With eCommerce sales increasing year on year, consumers who are buying more products are also returning and exchanging more.
You need a return and exchange policy that is efficient, cost effective and also fair to the consumer and you. Without a specific, spelled out course of action when it comes to processing returns and exchanges, your eCommerce business is in for huge losses.
Impact of Returns
According to data from Statista, return delivery would cost businesses about $550 billion in 2020. That’s up 75% from four years ago.
42% of shoppers want an easy, straight-forward return or exchange process.
95% of shoppers will do repeat business after a positive return or exchange process.
85% said they will not do repeat business with a company that has an inconvenient or lengthy return or exchange process.
64% of shoppers even said that they would refer friend after an easy return or exchange experience.
The writing’s on the wall! A clearly spelled out, efficient and fair return and exchange process will keep current customers and may also get new customers.
Here are 3 Tips for Better Returns and Exchanges.
1. Have clearly defined return and exchange policies
Even before a customer has bought your product, they should be made aware of your return and exchange policy. Make your return and exchange policy as transparent as possible. Your return policy should be clear, to the point and easily understood.
A great idea is to have a dedicated returns and exchanges page that also lists out any extra charges for returns and exchanges. Also list your shipping rates clearly and if your customer has to pay for shipping the product back to you. Make it crystal clear from the start.
Make sure to include return information about the following in your Return Policy page.
- Holiday Returns
- Regular Year-round Returns
- Defective Products Returns
- Requirements for a Full Refund – including the time taken for refunds to process
- Return Shipping Charges
2. Return instructions and labels in shipping boxes
There are many things that can be put into shipping boxes from coupons and free gifts to exchange and return labels. Adding return instructions and return labels cuts down the time taken for returns and exchanges. Your customer will already have return instructions and can follow them easily. If you also send return labels, then all they need do is drop off the product at the post office or the shippers box.
If you worry about the cost of sending shipping labels or if you charge for return shipping, then you can give your customers an option to go to your website, pay for return shipping and print out a shipping label. The online process can make it quick and seamless. It helps greatly as it cuts down the waiting time and allows the customer to self serve.
3. Costs involved in product returns
Is it worth asking a customer to return a product or is it just better to let them keep it and ship out a replacement? Think about it. You need to know how much it costs you to process a return and exchange. It may be costing you more to do a return than what you are making off the product when you ship a replacement.
The shipping cost, time taken for your customer to return the product, and then wait time for the replacement product can all contribute to a bad experience for the customer. Bad experiences can make a customer go elsewhere. Sending a replacement and allowing the customer to keep the unwanted product makes it simple, stress free, and helps retain a customer.
Related: Shipping and Reverse Logistics
Always make sure that you do not alienate customers who return or exchange products. Try to find out why they returned or exchanged as well as what could have been done better during the sale and also during the return. Send out a survey to find out more. Send out an email to say you “messed up” if that was the case. All this will help to identify ways to improve your selling and returns process.
Elite OPS has been a leader in Shipping and Logistics for over 20 years. Contact Us to find out how we can help you Save Time and Money on Procurement as a Service, eCommerce Order Fulfillment, and Kitting and Assembly.
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