In less than a week, you’ll be too wrapped up in your online store as Black Friday kicks off.
Like in previous years, expect large amounts of orders to come your way, but do expect certain items to be returned as well.
Returns are inevitable in an eCommerce business; clothing returns have the highest rate between 20% and 40%.
Customers have different reasons for returning items they bought, and among them are:
- Wrong size or colour
- Defective product
- Item received was different from what they actually ordered
- Ordered multiple sizes and colours of the same product and then decided that they would just settle for one
- They realised that they didn’t like the product, but only after having tried it on
Based on product return statistics, 13% of buyers knew beforehand that they would be returning the products which they purchased.
Call it unfair, but that’s the reality which you have to face but not necessarily accept.
Returns are a permanent fixture in eCommerce which can increase or decrease, depending on your return policy.
So review and make sure it stipulates nothing that will put you or your customers at a disadvantage.
How Your Return Policy Can Reduce Returns
Being too lenient with your return policy, such as not specifying a time frame as to when items can be returned, will lead to serious problems in your business.
A relaxed policy may draw many customers who would willingly splurge on your store, but the end result would be less or no sales because of a high return rate.
On the other hand, a very strict return policy can easily discourage people from buying your products.
If it states that it doesn’t accept returns, don’t wonder why people wouldn’t buy from you.
Give your customers ample time to return what they bought from your store, and they will most likely return to shop again.
Aside from stipulating a specific time frame for returns, your return policy should also include conditions or requirements which a customer needs to meet before they can return an item.
You would, naturally, want the item to be returned in good condition, along with its tag and original packaging, so that you can resell it.
It’s also important to be clear on who pays for the return shipping, though 79% of online buyers say they would prefer to buy from a store that offers free return shipping.
Ensure Accuracy in Your Warehouse
Once you have come up with a clear return policy, go and check your warehouse.
The most common reason of customers for returning purchased items is that they didn’t get what they ordered for or they got the wrong size (especially for products like shoes).
Having said that, it’s crucial that your warehouse staff are properly guided in your picking and packing processes.
Going back to shoes, if they’re part of your product line, you would want to have a comprehensive size and colour chart on your site from which your customers can base their orders.
Creating size and colour attributes in Magento is so easy; click here and follow the steps.
Meanwhile, other companies selling shoes online have resorted to an app which helps their customers get more information about their shoe size.
By providing the brand and style of the shoes that they are currently wearing, as well as their height and age, buyers will be able to obtain their exact size.
The possibilities of improving your product to entice and satisfy more customers are clearly limitless.
Try one or all of them to reduce if not prevent returns in the future.
How’s the rate of your returns? Let us know in the comments below.
To your continued success,
Dave & Matt