The way people shop has changed drastically over the last two years owing to the COVID pandemic. The fear among people of stepping out has led people to resort to eCommerce. According to data from Statista, there were around 2.14 billion global online buyers in the year 2021, and the number is set to rise.
But did you know, around 30% of online purchases end up being returned? Yes, that’s right. ECommerce business owners often complain of high returns impacting their bottom-line directly. Therefore, it’s extremely important to stay up-to-date with the most recent returns management trends if you want to protect your bottom line, increase profits and boost customer retention.
Let us take a look at the top returns management trends that are going to rule 2022.
Artificial Intelligence for Returns Management
Artificial Intelligence is going to be the next big thing in 2022 for returns management. As more and more retailers are becoming tech-savvy, AI will be used extensively this year to transform the retail sector. ECommerce businesses will be going ahead with AI to reduce returns that will act as a competitive advantage for such companies. Gathering actionable insights on returns, understanding customer behavior, assessing risky orders with the help of artificial intelligence will be major game changers in returns management in 2022.
Online store owners can offer AI-based incentives to shoppers that will lure them to keep an item instead of return, thus boosting customer retention. Intelligent returns management solutions such as EcoReturns leverages the power of AI and ML to reduce and automate returns. It offers eCommerce merchants a smart returns dashboard that enables them to make smarter decisions while improving customer experience.
With the growing concern of climate change, more and more eCommerce business owners are now heading towards contributing to a sustainable environment. Every return triggers CO2 emissions equivalent to burning around 250 kgs or 550 lbs of coal. Therefore, businesses in 2022 will be tying up with returns management partners aligning with their goal of ‘sustainable returns.’ Returns solutions that reduce returns instead of just managing them will be a big hit in 2022. Returns reduction = Low carbon footprint. Businesses will be focusing more on strategies that can help them in preventing returns directly impacting their sustainability. Focusing on accurate product descriptions, analyzing return reasons to understand why customers are returning, offering incentives are a few of the ways that online store owners are going to focus on in 2022.
Automation in Returns Handling
Gone are the days when small eCommerce businesses were processing returns manually. Our research suggests manual returns handling has been a major challenge for eCommerce businesses that led them to losses and poor customer experience. In 2022, businesses are going to look for returns solutions that can automate their entire returns/exchange process.
Since times indefinite, returns were considered to be a loss for businesses. With automation, returns will now be converted into a profit center. With the combination of AI and automation, more than 40% of returns can be converted into profits through exchanges, store credits, instant refunds, and more. While automation will be increasing profits for businesses, it will also enable sellers to cut down their operational costs by up to 80%.
In the year 2022, more and more eCommerce store owners are going to deploy returns analytics into their returns management system. Returns analytics enables sellers to gather insights on why returns are happening in the first place. Analytics data such as return reasons by product types, money lost to returns, return rate, returns by demography, and more lets sellers take data-driven decisions.
Instant Refunds Processing
Delayed refunds have been one of the major reasons for poor customer experience. Customers already wait for days for their packages to arrive, making them wait for their refund is something that really outs them off. Automating the refunds process is going to trend in 2022. Shoppers should get their money back when asked as quickly as they may have spent it while purchasing your product. Sellers, this year, are going to opt for multiple refund options such as ‘refund to the original mode,’ ‘issue refunds to store credits,’ or let the customer choose their mode of refund. More the options available to customers, the happier they will be.
Now that we have told you the trending returns management techniques for 2022, it’s time for you to implement those in your business in order to stay ahead of the competition. Leverage the power of AI with a returns management solution like EcoReturns that not only falls under all the above categories but also lets you customize your returns process as per your business needs. Get in touch with us NOW!