Reducing Your Online Shop’s Return Rate in Easy Steps

Returns may seem like an inevitable situation for an e-commerce business. But that’s not entirely true, as you can manage those returns and reduce them. The catch is, it’s not that easy to do. There could be a lot of confusion and risks that come when customers return your products.

If your current return rate isn’t good, it’s time to start focusing on how you can optimize your returns management. If you do it right, you can increase customer satisfaction, have better profit margins, reduce waste, and have a faster turnaround. To help you achieve all that and reduce your business’ return rate, we’ve listed some tips that you can follow.

1. Utilize a management platform

Weak returns logistics can cost you not only money but also the loyalty of your customers. To strengthen that, you should invest in a return management platform that can help you process faster returns. Depending on the features, these systems generally offer a more efficient returns approval process.

Your team can easily create or confirm the request for returns, schedule the returns pick-up date, and record the reasons. The best part about these tools is that they offer real-time status tracking with features such as integration with other e-commerce software refund status updates. Choose a platform with features that best suit your operations and policy.

2. Produce high-quality visuals

One of the main reasons why customers return an item is inaccurate product depictions. A gap between the reality of an item and the expectations of customers can harm your return rate. This is where high-quality product visuals can help.

Unlike in brick-and-mortar shops where customers can physically check the products, there’s a lack of touch examination in online shopping. That’s precisely why you should provide the shoppers with high-resolution product photos that they can zoom in and further inspect.

Many online shoppers are very selective, and they could potentially return a shirt that doesn’t match the color or the stitching on the photos. Shoppers should be able to see the product material and stitching from all angles. You can produce 360-degree views of your items and use your social media pages to post more actual product photos to create more realistic expectations. 

3. Beef up product descriptions

Besides the visuals, product descriptions play a huge role in reducing your return rate. Product content is a critical deciding factor for many shoppers. You are welcoming customer disappointment and dissatisfaction when you allow customers to buy your product without fully understanding it.

This doesn’t mean that you should write every detail about the item. Three crucial aspects of writing in your descriptions are the products’ key benefits or features, the return process, and other essential information. Focusing on post-purchase experience is a great way to discover where your descriptions are lacking.

Furthermore, if you’re a footwear or apparel brand, provide the size and fit information for all items. To reduce size-related issues, encourage customers to write reviews about the things so other shoppers can have more references.

4. Pack every order properly

Shoppers love items with beautiful and secure packaging. Still, packaging considerations will depend on the product you’re selling. The point is, as a seller, it’s your job to provide sufficient packaging to the orders to minimize the chances of them getting damaged or broken.

A general rule of thumb is to properly label the items so that the courier or any handling them will know what’s inside. If the order is a gift, you don’t have to put a label. Other sellers also include proper storage instructions for the products.

Nonetheless, expect that the parcels will be stacked, dropped, or thrown around during shipment. If you’re sending out fragile products, use triple-lined boxes and bubble wrap. Customers who received damaged items will request a return.

5. Combat serial returners

One of the biggest problems in e-commerce today is the serial returners. These people will buy a bulk of items to return them. Serial returners can lead to losses for businesses, especially financially. The only effective strategy to take care of these individuals is to isolate them. Record every return and start monitoring the purchasing habits of that customer.

You have the choice to block them in case their returning habits get worse. Include this in your return policy to prevent further complaints from the shoppers. You may also send them a notice via email that you’re blocking them from purchasing from you due to the great number of returns.

By following these tips, you can improve your returns management strategy and provide a better shopping experience to your customers. But besides that, don’t forget to focus on understanding why your products are returned in the first place. That’s the only way you can plan an accurate course of action to reduce your return rate.

Meta title: E-commerce Guide: How You Can Reduce Your Return Rate
meta desc: Returns can be a huge problem for any e-commerce business; they can cause you extra money and energy. Check this guide to learn to reduce your return rate.

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