Make returns your USP
Younger shoppers are accustomed to deliberately over-ordering, to try items and return anything they don’t like, but since the pandemic older shoppers are displaying similar behaviours, with 49% of online shoppers returning goods in the past year (rising to 60% for 16-34 year olds.)
Giving shoppers an easy returns process, smooths the sales process, with three-quarters of shoppers looking at the returns policy before making a purchase.
But returns have a huge impact on the bottom line, with retailers losing out on £60bn a year, with so many customers returning items.
We previously explored strategies for reducing returns and consumers are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of returns with 71% willing to pay for a sustainable option.
In the early days of online shopping, free returns were a reassurance to get customers comfortable shopping remotely, but now we are all comfortable shopping online, many say that the focus needs to be on profitability and sustainability.
Zara has started charging a fee of £1.95 to return merchandise bought online, Next also charge a fee and Boohoo has followed suit, after its rate of returns soared so high that it led to sales falling, compared with a year ago.
If retailers follow suit and start charging for returns, it will be more critical than ever to get the process right.
Make it simple for consumers to make returns, or lose them.
At Noatum eSolutions we understand the need to balance the cost and operational impact of returns with the customer experience, which is why the customer can start a return with a single mouse-click, in their order confirmation email and retailers have visibility of the process, so they can track re-saleable goods back into stock, through QC, refurbishment and availability for sale.
The return process is automated, to select preferred carriers, in line with your customer promise and to expedite items back into stock. Customers can track their return and request updates at any point, because we know that 92%, who have received a good returns experience, will make repeat purchases.
Customers simply click the returns link in their email confirmation, to start the returns process.
Selecting the order number and items to return, triggers service choices, including return to store, post-office drop-off, or courier collection which, in turn, initiates label print and instructions on where to drop parcel.
Customers can track their return and retailers see reports on all returns in process and back into stock, for resale.