Returns are inevitable when running an eCommerce business. Over the past few years, returns have been a necessity for increasing customer loyalty and customer acquisition.
Transparent returns policies, improved reverse logistics operations, and innovative initiatives to decrease returns are increasingly valued by successful e-commerce businesses.
How ecommerce business handles their return process impacts whether the customer will return. According to Invespcro, 67% of shoppers will check the returns policy before making a purchase. Therefore, it is a huge factor for the success of ecommerce businesses to have a return policy in place.
92% of consumers will purchase from the business again if the return process is easy whereas 79% of consumers want free returns. Customers are more than likely to purchase from ecommerce businesses when they are confident, they can return their items.
Not having a straightforward returns policy would lead to losing potential sale opportunities. Returns can be frustrating however, implementing a customer-centric returns policy is critical to increasing your number of repeat customers and increasing customer loyalty.
Ecommerce returns isn’t surprising when you can’t see or touch the item you are ordering therefore, it is easy to order something that doesn’t meet your expectations.
There are many reasons to why customers return their orders including:
Although, ecommerce returns are inevitable, it can be expensive for the business. As an online merchant, it is important to determine the most common cause for returns to reduce needless returns.
Returns due to receiving the wrong item:
Returns due to the consumer receiving the wrong item can be easily prevented. Picking mistakes can be very costly for businesses therefore, it is essential there are measures in place to prevent the customer receiving the wrong item.
All items must be put away and stored in a specific location to allow the pick and packing process to be as smooth as possible. Putting the items in the correct locations will eliminate the risk of the customer receiving the incorrect item.
SKU will also eliminate the risk of similar products being dispatched to customer. Putting SKUs on products allows the warehouse operative to identify the correct product and prevent picking the incorrect item.
Returns due to damaged or defective goods can be caused by:
It can be impossible to avoid damaged items however, packaging plays a huge factor in preventing damage. All items must be packed in appropriate packaging. It is important to optimise the packaging from the material, sizing and filling materials and all-important considerations to prevent product damage and unnecessary return expenses.
Another factor would be to spend more time of quality control of items to ensure customers aren’t receiving defective items.
Damage during transit is frustrating as it can be out of your control. However, it is important to confront the couriers if the issue is ongoing to provide a reliable and secure delivery service to your customers. If the issue does not improve, it would be advised to look into outsourcing different courier partners as damaged products can have a negative impact on the customer satisfaction which can be damaging to the reputation of your business.
Returns due to product not meeting the customers expectations can be inevitable when it comes to online purchasing. Customers are very likely to be unsatisfied with an item when purchasing online because they can’t see, touch, and feel the item.
Nevertheless, there are steps ecommerce businesses can take to prevent these kinds of returns. Deceptive product descriptions and images can lead to not meeting consumer expectations therefore, it is essential that ecommerce business provide accurate and honest product information to minimize unnecessary returns.
Ecommerce businesses must provide a clear and correct product description, the correct product image and use datasheets to ensure the customer is fully informed of the product.
Delivery issues is a very common cause for returns. There are many reasons including inaccurate delivery address or slow delivery service.
It is important that customers provide accurate data to ensure the order is delivered. Customers expect a fast delivery service therefore, it is essential to choose a reliable and fast courier partner to provide same day dispatch to meet customer demands.
Returning an item is not the end of the world and can be resolved with strong customer service. Communicating with the customer throughout the return process will restore the trust.
A returns policy is a great opportunity for your retail business, as it allows you to build customer relationships, attract new customers, and get invaluable data into your customers’ journey.
Do you need help managing your returns process? Contact Meteor Space today and we will help you manage your returns more efficient and smoother. Our warehouse will eliminate the risk of damaged items and incorrect items as we have the warehouse capabilities!