When it comes to returns, the struggle of e-commerce businesses is real. Returns are costly, time-consuming and – if I put it a bit bluntly – they are annoying.
It doesn’t end here; they damage your relationship with customers and decrease profits to a point where your business goes in real danger.
Can’t you do anything for these returns? Even anything to reduce them if not eliminate completely!
Yes, obviously, you can!
How? Let me tell you.
The following steps can help you in reducing the returns to a great extent. So, if you are struggling with returns, follow these steps:
- Keep the Product Quality UP to the Mark:
Would you expect anything with bad quality in return of your hard-earned money? No! no one would.
So, the first rule for a successful e-commerce business is to make sure that the quality of the product is what your customers expect.
It doesn’t mean that your products need to have an exceptional quality, but they should have the same quality as you have mentioned in your ads or marketing campaigns.
I understand that while marketing, you always try to show your product as good as possible. But, still, always stick with the truth. Otherwise, you may experience a short-term increase in your sales, but you would end up with a lot of unsatisfied customers and returns.
- Proper Description and High-Quality Images & Videos:
Make product description of every product on your store as detailed as possible. This will help customers in getting enough information about the products that are required to make the right decision.
Same goes for images and videos. As customers cannot see the product in person, it would be best if you can create a couple of HQ product videos – maybe someone using the product. Videos help customers to better understand the dimensions of the product.
If, for some reason, videos are not possible, post-high-quality images from different angles on your website. Make sure images can be zoomed.
- Size Guides and Fitting Tools:
This step is particularly important in the fashion industry. There are some online fitting tools that can help your customers to find the right size for them. Size guides in detail also help customers in shopping for the perfect size.
- Product Reviews:
Positive product reviews can actually help in increasing sales of your e-commerce business. Even negative reviews can also be helpful for you – you can learn a lot from them about your product.
Moreover, customers might include some minor details in the reviews that you forgot to mention in the description. By reading such reviews, potential customers can learn more about the product and make an informed decision that reduces the risk of return.
- Excellent Customer Service:
With all the steps we have discussed till now, you make sure that the customer has all the necessary information about the product. Still, there might be some unexpected questions coming up.
It is where offering a 24/7 great customer service comes to rescue. If you allow your customers to reach you through calls, emails, chat, and other means of communication, your customers can ask what they want to know before buying – reducing the chances of returns.
And if you make your customer service exceptional, trying giving your customer service staff access to a fully integrated CRM system. With this access, whenever someone approaches them, they know who the customer is, what he/she is looking at, and what is the relevant information they can provide them.
- Optimize your Packing and Dispatching Process:
Do you know, it is not always the customer being unhappy with the purchase that makes them return the product? Sometimes, returns are solely a seller’s mistake who send a completely wrong item to the customer.
This is especially true for peak seasons, such as during Christmas and other similar occasions. These are the times when usually sellers struggle with fulfilling orders.
If you are relying on spreadsheets and post-it notes, and picking, packing and dispatching items without a clear strategy, mistakes are usually unavoidable.
So, what is the solution? Using an ERP system that handles orders from all channels can help in reducing these types of blunders.
- Pay Attention to Packing:
Delivering the right product is as important as delivering it in the right packaging. Another common reason for returns is the damaged or broken products due to insufficient packaging.
If this happens with your business as well, re-evaluate your packaging strategy and improve it. This also makes customers believe that you care about their orders and take every possible step to protect them.
Once you start following all the above 7 steps, you will not only experience a decrease in returns, but it would also make your customers happier and increase your profits.