There is a major uptick in online shopping during the holiday season. But what follows the rise in sales in the month of January is something most eCommerce business owners dread – product returns! Shoppers tend to purchase multiple items in different sizes and colors during the holiday season which automatically increases the chances of ‘intentional returns. While the holiday season gives retailers an opportunity to increase revenue, product returns if not handled well can quickly eat into those profits.
You need to have proper returns planning and communication in place in order to successfully handle returns right after the holidays. Strategizing how to handle returns will not only save you from losing profits but also enhance customer experience. Let us look at a few ways how you can reduce January returns in an eCommerce business-
Confirm Order Details with Customer Multiple Times
Set up a system in place that automatically confirms all details with customers such as size, address, colour, etc atleast twice. Confirming the order twice will let you catch any kinds of errors from the customer side.
Have a Clear Returns Policy Page in Place
State your returns policy clearly and use language that is easily understandable by your customers. If you are shipping internationally, ensure that your product return complies with each country’s law.
Stating policy is one thing and making them visible to customers is another thing. Place your product policy where it is clearly visible to the shoppers. The practice develops trust. Clearly, state when the processing of funds for refund would be initiated, because your customers wouldn’t wait for an eternity to receive their refund in case they plan to return.
Implement Artificial Intelligence in the Order Process
You can use artificial intelligence to anticipate when a customer is not 100% sure of his purchase decision. For example, if a customer has clicked on the fitment guide multiple times, a virtual agent that uses AI can proactively reach out to the customer, offering fitment advice so that the customer doesn’t return the item later due to fitment issues.
Ensure Accurate Product Description
It’s an absolute turn off for the customer if the item that they receive is not what they envisioned it to be like. This is why it is important to provide accurate product description along with relevant visuals for the customer to exactly know what they are purchasing. This will reduce chances of returns by almost 50%.
Offer Exchanges and Store Credits
Offering exchanges is a very smart way to reduce returns during the holiday seasons. Exchanges leave a good effect on customers and you get some bad money off your balance sheet – a win-win situation for both the customer and you. Another great way to reduce returns and improve customer satisfaction is to offer store credits. You can offer the customer to keep the item in return of store credits. This will not only entice your customer to keep the product but will also let you meet your sustainability goals. Read here to find out the impact of returns on the environment.
Encourage Customer Reviews
The product reviews help your cause. When the buyer appreciates, criticizes or tells their hands-on experience, it comes as a word-of-mouth publicity for the product. Moreover, the buyer-to-be has a 360-degree knowledge of your products, first through your accurate, focused and informative title, product descriptions and the other through the reviews.
Thus, when the two realities — what the consumer expects to be and what it actually is — are coherent, invariably return and refund rate decreases.
Implement an Intelligent Returns Management Software
There is no better time to implement a returns management solution to your online store than the month of January when eCommerce returns are at their peak. A returns management platform that uses artificial intelligence to reduce returns for your store will be an ultimate boon for your business. EcoReturns by Saara uses AI-ML-powered technology to prevent returns even before an order is placed. Identify specific return reasons, improve product quality, and access high-level metrics showing the true financial impact of returns on your business with EcoReturns.