Customer satisfaction helps your business thrive. That's why you need to make customers happy and meet their expectations all the time.
But even if you did everything on your end... some customers will not be happy once they receive their orders. And different factors make them unhappy, which we'll talk about later.
Sometimes, customers will even return their orders to you. But instead of seeing returns as a problem...
You can turn customer returns into opportunities to prove your return process's efficiency!
And that's what we'll discuss in this blog. You'll learn...
- What are eCommerce returns?
- What drives customer returns?
- Best practices for customer returns
- How to use reviews to minimize customer returns?
Are you ready? Let's start!
What are eCommerce returns?
Did you know that around 30% of online orders are returned? This is higher than brick-and-mortar stores' returns, which is about 8.89%.
Customer returns happen when customers purchased products from you. Then they want to return the product in exchange for a new one or to get a refund.
But don't fret! As I said, you can turn these returns into a positive thing for your business. First, you need to know...
What are the common reasons for eCommerce returns?
Returns can be because of...
1. Unmet expectations
There are instances where customers expect the products to look a certain way. But when they received the products, they didn't meet their expectations.
They probably expected the products to look the same as the photos. So, they decided to return them. Another reason is...
2. Damaged products
Of course, nobody wants to receive damaged goods, right? Sometimes, this is out of your control anymore. It can be during the shipping and delivery process.
So, customers would send the products back and ask for a refund. They can also ask for one if they receive...
3. Wrong sizes
This usually happens when you're selling clothes. There are products with different sizes, and customers tend to order the wrong ones.
The orders can be too small or too big. Sometimes, they place the wrong sizes, too. When this happens, customers will return the products and ask for another one.
And now that you know why returns happen to eCommerce stores... here are some...
Best practices for eCommerce returns
1. Offer free return shipping fees
If your customers will return the products they ordered... you can offer free shipping.
This will make your customers happy because they can change their orders without spending money on shipping. But wait... this will cost your business some money.
So, you need to be clear of what are the products included in your Return and Refund Policy. State what products are qualified for returns and free shipping. This will also avoid return fraud.
Another thing you can do is to...
2. Be clear about the whole return process
Some customers might feel confused about the return process when they want to return their order. If they have difficulty returning your products, that might affect customer satisfaction.
So, ensure that they know the entire process. You can do this by having an illustration that states the return process from start to finish.
You can also write it clearly so your customers can easily understand. This way, they will have an idea and be encouraged to change their orders.
Organizing returns sounds a bit tiring. Not anymore if you...
3. Have a logistics partner
You don't need to handle all the returns if you have a logistics partner. They will handle the entire process... from order fulfillment to delivery and even returns.
Yep, third-party logistics can do that for you! The returned orders will be delivered back to their warehouse, and they'll send the new ones.
Having a logistics partner will make your return process more effective because they have all the resources and staffing to fulfill the return orders.
Next is you need to...
4. Have an excellent customer service team
Even if you lay out your Return and Refund Policy, some customers will still have some concerns about their returns. That's why it's essential to have great customer service.
In doing so, customers will be satisfied with how you're handling their concerns and the entire returns process. It can also enhance customer experience.
This will increase customer loyalty, too. Why? Because they know your eCommerce business is efficient. And of course, don't forget to...
5. Offer options
Some of your customers might already have a change of mind. Even if they don't like the orders... they might not want to change them.
And it's important to offer options in your Return and Refund Policy. You can let them return the products, give a store credit, or offer a refund if they meet your requirements.
You can strengthen your eCommerce store's customer retention by doing this because you allow customers to choose what they prefer.
Make sure to cover everything in your Return and Refund policy to protect you and your customers. Of course, you still need to check your profit margin.
You see, online shoppers have different reasons for returning their orders. So, it's impossible to 100% avoid returns. But you can minimize it through customer reviews!
How to use product reviews to minimize customer returns?
1. Allow customers to upload photos and videos
Since online shopping doesn't allow customers to see the products physically, this is a great way to showcase how your products look like.
Sure, you can allow text reviews. But allowing photos and videos can help set customer expectations. This way, they can see how the actual products look through other customers.
If they know what they look like, they can set their expectations. They might not have to return the products because they know what to expect.
Also, you should...
2. Acknowledge their comments
When a customer leaves comments or concerns... all online retailers should acknowledge and address their concerns. Whether they're positive or negative comments.
For example, a customer is talking about their unmet expectations. You can respond by stating the options you have for them. It can be through a refund, returns, or giving them a voucher.
If you do this and other customers see... they'd know that you handle these comments gracefully. And that helps in building trust.
To strengthen your credibility, you need to...
3. Use customer feedback for improvement
This is another fantastic way to minimize returns... by improving your products. If you notice that many people are returning your products, dive deep into them.
Why are they returning their orders? Figure that out and find a solution. You can also use customer feedback to know which area to improve.
Now you can...
Enhance your ecommerce store with these eCommerce returns best practices!
Returns shouldn't be a bad thing! It can only affect your business negatively if you don't handle them well. See?
Luckily, there are many ways to minimize returns. Not just through customer feedback... but with FAQs or Frequently Asked Questions. Why? Because these also address the concerns of your customers.
Before even buying your products, they already know the details. And these also help in setting their expectations about your products. Not only that...