Returns are frequently considered an unavoidable evil by eCommerce firms. A high rate of return is due to several causes. Poor fit, obtaining a broken technical, product flaws, incorrect assumptions, and consumer hesitation are a few examples.
Nevertheless, it is rarely the fault of the client that a refund occurs. Brands are frequently blamed for incorrectly conveying sizes or omitting to provide critical details within product details.
While it is difficult to reduce returns to zero since certain things are beyond your control, you could still work on reducing returns by modifying a few of your company procedures as well as the way you communicate your products.
How much do product returns cost your company?
The return policy of a shop is a crucial consideration in the purchasing process.
It is just not an option for companies to refuse to accept returns.
Approximately 70% of survey respondents claimed that the return policy was significant in their purchasing choice.
If a fee is levied for returns, 59% of people stated they would not shop there again.
Approximately half of those polled said they had canceled an online buy due to the return policy.
Customers value the opportunity to return, and the ideal business approach is to not restrict the customer's possibility of returning.
The objective ought to be to diminish the customer's need or urge to return.
This entails hacking into the retailer's psyche & optimizing the customer journey experience.
What is the most common reason for product returns?
Return grounds will differ depending on the industry & brand.
Nevertheless, according to a nationwide survey of all brands, the primary reason for many individuals returning an item is fit, with 65% of customers indicating this cause for purchase returns.
39% of customers returned things since the item description did not match the actual item, while 33% returned products because they appeared different in reality.
Then there's the problem of customers purchasing to return.
When purchasing online, 35% of all buyers over-order, but the rate is considerably greater among young consumers.
Millennials purchase intending to return items at 43%, while Gen Z purchases to return things at 46%.
This habit differs by the industry as well.
Customers who buy home items or consumables like coffee are unlikely to place orders to return them.
Nevertheless, in the apparel business, 66% of customers stated that they purchased more goods than they meant to retain.
Build An Engaging App For Free
How and where to Reduce Returns with Better Product Information
Nowadays that we understand what causes the majority of returns, we can figure out how to lessen them.
In summary, lowering returns is all about having better product details.
If customers' inquiries can be resolved before they purchase, they'll be more inclined to buy things that are similar to their requirements, while also eliminating the uncertainties that lead to over-ordering.
Concentrating on these 15 listing elements might assist you in reducing item returns.
1. New Product Listings
Enhancing your descriptions will help you reduce the 39% of buyers who feel their item wasn't as described. Don’t make the erroneous assumption that descriptions are constant. Keep product details/descriptions up to date to reflect buyer feedback & popular search terms.
2. Make Use of Customer Feedback
Among the most compelling pieces of content on your website are the unedited comments, images, & videos from those other customers.
Peers' in-person experience can give useful information on fit, reliability, or satisfaction.
Shoppers have faith in one another.
Reviews not only give useful facts, but they also boost buyer trust in their purchasing decision.
3. Review Filtering
We've all heard that getting more comments & ratings boosts conversions.
And besides, input from five consumers isn't nearly as effective as feedback from 500 customers. Nevertheless, a most efficient interface allows customers to filter reviews by topic, allowing them to rapidly locate remarks on decision-making variables such as fit, fabric, and quality.
Individuals can make the most informed judgment if they have access to the most pertinent data.
4. Provide detailed size information
Give your consumers as much size information as possible. Conventional tables with dimension grid connections are inadequate in this scenario. Measure all clothing dimensions and send them to the customer, including the tiniest details like pocket size, zipper length, or armpit width. This might be a long & time-consuming procedure but take into account that the further correctly the consumer picks the size, the fewer returns your online business will receive.
5. Make use of fit technologies
Automated fit & sizing technologies may assist clients in finding the appropriate size whether they are buying in-store or online, putting a stop to the unmanageable bracket shopping habit. 3DLOOK's YourFit 3-dimensional dressing room technology, which employs just two images to create specific body information for each consumer, gives individualized size suggestions in minutes. This not only simplifies the process of finding the appropriate match, but it also gives companies with important data that can be used to target customers with suggestions or enhance product creation, inventory planning, or delivery.
6. Include video content on your website
If buyers return things because they do not meet the expectations stated in the product details, you might want to simply add a video component to your website. Videos are becoming progressively useful in increasing conversion rates since purchasers can envision themselves better after seeing a video clip.
It is not required to have vast amounts of money or film equipment to create short films for inclusion in product descriptions. Simple, brief videos that give a 360° look at the items are all you have to minimize returns. For more advanced items, a video showing how to use the item can improve the purchasing experience or ease the item's use after purchase
7. Implement customer database segmentation
People or traits formed by carefully scrutinizing your client information are far more accurate than general depictions of high-risk consumers. Return-prevention segmentation is similar to marketing segmentation in that you are attempting to find trends, habits, attributes, and other relevant variables to make better decisions.
