“Always stay one step ahead in addressing your customer needs. Find win-win solutions for your customers and your business.” 5 Ways To Reduce E-Commerce Returns. Developing an easy return experience will make it easier for you to break the ground and to reach out to more customers through referrals and word of mouth. It is important to note that getting your E-Commerce returns right may make the difference between securing a repeat customer or losing their business entirely.
- There are many reasons why a customer will return a purchased product and human error is the most common cause of this—mostly by the merchant.
- Adding plenty of pictures, detailed descriptions, and customer reviews set the proper expectation for the customers, hence, minimising returns.
- At the same time, be wary of serial returners as some of them could be your most loyal customers.
eCommerce retailers know that returns are a part of life. Without the opportunity to touch, hold or try on merchandise they buy online, it’s inevitable that customers will return a large share of it. According to one report, an average of 30% of all eCommerce purchases are returned, compared to about 9% of brick-and-mortar purchases. Fortunately, there are five simple steps you can take to minimize returns now and all year long. But first, we need to understand why customers return eCommerce products.
Create Easy E-commerce Return Policy
To retain your customers
Common Reasons For eCommerce Returns
Studying the reasons why consumers return products will help you deal with or prevent eCommerce returns altogether. Here are the most common reasons:
Considered one of the main reasons for returns, buyer’s remorse occurs when a customer feels a sense of regret from the product they’ve purchased. This can be caused by a number of reasons ranging from price disparities to impulsive buying. The best way to combat this phenomenon is by emphasizing your product’s features and benefits.
Product doesn’t meet expectations
Customers shouldn’t be surprised by the product they ordered. The item description and image should perfectly match what’s delivered.
For example, imagine seeing an ad for a Mickey Mouse t-shirt, you purchase it online; but upon opening the package you find a knockoff. The listing must match the physical product or you’re destined to see it returned.
Similar to missing a customer’s expectations, delivering the wrong product will guarantee it’s return. Human error is the most common cause of this, whether it’s because of careless picking or random occurrence. Regardless, you should be prepared in case your customer receives something other than what they ordered.
Developing a strong return policy will ease a customer’s distress and allow you to fix the issue without losing the sale. You should also evaluate your fulfillment process and make sure everything is running smoothly. There’s no such thing as being too prepared.
Receiving a damaged product is another common reason to initiate a return. Throughout the fulfillment process, your product will touch many hands. Which is why ensuring the safety of your product is crucial. Simply adding packing paper or a “fragile” disclaimer on your packaging can help avoid damaged goods.
It’s not uncommon for consumers to be the cause of a return. In fact, a study shows that in 2020, $428 billion in merchandise was returned, and almost 6% of those returns were fraudulent. These schemes include acts such as returning stolen items, price switching, open-box fraud, and more.
People who participate in these acts typically take advantage of a merchant’s return policy. Luckily, some marketplaces like Amazon are cracking down on fraudsters.
Today we show you 5 ways in which you can create a positive E-Commerce return experience for your customers.
1. Provide Prompt Responses
The first step of any return process for a customer is to contact the business owner so as to raise their complaints. You should ensure that you have a team of people who are on stand-by so as to quickly respond to the customers when they make the call. They should be able to explain to the customers the steps they need to take so as to request for a return in the shortest time possible.
2. Hassle-free E-Commerce Return Policy
The terms and conditions of your return policy can influence whether or not shoppers decide to buy from you. Making it easy to read and clear will minimize chances of errors and misinformation. You are at liberty to choose the policy that best suits you but keep in mind that around 68% of shoppers say that they review the returns policy before buying from the site. State your policy plainly and communicate it proactively for emphasis purposes.
3. Acknowledge The Demand For Free Return Shipping
The word “free” when it refers to shopping has a magnetic pull. At the point of return, the customer is not pleased with the outcome of their purchase, having to make them pay to return the product will irk them further. That said, it is not practical to offer free return shipping as it would not make much financial sense. The secret is to craft a well-designed returns policy that offers flexibility and choice.
4. Make Refunds Easy
As soon as a shopper returns a product, they usually expect an immediate response. When a consumer gets a delay in receiving a replacement item, they get irritated and could possibly give a negative review on Google which will inevitably ruin your reputation. For those whose requests meet your returns and refunds policy, ensure that you get the money back to them as soon as possible.
5. Great Customer Service
Handling your customers with care is critical as it will help you to build a good customer relationship. When your customers are calling in order to make a complaint, your customer service team should give them ample time to air out their views and have answers to the questions they might ask.
As a business owner in the E-Commerce sector, the main goal is to develop a larger market share and to increase brand visibility as the go to shop for the products you are selling. However it is not just about growing your client base but also finding a way in which you can retain your existing customers.
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