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E-commerce insights
Handling eCommerce Returns

Handling eCommerce Returns

Have you been experiencing an increase in product returns? There are a few reasons why this may be the case; and here are some ways to help you deal with it.

eCommerce in context 

There’s no doubt that shopping patterns are shifting, with businesses making the switch to online as a result of COVID-19. In addition to more online orders inevitably brings with it an increase in returned orders. 

However, due to the effects of COVID-19 and supply chain disruptions, returns have changed, and they could start taking away from your profits. 

You might be surprised to know that you can improve your eCommerce returns rate by improving how you communicate with your customers. 

The importance of Returns 

Today, every online store must have an eCommerce returns policy. While you may not realize it, your customers take your return policy into account before deciding to make a purchase. With the global shift tending towards online shopping, it isn’t an option to not offer returns.

The ability to return or exchange something is incredibly important for customers. If you charge customers for returns, they are likely not to order from you by up to 50%. Your goal should instead be to reduce the need to return items as much as possible. 

In doing this, you need to think like your customer to discover issues within your customer journey, and common reasons for returns. 

Why do customers return purchases? 

There are many different reasons why customers may return items from your store. The main reason can vary in various industries or markets. With clothing and accessories, the main reason is relating to the fit not being right. 

Other categories often involve customers complaining that the product descriptions don’t match the item received, as well as items that looked different in person as opposed to in the product listing. 

Not being able to view or touch an object is one of the many drawbacks to online shopping. The fashion industry generally faces a larger problem, where shoppers buy with the intent to return products. These returns can involve a customer buying the same items in a variety of sizes and returning the poorest fit of the bunch. 

This act is understandable. Assessing the clothing fit can be difficult when shopping online, especially when encountering a new brand. Clothing is merely one example, so, understandably, orders won’t always work out. 

Steps to improve your return rate

As we already know, a disparity in your product information is likely to cause returns. Ideally, it would be best if you answered every question that the customer might have in your description. This way, the customer can target or avoid products that suit your needs without the effort of buying and returning an incorrect product. 

Here are some things you can do to improve your product information:

Update your Product Listings

By updating your product descriptions, you will reduce the rate of returns for customers who did not believe your product descriptions.

Your product pages aren’t static; remember that you can adjust or change them whenever you need to. It’s a smart move to regularly update your descriptions to reflect new keywords, search terms and customer feedback. 

Look at your reviews

Your customers are some of the most honest and discerning customers around. While reviews are great for social proof, they’re also an essential part of improving your website. 

Reviews can contain important information about quality, satisfaction, material and more. Besides, prospective customers trust other shoppers and want to hear their experiences in dealing with your business. 

Leveraging Returns

While updating your information and better communicating your products is worthwhile, you still won’t be able to remove all instances of returns. 

A smart strategy involves using the returns process to improve your relationships with your customers. 

Next, It may not seem obvious, but product returns are a vital customer touchpoint. Your company will be able to leave a lasting impression on your customer by resolving their problems swiftly. 

Utilizing returns is extremely important. If your returns are well-managed, your customers will be very likely to order from you again. This process is integral for customer lifetime value (LTV) and can even turn returns into a good point for the customer journey. 

Additionally, Another good tactic is to continue communicating with your customer after the refund is processed. Send an email or give your customer a call to start a new conversation. 

ecommerce business promotion
Offer promotions to your customers

Chat to your customers

Rather than ending the interaction with a refund, use your eCommerce returns to start new conversations.

Keep it simple, and you’ll be able to ask the customer why they returned the product or what could be improved.

As an incentive for their cooperation, you can offer a discount code, make a product suggestion, or reward your customers in some way. By communicating clearly after a return has completed, you will be able to grow your brand relationships. 

Conclusion

Don’t ignore your returns, as they may signal a dissatisfied customer. Being able to use your returns process to your advantage by winning over a new customer is something you should work towards as an eCommerce merchant.

Your returns process can also be used to set customer expectations at any stage of the journey. However, how you treat your customers will determine if they come back to your store or not, so you should strive to make a good impression!

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