and services help retailers looking to meet sustainability goals, find responsible sourcing programs, answer product health concerns, reduce product life cycles without sacrificing quality and safety, and seek regulatory guidance as they expand into new global markets. UL services include:
- Safety evaluations and UL Follow-Up Services for quality support shorter life cycles by reducing redundancy, quality and safety issues for existing and new product categories under a single testing and certification provider.
- UL’s Market Performance data system uses predictive data for risk-based testing.
- Sustainability product certifications such as ECOLOGO® Certification, UL GREENGUARD, EPEAT, C2C
- Our responsible sourcing data and existing retailer rating programs use 360 Sustainability Essentials software to track greenhouse gas/carbon data from retailers and supply chain partners.
- The UL Marketing Claim Verification program and other chemical and performance testing helps answer consumer questions about the validity of claims.
- We support entry into new markets with regulatory, quality and compliance expertise.
Our global network of laboratories has the capabilities to provide a variety of testing options with regional support for appliance and lighting retailers.
Retailers and their suppliers view UL as a trusted strategic partner to achieve safety, quality, security and sustainability in their products and practices. UL Marks appear on tens of billions of products globally, and in a recent independent value chain study, 66% of U.S. retailers expressed a preference for the UL Mark over other TIC marks.
Product differentiation and benchmarking services
UL’s engineers and consumer scientists will work with your team to develop customized benchmarking studies (performance characteristics, efficiency and consumer convenience, installation, serviceability, packaging design, cleanability, and more).
UL’s marketing claim Verification service helps companies demonstrate that the marketing and advertising claims they make are accurate, truthful and credible. The UL Verified Mark can be used on packaging and collateral and will appear in our database (searchable by brand, company name, product name and unique identifier) to help differentiate your products in a crowded market.
Transportation and package testing to ISTA protocols
UL can assess your protective packaging to the full range of ISTA standards, including the ISTA 3 Series for UPS and the ISTA 6 series for Amazon and Federal Express, to help ensure the security of goods during transport. Our assessment process can help mitigate product loss and reduce customer complaints associated with the transit of packaged products common in omnichannel distribution.
Safety testing, labeling and document checks
From chemical testing to electrical safety to physical characteristic and construction checks, our reports prepare retailers for product launches and identify products that need retesting to comply to regulatory requirements.
We verify your products comply with regulations and claims, preventing delays within the supply chain during your launch.
Energy efficiency testing
Our energy efficiency testing services can confirm compliance to current energy efficiency requirements in your target markets. We offer testing to the following programs for lighting products:
- California Energy Commission (CEC)
- The DesignLights Consortium®
- ENERGY STAR®
- LED Lighting Facts®
- Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
- Department of Energy (DOE)
- Other global energy efficiency programs
With the rise of private labels, product reliability has added importance for retailers. Early-in-life failures can lead to product returns or warranty costs, and premature wear-out failures can damage brand equity and prevent repeat purchases.
We work with you during product development/onboarding and production to evaluate design or supplier changes, determine the root cause of reliability problems, and then take corrective actions. Our services help you gain actionable knowledge about the anticipated life cycle of your products and identify design flaws that have adverse effects on a product’s reliability and durability.
Return costs dilute already thin retailer margins, so by evaluating quantities of returned products and associated data, UL can identify the reasons consumers are returning products. Retailers can use specific information from these studies to address issues with their vendors and improve private label products, reducing return rates and improving customer satisfaction.
Contact us to discuss your technical assistance needs and help evaluating products against design and manufacturing best practices. With our help, retailers gain insight into potential product issues and can make informed sourcing decisions.