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Proven Ways to Reduce Your Product Return Rate

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DG

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Sep 29, 2022

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7 min read

Product returns are a bane for a company that can hinder its revenue and growth. Fortunately, some effective magical tactics can make a difference. Let's see how you can implement these hacks in your strategies.

Reduce Your Product Return Rate Source: freepik

A higher-than-usual product return rate is something you may sometimes encounter if you've been operating an eCommerce business for some time. Returning products may be a major concern for business owners, leading them to raise prices to recoup some of their lost money. But obviously, that can't be maintained indefinitely as a strategy. Your company needs a better method for handling product returns and improving the customer experience.

Make Sure Every Product Listed Has High-Quality Images and Descriptions

  • Product Images

Too many online postings just include one fuzzy photo of the goods. You can cut down on returns if you dedicate time to reviewing your present e-commerce listings and ensuring each item has a high-quality image, a thorough description, and, if applicable, a video. At the very least, you need four photographs of each product, one from each of the four cardinal directions.

  • Description

For the best possible pre-purchase experience, you should emphasize the product's dimensions, weight, and material in the description. Always use the most up-to-date product descriptions to avoid refunds due to customer misunderstanding or inadvertent overselling. Use the resources offered by various e-commerce sites as a starting point for crafting the ideal product description. Or, it's better to leave this job to us; we have a team of copywriters, A + content writers, and editors who excelled in churning out the best content for your products that can attract customers to your products.

  • Product Videos

Including a short video about your product in a listing doesn't need a huge time commitment or financial investment. To cut down your returns, you should create a short, straightforward video providing a 360° view of the product. An explainer video on the product's usage may improve the purchase experience for customers and make it easier for them to utilize the product once they have it, especially for more complicated items.

Implement Size Guides and Fitting Tools

Review your current size recommendations to ensure they are accurate and user-friendly across all platforms. In this way, you may prevent your return rate from going up as a result of clients buying the wrong size. From virtual room planners that display how furniture will fit into specified measurements and places to a simple slider on the product indicating how it fits on most customers (i.e., fits as expected or fits larger than expected), there is a wide variety of fitting aids available to consumers today. In this regard, a customer-voted "overall size" bar chart will benefit you. Along with a size guide, this provides the shopper with a great visual of how the item will fit.

Adding a size guide or equivalent feature to your product listings will reduce the number of returns you receive due to people buying the wrong size.

Encourage Patrons to Provide Feedback and Provide Incentives for Doing So

You need to establish a fundamental procedure to increase the number of reviews for your business's products or services. Give discounts wherever you can. You might use a free incentive program to encourage consumers to leave positive reviews and show appreciation. It's probably no surprise that 95% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase; this means that positive evaluations have the potential to boost revenue and decrease returns on e-commerce sites.

You may then change your advertising, listing, or email strategies in response to the concerns and challenges that have been brought to light.

Lead the Way in Providing Exceptional Service to Customers

Make it simple for buyers to get in touch if they have any questions or problems with your goods. Therefore, customers won't become irritated, which increases the likelihood that they won't return it. You should also include live chat and instant messaging features to the standard contact channels apart from phone and email. This creates a direct line of communication between you and the client, facilitating the speedy resolution of any issues that may arise.

Make Sure Every Order Is Correct

Inadvertently delivering the incorrect product to a consumer is a problem that all businesses eventually confront. Considering that incorrect items are cited by 23% of customers as the cause for their return, focusing on better order fulfillment is a smart place to begin when trying to minimize the number of items sent back to you. Relying on pen and paper to keep track of orders and deliveries can cost you. Thus, implementing a system to manage orders, pick, pack, dispatch, and delivery is straightforward.

You Should Give Packing Top Priority

Packaging issues will vary greatly from product to product. When deciding on packaging for an item, it is best to keep in mind the item's final destination.

Don't skimp on the bubble wrap and extra-sturdy boxes when shipping fragile goods; packages may get jostled, dumped, or piled on top of one another. Never ship an unmarked or unidentified product to a customer; clearly label the contents and any special handling or storage requirements.

If your customers still receive damaged products, you may assume that the problem is with the courier and not your packaging. This provides you with the opportunity to assess the efficiency of your couriers. For example, if you see a pattern of high returns from a single courier, you should look for a replacement.

Manage Your Stock

You must keep track of all returns processed for future analysis. Try keeping track of returns for a month in an Excel spreadsheet, making sure to mark the return reason if you haven't done so before. After the month, you can look at the numbers and decide where to make improvements.

The necessary adjustments are dependent on the specifics of the situation. A few examples of such concepts are:

  • While preventing consumers from changing their minds is impossible, if this is a common cause for returns, you may need to reevaluate your advertising and customer base. Loyal customers are less inclined to return their purchases.
  • Examine your whole supply chain, especially the delivery unit, to ensure your customers receive the right products.

Take Action Against Repeat Offenders

Companies have gained notoriety for going after customers who return many things at once, taking advantage of more liberal return policies to effectively "rent" goods. People who are serial returners might cost businesses thousands of dollars since they use the product just once, like wearing a piece of clothing, before returning it. According to studies, 30% of consumers knowingly overbuy things so they may return them for a full refund, and 19% of consumers order many variations of the same item so they can make a decision after they have all of their options.

Some of your customers may be "problem returners," which is something to keep in mind if the volume of returns is causing concern. The acquired data must be examined for distinct patterns in order to make this determination. If you suspect any serial returner, you should monitor their purchase patterns so you may warn them or perhaps temporarily disable their account.

Become the Go-to Email Expert in Your Field

Make use of MailChimp or a similar service to set in motion a predetermined series of automated emails to be sent to customers once they have placed an order. Provide detailed instructions on how and when customers may contact you to make changes to or cancel their order before the goods are sent. Links to your various communication channels, including live chat and instant messaging, should be prominently displayed so customers can easily modify their orders without having to call. Customers sometimes forget exactly what they purchased when they reach the payment page; these emails are a fantastic way to remind them and discourage returns due to incorrect color or style selections.

Lengthen Your Returns Policy

Policy return periods often last no more than 30 days. Double or quadruple this if you want fewer returns at your online shop. Increasing the number of days a customer has to return a product reduces the sense of urgency associated with returns. Most returns are motivated by this sense of urgency; therefore, reducing it increases the likelihood that consumers would keep the goods they were originally planning to return (or simply forget about them). This will cut down on the number of returns you get and, in some cases, may even improve your return reasons.

Final Thoughts

Some products will inevitably come back. However, by adhering to the procedures described in this article, you can reduce the number of returns you get.

Expenses associated with returns have a significant impact on annual revenue for firms. These payoffs were often avoidable.

Insights into where issues are occurring can be gleaned by investigating customer returns and their causes. Fixing such issues will make your clients happy.

When customers don't have to send products back, you save money on shipping, repairs, and more. It improves interactions with customers and fosters confidence in your company. Know more about how to overcome your product return problem from our experts. We will advise you on the best possible routes. Contact us now!