10 Ways to Reduce Returns in Your Ecommerce Business
For ecommerce businesses, dealing with returned items can be a hassle. Not only do you have to process the return, but you also have to deal with the possibility that the customer may not be happy with what they received and could leave a negative review. Even worse, they can decide to get a refund instead. One area where businesses often struggle is definitely with customer returns. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the number of returns and improve your process for handling them.
There are a few key ways to reduce returns when it comes to ecommerce:
1. Make sure your packages arrive on time
Nothing throws off a customer more than a package not arriving on time. Even worse, there are packages that don't arrive at all due to invalid addresses. Often times, problems like these are out of your control once you've shipped out the package, but there are ways to reduce the risk of a package being late or getting lost through a courier platform. Ultimately, if you can't guarantee that your packages will arrive on time, then make sure you offer a refund or store credit to compensate for the inconvenience.
2. Make sure your product descriptions are accurate
When customers feel like they were misled about a product, they're more likely to return it. Make sure your product descriptions are accurate and include all the relevant information potential customers need to know. You should also avoid using marketing language that could be misconstrued as misleading.
3. Provide clear instructions for use
If customers don't know how to use a product properly, they may be more likely to return it. Providing clear instructions on how to use your products can help reduce the number of returns you receive. Make sure your instructions are easy to understand and include any relevant information that potential customers need to know.
4. Offer a good return policy
When customers are happy with their purchase, they're less likely to return it. Offering a good return policy is one way to ensure that your customers are satisfied with their purchase. Your policy should be easy to understand and include any important information potential customers need to know.
5. Use quality materials
If products are made with low-quality materials, they're more likely to break or malfunction, which can lead to returns. Using quality materials can help reduce the number of returns you experience.
6. Test your products before shipping them out
It is very important to test your products first to see if they work or not. This is especially true for products with electrical or moving parts such as mobile devices or appliances. Not only do you need to test these products, but you also have to make sure that all the pieces or parts of the product in the box or packaging are complete before shipping them out. By adding this to your shipping process, you will receive fewer customer complaints and reduce your number of returns as a result.
7. Communicate with customers
If customers feel like they're in the dark about their purchase, they're more likely to return it. Communicating with customers throughout the buying process can help reduce the number of returns you experience. Make sure you keep customers updated on the status of their order and let them know if there are any delays.
8. Offer discounts or incentives
There are times when you will have incomplete orders or missing pieces due to human error, and if this happens customers have the right to get upset and return all the items you sent them. Instead of accepting the returned item right away, try giving them a refund but allow them to keep the item as well. On top of that, you can also offer a discount or an incentive for their next order.
9. Train your employees
If your employees are properly trained, they'll be able to handle the entire shipping process smoothly and deal with customer complaints more effectively. Additionally, they will be able to offer solutions that can reduce the number of returns. For example, if a customer is not happy with the color of an item they ordered, your employee could offer to exchange it for a different color instead of returning the item altogether. This way, the customer is still happy and you avoid having to process a return.
10. Keep track of returned items
If you keep track of which items are being returned and why, you can start to see patterns emerge. Reducing returns can be a challenge for any business, but following these tips can help make it a little easier.