Considering that the return rate for online purchases is significantly high, relying on manual returns is not necessarily the most cost-effective option. Nowadays, the technology to implement a self-service and automated process is easily accessible and, because of this, you can improve the return journey for both your team and your customers!
The lack of visibility throughout a manual RMA process can cause a variety of issues:
- Limitations in data availability
- A lag time in returns
- Lack of accountability for returns management
- Overwhelmed customer service team
However, automated returns can reduce friction and turn the entire process into something beneficial for your eCommerce business! Moreover, providing a self-service, easy return process ultimately leads to an increase in sales and customer loyalty.
Now put this into perspective: in 2021, what was traditionally known as ‘National Returns Day’ became National Returns Week, with an average of 1.75 million packages returned for five days in a row during the week of January 4, 2021! When dealing with such a considerable volume of returns, taking care of each and every one manually can take a toll on shipping carriers and customers service representatives. This is where automation tools come into play! For instance, WeSupply can help create a frictionless self-service return solution that facilitates the return process for your eCommerce business while simplifying the experience for customers.
Learn from bigger brands
“It’s not a faith in technology. It’s faith in people.” – Steve Jobs
Although what works for a business might not work for yours, it’s always a good idea to check out and learn from others and their successes (or failures). For instance, try looking at major retailers’ holiday return policies to understand their point of view and get a clearer idea of what consumers want from bigger brands. This can help you think of long-term strategies for your eCommerce business!
Let’s start with Apple’s holiday return policy: Unlike their standard return policy, Apple’s extended return policy has taken effect ahead of the 2021 holiday shopping season, and the company is advising their customers to start holiday shopping early. More specifically, items purchased between November 1, 2021 and December 25, 2021 can be returned through January 8, 2022, leaving any purchases made after December 25 to be subject to Apple’s standard return policy of 14 days after the original purchase date. Although Apple’s holiday return policy is not perfect, it is more than enough to satisfy customers during this holiday season.
Another example would be Best Buy: when it comes to the online store’s return policy, purchases made Oct. 18, 2021, through Jan. 2, 2022, have an extended return period through Jan. 16, 2022, under several conditions. Items purchased with a third-party contract and holiday products are excluded from this extended holiday returns policy, so additional return logic systems need to be put in place to avoid return fraud.
5 tips to take your return policy to the next level:
If you’re looking for reliable methods to improve customer loyalty and satisfaction this holiday season, look no further than simple, timely returns! We all make online purchases we’re not ultimately as excited about as we initially planned, and your customers are no exception to this. Fortunately, you can use some if not all of the following tips to create a memorable post-purchase experience for them!
Turning to self-service returns means automating efforts for better productivity and overall performance, which will ultimately help you increase customer loyalty over time. Among the benefits that self-service returns offer, we have cost savings, a streamlined customer experience, and reduced loss of revenue to returns!
In fact, 73% of consumers say that they want the ability to solve product or service problems on their own, so enable your customers to send back eligible items purchased during their holiday shopping sessions.