Product returns have always been a part of running eCommerce businesses. In order to stay ahead of the competition and enhance customer satisfaction, eCommerce sellers have started offering free returns to their buyers. While it is a good way to improve your customer’s shopping experience and drive extra sales to your online store, it has an impact on the environment that no one talks about.
In the US alone, hauling around returned items creates over 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in a year which is more than what 3,000,000 cars might emit in one year. In simple words, for every returned product the logistics carbon footprint from a single online order is doubled. So how can you ensure increasing sustainability and profitability? By creating a sustainable eCommerce returns strategy that ensures minimum impact of returns on your business and the environment. Let us take a look how you can do that-
Creating a Sustainable eCommerce Returns Strategy
Your returns strategy contributes a lot in maintaining a balance between business profitability, sustainability and customer experience. Therefore, reducing returns is a win-win in this situation. While returns are quite inevitable for eCommerce businesses, a clear sustainable returns strategy can aid in reducing both the economic and environmental impact of returns. Here are a few ways how you can do it-
Returns are a major problem for eCommerce businesses. Returns can have a major impact on the business’s bottom-line since the profit margins for these businesses are already stretched thin. Let us take a look at how eCommerce returns impact the bottom line of businesses and how we can fix it.
Optimize Product Description Pages
According to a report by Sale Cycle, nearly 64% of customers return a product because it doesn’t match product description. One of the best ways to reduce returns and contribute to a sustainable environment is by optimizing your product description page. Ensure product images accurately represent the color, style, and other specific details accurately. A video showing the product in action is another great way to communicate to your buyers. If you are an apparel seller, use consistent models with descriptions of their body type and the size of apparel they are wearing. This will help buyers in deciding their fitment better. The description of the item should accurately state the right dimensions, the material used, the longevity of the product, and other key factors that a customer looks at before making a purchase.
EcoReturns by Saara performs AI-powered tagging on your product listings so that customers make a well-thought-out purchase and avoids a return.
Encourage Omnichannel Returns
Omnichannel returns is becoming a new buzzword in the eCommerce industry with more and more consumers leaning towards sustainability. This is best for those sellers who have a physical store of their own. Heard of Buy Online Return In-Store? It allows customers to return items to the local store rather than it getting shipped back to the warehouse. This method allows eCommerce businesses to not only cut down on costs but also reduce their carbon footprint. Adopting omnichannel returns in your eCommerce returns strategy can also differentiate you from your customers, as it is a comparatively new approach for the eCommerce world.
Implement an Intelligent Returns Management Platform
This is the age of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Implementing a solution that uses AI, ML to reduce returns and contribute to a sustainable environment will prove to be a driving factor for business growth. If you are a business owner who is concerned about the environmental impact of returns, choose a solution that aligns with your goals.
EcoReturns by Saara aims to enable sellers to reduce the economic and environmental impact of returns using AI, ML. We encourage customers to retain a product instead of return using multiple offers such as store credits. Our returns analytics dashboard provides sellers with key data related to returns such as return reasons, returns by product type, return rate, revenue lost to returns, and so on. With the help of this data, sellers can take data-driven decisions on how to reduce returns in the future.
Set up Fraud Prevention
While online shopping is booming across the world, cases of return fraud has also been on a rise. Return fraud could be when a customer buys a product and returns it to get financial benefit. It affects your business as you lose money and inventory. To avoid this, you need to set up a fraud prevention system that deals with such situations.
You can identify if your business is a victim of fraud return when you receive higher returns than normal, excessive inventory loss, and shrinking margins because of increased returns.
Once you implement the above-mentioned processes in your eCommerce returns strategy, you are bound to reduce returns, improve customer satisfaction and become a climate change warrior too!