The Best Strategies For Improving eCommerce Returns Management
Returns are a ubiquitous part of any shopping experience. As eCommerce sales continue to surge, so does the number of returns. An online purchase is returned to the manufacturer 30% of the time, whereas, in brick-and-mortar, it’s – 8.89%.
Returns can be an unpleasant aspect for eCommerce retailers, as a high volume of returns can result in lost sales and expensive reverse logistics. However, handling returns is not just a logistical hurdle but also a vital factor for eCommerce brands that aspire to thrive in a world where customer satisfaction is of utmost importance.
Since providing convenience to consumers is fundamental for building brand loyalty, eCommerce websites must modify their order fulfilment approach to offer a hassle-free and seamless returns process.
Top reasons responsible for customers returning products to the seller.
- – The customer ordered a wrong product
- – The manufacturer shipped the wrong product
- – Receiving damaged/defective goods
- – The product wasn’t parallel to its description.
- – The product did not match customer expectations.
- – The customer found a cheaper deal somewhere
For eCommerce websites, having a smooth and efficient process for returns and returns management is crucial to enhance the quality of customer service, increase profits, and decrease the overall expense associated with returns. If executed correctly, this can also help to draw in more sales, build brand recognition, and improve customer loyalty.
What is returns management?
Returns management is a series of processes in retail or eCommerce that involves dealing with customers who want to return a product after purchase. The returns management process entails communicating with customers, collecting returned items, and restocking them as inventory.
To streamline the eCommerce returns management process, consider these six strategies that can help greatly in eliminating the volume of returns for eCommerce websites:
1. Introduce Address Validation feature
For businesses to ensure their products reach the intended destination, a valid shipping address is crucial. Unfortunately, human errors do occur, leading to frustrated customers, delivery delays, and increased costs for businesses. Common mistakes, like misspelled addresses or incorrect zip codes, can cause major headaches.
To combat these issues, businesses can implement an Address Validation Feature capabilities of eCommerce platforms like eCommfy.This feature verifies the address entered by customers against a database of valid addresses, allowing customers to select the correct address or choose from suggested options based on their location. This not only ensures accurate deliveries, but also saves businesses time and money in the long run.
2. Write detailed product information
If you can educate your customers about your products, it will greatly benefit them in understanding what they are about to purchase for your website. Writing clear and accurate information in the form of product information can drastically reduce the returns from your eCommerce website.
The online eCommerce world allows business owners to produce videos, photos and testimonials that can help customers in understanding the products better and make informed decisions regarding their purchases.
3. A clear and simple-to-understand return policy
Being straightforward and lenient with your return policies influences customers to understand your business ethics and makes them well-informed in advance regarding their purchases. As a business owner, you need to introduce these elements for sure in your eCommerce website.
- – Deadline in Return Policy
- – Exchange
- – Monetary Aspect
- – Documents Requirement
- – Scope of Returns
Introducing these elements helps your customers to review the return policy in a better way and reduce the rate of returns.
4. Implementing real-time inventory visibility
Online retailers made sure their inventory was available for their customers across all channels they used during and after the pandemic. With this, the biggest challenge was having a real-time inventory report that showcased the actual stock left with the merchant.
In such conditions, an accurate order management system can help in tracking inventory available and making decisions regarding their restocking.
Real-time inventory visibility is also crucial for preventing the problem of overselling that occurs when merchants try to sell with no/less knowledge of the stock.
5. Introduce size and fitting guides
With a dynamic size guide on your eCommerce website, customers will be able to ensure they are getting the right size. One of the biggest reasons customers return products is that they ordered the wrong size.
Having an updated size and fitting guide filter along with high-quality pictures and videos can give an onscreen experience to customers regarding their purchases and minimize the rate of returns.
6. Quality customer support
In the second point, we discussed the importance of product description and how it can reduce returns. Similarly, having robust and qualified customer care support can also help in the same direction.
When customers are less informed about the product, the first thing they generally do is- call the customer support that represents your business. If the customer support executive can resolve the issues quickly for their customers, there are higher chances of decreasing product returns.
For online retailers, handling product returns on their eCommerce website can be a complex challenge. However, it’s an inevitable aspect of any business operation.
Rather than viewing returns as a setback, recognize them as valuable interactions in the customer’s purchasing journey. Retailers must strive to minimize any friction in the return process and utilize returns data to enhance their products and marketing materials.
By adopting these six tactics to revamp their eCommerce returns management, online retailers can simplify the procedure, boost customer satisfaction and loyalty, and cut costs.
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Having a technologically advanced eCommerce platform can help you conduct your operations digitally and grab more customers for your business. With eCommfy, we provide business owners with tools and features that help in advancing the eCommerce sector. For more details regarding its features and advancements, check out our website and explore the offerings for your business success.
Written by Aviral Chitkara
Business Operations Manager
Aviral is the Business Operations Manager at Sarvika Technologies. His research skills are unquestionable, and so is his ability to provide constant motivation to the team. An engineer turned business expansion enthusiast, Aviral is a knowledge bank when it comes to politics. Whatever the confusion or problem, he is always the one with answers.