The effectiveness of this strategy is determined by the depth of measurement you had collected, as well as the overall outcomes & procedures.
8. Improve client service
While a pleasant customer return procedure will entice consumers to buy, a terrible experience can drive them away. With no shop workers to assist clients, firms must develop simple points for e-commerce customers to contact a salesperson. As per ReturnMagic, 58% of buyers believe that extensive phone or email interactions cause 'friction.' Live chat can address customer complaints in a faster and more timely manner.
9. Sent emails after the purchase
Sending out emails to your consumers after they make a purchase may be a very efficient method to reduce refunds and avoid negative customer experiences. Use this opportunity to educate customers about the goods, reduce return concerns, plus ensure that they are engaged in what they've just purchased.
To alert clients about the manner they have purchased, emailing the following purchase is an important aspect of resolving the problem of how to decrease returns in e-commerce & give optimal customer service.
10. Ensure usability
According to RetailDive, 40% of consumers struggle to complete simple operations on e-commerce platforms, therefore businesses must assess whether their system is producing confusion, which leads to wrong or inadvertent purchases. Product pages & checkout ought to be straightforward so that buyers know precisely what they are acquiring.
11. Don't overlook delivery
As per HelloDrone, over 40% of one-star ratings are due to delivery troubles, with post-purchase concerns most frequent among fashion stores. Customers frequently order clothing for a certain occasion, therefore the inability to deliver on schedule will end in refunds. Retailers must clearly state delivery dates on their sites before a buyer commits to a transaction.
12. Take note of the product packaging
Based on what you offer, your packing considerations will differ for each item. Plan the product journey & your packing alternatives accordingly, as damaged or broken products due to inadequate wrapping are another common cause for returns.
Upgrading your product packing will also assist you to pinpoint the source of the remaining broken goods because you know the problem is more probable to be with the carrier than it was with your packaging. That means you may schedule a time to evaluate how the courier works and take some action to locate a new one if you observe a high number of returns with the same courier.
Similarly, with 5% of items returned due to faults, merchants should think about how they transport their products to guarantee they arrive in the exact condition they left their store in.
13. Develop trust and loyalty
Consumer experiences that reward brands must be created. Customers who feel pushed to make a decision, for example, are more inclined to return items with short return periods. Providing a longer returning session would not only increase customer happiness but may also decrease returns in half.
Retailers must engage with customers on an ongoing basis, seeking evaluations & comments to improve the buying experience. Giving things like that in return, if it's a modest incentive or a token of appreciation, can assist to enhance client loyalty.
14. Analyze, adapt, and overcome
Each return you handle must be documented for review. If you have never documented returns previously, do so in a Spreadsheet for just a month, with the reason again for returns indicated. Whenever the month is up, you may start analyzing the numbers to obtain a sense of what must be done.
The modifications you have to make will be determined by the reasons. Among the common reasons one would be - That the client changed his mind - Although you can't prevent individuals from changing their minds if it is a common return cause, review your marketing & customer base & maybe alter your focus from obtaining the new business to maintaining consumers (who are just less inclined to return products).
15. Combat returnees
Large companies, such as ASOS, have famously begun to target customers who return a large number of goods at once and use more lenient return policies to basically "rent" products. Serial returners can cost businesses thousands of dollars by utilizing an item once, such as clothes, and afterward returning it for a refund. According to research, 30% of customers purposefully over-purchase products because people know they can quickly return them for a refund, plus 19% order numerous copies of identical items so that they can make their decision when the item comes.
If you're concerned about the number of returns you're receiving, it's worth noting that some of your customers may be "problem returners." The key to recognizing this is to use acquired data to become acquainted with any obvious trends. If you suspect a client of frequent returns, keep a watch on their behavior or, with sufficient information, give them a warning or even consider temporarily banning their account to stop them from buying from you. Before you undertake this, send out a mail to your client base informing them that you're keeping a close eye on excessive amounts of refunds coming from the same individual or business, so they're kept abreast of the situation.
Reduce your online store's e-commerce returns.
As demonstrated, decreasing returns is an excellent method to help optimize your operations, cut expenses, and maintain less inventory. While it might be a complicated procedure, the sheer amount of solutions for avoiding this problem makes it a feasible undertaking. The key proposal or main focus for your firm would be to place consumer expectations & sentiments at the core of everything you do, based on the ideas provided above.