It’s no secret that good returns are good business, especially in the eCommerce space.
Customers are understandably hesitant to risk purchasing a product they can’t interact with in real life without some way to get their money back, but it makes it difficult for you to know which transactions will turn into returns, let alone plan for the inevitable deluge.
Even so, your frictionless returns process is the key to excelling at online retail sales.
Signs That Indicate Returns Success
There’s not an eCommerce retailer that doesn’t wonder if it is doing all it can to curb the tide of returns. However, they don’t all worry that they’re doing this in a way that appeals to and even helps their customers.
Even though returns management isn’t the most fun part of being a retailer, here are a few signs to watch for that should indicate yours are helping your business:
- Your customer churn is low. It takes money to bring in new customers, but convincing existing customers to buy again and again is easy if they have had good experiences.Although making it easy to buy is definitely important, making returns painless is a big part of the equation. Low customer churn is a sign you’re doing things right!
- Your return policy is liberal, but your return volume is low. Low is a relative term when you’re talking about eCommerce, but you should already have some idea what your particular sector’s return rate is on average.Returns are far more often your team’s fault due to mistakes ranging from mispacking to faulty descriptions on your site. If you’re asking the right questions when people send things back, it not only improves their experience, it helps you tighten up your game.
- Customers become loyal brand advocates. When policies are right for shoppers, they’re right for everybody.Not only will those customers continue to buy from your store and let you know when things aren’t right, many may become converts and start telling the world. Brand advocates, as these people are known, are highly influential among their circles, breaking down barriers to purchase for people who haven’t even seen your website yet!
Spending a lot of time on returns management might not have been something you pictured when you first got into eCommerce, but it’s an inevitable side effect of selling things that can’t be previewed in person.
That’s ok, though, you can use returns to your advantage. Instead of being heavy-handed, give your customers 90 days to return things, for example. You’d be surprised how many will decide not to send back something they weren’t just thrilled with initially due to the endowment effect and how cooperative the ones who do initiate returns become.