Returns are a part of the e-commerce space. If you run an eCommerce website, you will have to deal with the horror of product returns. As per the return rate stats collected by Invesp, at least 30% of the products ordered online are returned. Though eCommerce returns cannot be eradicated, it can be controlled.
In this article, I will provide you with 8 simple tips to reduce product returns in eCommerce. Before I start, let’s try to figure out some of the reasons why customers place a product return request.
1. Product ordered is incorrect
2. Product has a size issue
3. Product delivered is defective
4. Product failing to match customer’s expectations
The above-mentioned reasons are common for most of the eCommerce businesses. Considering the reasons, let’s now try to understand how to reduce returns in eCommerce.
I have put forward eight simple yet effective ways to control customer returns. Let’s begin.
Briefly describe all your products with accurate information to reduce product returns. Do not mislead your customers into believing something which the product doesn’t hold true. Provide them with a clear idea of what they will be receiving. Be specific about measurements.
Unlike physical stores, customers cannot touch a product when they shop online. So, ensure you are providing a detailed description if you do not want to face the product returns.
Reviews and Ratings are the most effective return prevention techniques.
Reviews play an important role in the customer’s buying decision. The chances of a consumer making purchases almost get doubled if the product they are thinking to purchase has good ratings defined. Ratings help prospects get an idea of the product, whether it is worth buying or not. For example, a product having a 4+ rating(out of 5) will capture fewer returns as compared to a product having a rating around 2 or 3.
Apart from ratings, allow user comments as well on every product. Comments help potential customers know the reviews of the people who have already purchased that product. Well yes, there will be some negative comments that can discourage them from purchasing the product but the positive comments can boost confidence in a consumer and encourage them to go for the purchase.
Either way, you will at least, create an environment that will less likely attract product returns. Moreover, if you are having negative comments in higher numbers, it is a sign for you to understand that the product itself has flaws.
Product photos create a picture in the mind of consumers about how the product will look when they receive it physically. It is the primary reason why customers opt for the purchase in the first place.
Low pixel photographs can restrict a prospect from buying a product. Also, if there is a colour difference between the products listed on the website and when a customer receives it, the possibility of customer returns increases. The stats shared by Invesp says that 22% of the online shoppers return a product because it looked different when they received it.
So make sure to use high-resolution photos to eliminate colour differences, and most importantly, do not over-edit your product pictures.
An incorrect sized product is one of the major reasons for product returns.
Mostly, people remain confused about the product size. They are in doubt until the product arrives and keep thinking about whether it would fit them or not.
Place size guides on every product page to avoid confusion regarding the product size. Customers want to be sure about the size before they finally confirm the order. Having a proper size guide decreases the possibility of a product return.
Want to add a size chart on your product pages? Check out Knowband’s Size Chart module that is available for PrestaShop, OpenCart, Magento and Magento 2.
One of the best ways to reduce eCommerce return rate is by knowing the reasons behind the return request. Ask your customers what went wrong and try to rectify those issues. It creates an indirect communication between you and your customers and helps you understand the defect in your product.
In your product return form, provide an option where customers can mention their issue. In fact, add some of the common return reasons on your own so that customers can pick it easily while placing a return request.
Customer can have n number of questions before or after receiving the product. It can be about an issue in the product or maybe they want to clear some doubts regarding the product.
Excellent customer service is highly important to address the concerns of your customers. Ensure you are providing sufficient mediums to your customers to connect with you. For example, you can provide a direct live chat option along with your support mail and customer support contact number.
You should also add a FAQ section on the product pages to eliminate customers’ doubts regarding the product.
Today, customers want the product to reach them as soon as possible. With services like Prime Delivery which guarantees product delivery within a single day, it has become important for the eCommerce businesses to match the same set of expectations for their customers.
You simply cannot make your customers wait for too long. The estimated delivery time should not be more than 3-4 days. If it is taking too long to deliver, customers will cancel the order mid-way.
The products might be in good condition when they leave the warehouse but are they getting delivered in the same state to the customers? This does happen often. Customers receive damaged products and sometimes due to improper packaging, it puts them in doubt regarding the product, that eventually leads to them placing a return request.
Pack your items carefully and tightly so that they do not slide during transportation. This can help you reduce the return rate on your website.
Genuine problems in a product should surely be considered for a return but you should pay focus to the issues that can arise the product return possibility. You cannot do anything with what’s not in your hand, but whatever can be done from your end to avoid product returns, you must do it.
Reducing your e-commerce returns even by a slight margin would help you save a huge operational cost. Follow these 6 tips to reduce customer returns on your e-commerce store.
Finding it difficult to manage your e-commerce returns?
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