Today online retailers are constantly trying to make it easier for consumers to purchase items online. The purpose is to serve customers better. But one very important aspect of doing business online is often overlooked by retailers – Returns.
60% of the online consumers check the return policy on a site before making a purchase. It doesn’t stop there, as your existing customers are also going to rely on their return experience with you before they make the next purchase. You should look at the ecommerce return policies as a way of increasing on customer satisfaction and fostering customer loyalty.
Ecommerce return rates are much higher than returns in physical stores and the percentage of returns are different in different industry verticals. Here are the Top Reasons why Consumers Return:
Top 3 Strategies for Managing Ecommerce Returns:
1) List your Return Policies Well
The rules or conditions should be written in easy language for the consumer to understand. Highlight the following:
• Scope– which items can be returnable or non-returnable
• Time– within what timespan the items can be returned.
• Exchange – Options for receiving payment back direct to bank, store credits, replacement etc.
• Effort– customer’s to-do to request a return
The return policies need to be crafted well. It should not just be focused on customer satisfaction. A proper combination of the above should be ensured to help customers to be able to purchase without doubts but also discourage or reduce returns at the same time. For example, though free shipping and free returns can be the best incentives for buying online, if offered together, it can turn out to be critical at times. Some customers will just add items to their order just for reaching the free shipping level and then return items.
2) Sort your Disposition System
You should have a sorted disposition logic in place. Your disposition can be unique, based on your industry vertical, your role(manufacturer/trader) or other factors. The reasons for returns need to be identified and analyzed as well. Maybe some items are getting returned more often. Reasons could be the pictures online are misleading, user instructions are unclear or even the products might be faulty. Check out the importance of Product Reviews in your store. Therefore, your disposition methods must be finalized considering it is in line with your finance.
3)Process Credits Faster
Customers will expect their money back in some form as soon as they request a return. After receiving the item back, process, sort and send items to the final disposition as fast as possible. The sooner you process the credit the better are your chances of ensuring brand loyalty. Customers expect that they will be able to go through the returning process as easily as they went through the purchasing process. In fact, as per the survey results from JDA Software, some omnichannel retailers are now enabling the return-at-store feature which is being greatly appreciated by customers.
If you are using some ERP or Warehouse management system, APPSeCONNECT can help you connect it with your ecommerce store. Also, if you are using some 3PL service we can automate the processes by integrating your ERP with 3PL services.
As an online retailer, having an efficient return process is vital for you. Strategize a good reverse logistics policy to maximize customer loyalty and increase your company profitability.
Now, you can easily integrate your ERP, CRM, Ecommerce Store, Marketplace, Shipping and POS Systems under one platform to automate the business process!