The return process can be easy – but it’s not always designed that way. Here are the 8 steps you need to take for a killer return center page that will help you improve the customer experience and reduce return costs!
The return process can be easy – but it’s not always designed that way. In fact, it is often a tedious job for eCommerce businesses and their clients. In order to ensure customer satisfaction when dealing with returns, there are a few essential steps you need to consider.
In this article, we’ll discuss the 8 most important actions you need to take to offer your customers the support they need when proceeding with a return while increasing your sales and reducing your costs as much as possible.
If you run an eCommerce store, then you know the importance of having a great return center page. After all, if your customers don’t feel confident about being able to easily and efficiently return items they’ve bought from you, they’re likely to take their business elsewhere. So if you’re looking to give your return center page a makeover, follow these five steps!
Here’s how you can turn your return center page into a brand loyalty and customer satisfaction generator:
To improve customer satisfaction and reduce return rates, it’s important to make return information available right on your returns center page. If you’re willing to go the extra mile. you can also include your return policy on product pages as well!
If your customers are not completely satisfied with a purchase or gift for any reason, they will be able to review your return, refund, and exchange policies for purchases made on your eCommerce website, but also purchases from third-party marketplaces (including, but not limited to, social media channels – if your business allows), purchases made in online and stores and so on.
Keeping up with the increased customer demand during peak return season is challenging for many retailers, particularly when it comes to online purchases, and we know that a lot of customers might be looking for an extended return policy in case they need to return gifts purchased online.
Considering that 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, there is no doubt that the way you handle returns can make a significant difference in terms of customer experience.
For example, Apple has displayed both their standard and extended return policy on their website to help customers better understand their rights as consumers when making a purchase from them:
More on extended holiday return policy in our article here!
Most importantly, fair use! Did you know that, for every $100 in returned merchandise, retailers lose $5.90 to return fraud? That’s a lot if you ask us!
This is why one thing you definitely need to monitor is your return activity. If you notice an abnormal pattern of return activity or behavior then you may have to connect with your customers about their returns. In this regard, you can reserve the right to limit returns or exchanges in all instances of return, refund, and exchange abuse, and you can choose to have all returns subject to validation and approval before proceeding.
Fortunately, return management systems like WeSupply enable you to set specific return rules and automatically or manually approve them, depending on the circumstances. This saves you time and money, giving you enough control to avoid and spot signs of return abuse or fraud just in time to stop them. One brand that has this area covered is Asos, as you can see below:
Showing the customer a well-documented return policy is undoubtedly a must, but you will find it rare that the customer actually reads it and fully comprehends how it applies to their case.
To solve this issue, in WeSupply’s return center we automatically apply the right return policy to each product and show the customer how many days they have left to return the product. It makes it easier for both online shoppers and your customer support team!
Each item from the customer’s order is clearly presented, along with all relevant return policy information and the number of days left to send back. Since all information is on a product-by-product basis, it gives the customer easily actionable steps throughout the process and avoids confusion.
Not sure what your return policy should contain?
Not sure what your return policy should contain?
It may seem like a hassle for some businesses but offering an online return service can go a long way in making returns as simple as possible. To allow returns online, you need to know what return reasons your customers have made in the past so you can address them preemptively and make sure you offer return label printing or QR return labels. This helps you take a load off your customer support team!
Offering return labels can go a long way in increasing customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, making the whole process more convenient for your customers will create a positive and memorable experience.
Contrary to popular belief, pre-printed return labels don’t deliver that much value to eCommerce businesses. In fact, they usually cost businesses between $0.25 and $0.40 per package, whether the return is initiated or not. Not to mention that a lot of them end up getting misplaced, damaged, etc. That usually means more customer support volume, its associated increased cost, and the need to generate more shipping labels for your customers. To avoid all of this, turn pre-printed labels into scan-based codes autogenerated online! This way, you can make sure only customers initiating a return will get a label, helping you cut down unnecessary costs.
With QR Code return labels, we enable shoppers to easily move from a label that needs to be printed to a printless QR code that they can take to several drop-off locations – and there are a lot!
Scan-based return shipping labels are the better option because:
Another way to increase customer satisfaction with returns is by tracking the results side-by-side with other metrics that are important for your company’s success. Use your Return Center page to collect relevant data so you know what to improve in the future.
It may seem obvious, but many companies don’t collect return data from their buyers simply because they aren’t aware of its value. And even if return reasons are collected, they’re often only processed after the return period has ended. Moving beyond the return center page, a fundamental step for establishing a highly effective return center is to analyze return reasons. When doing so, you can learn the most common reasons for returns and optimize accordingly! This will also increase your sales by preventing future unpleasant incidents.
Here are a few examples to help you better understand the importance of measuring analytics and interpreting results effectively:
Sizing issues – See exactly what percentage of customers are returning products due to sizing issues (too big or too small) and adjust the sizing chart on your website or include hints, such as showcasing model stats such as “model is 5’10” and wearing size S”
Bonus tip: Even offering quick chat support about sizing is more cost-effective and drives a better customer experience than returning a product, so don’t shy away! See below how Everlane offers all this information upfront to minimize returns and improve the customer experience:
Additionally, you can use a solution such as Fit Finder for a better experience. It is a simple, reliable resource for shoppers who want the perfect fit. It captures customer information that can be used by apparel companies in order to improve their products and provide better service! Its intuitive interface enables your customers to make an informed decision on what clothes will fit best, while its robust data capture tools give your eCommerce business invaluable insight into your customers’ wants & needs.
Damaged products – If you have a significant number of customers returning products due to the item being “damaged” make sure your packaging is secure enough. You can also notify your carrier or logistics company when they’ll be handling products that are fragile.
Not as described – Double check if the product description is accurate! On your online store, describe the product as it is and mention all essential details that could help your customer make the best decision.
Wrong color – Double check if the product image on the website is accurately represented and it’s not over-edited by the post-production team.
Bottom line: Get ahead of the issues and you will dramatically decrease returns and improve customer satisfaction!
Not only will automation curb eCommerce return costs, but it will also increase efficiency and overall performance! Instead of spending precious time going through all return requests manually, you can take advantage of technology and automation to decrease workload and improve accuracy.
Automated returns centers and software like WeSupply enable customizable return rules and logics to help you meet customer expectations regardless of the circumstances.
Moreover, you can still choose to check some of the returns yourself in order to make sure no return abuse or fraud is happening. It’s a win-win situation for sure!
Check out the video below to see how simple and effective it is to set your own return rules for your eCommerce website using WeSupply:
Did you know that 47% of shoppers said it’s easier to return an item in a store? Why is that, you might wonder. It’s simple! Because they can get their refund immediately and do some more shopping while they’re there. For your business, it presents the opportunity to drive more in-person traffic! In fact, by giving customers the option to buy online and return in-store, you can win over 38% of customers who prefer to return unwanted items at brick-and-mortar locations.
Why is Amazon is so popular with customers? One of the reasons is that it communicates with them every step of the way, making consumers satisfied with their returns because they were informed when the refund was processed and were able to check the returns status all the way. This proves how being transparent also reduces costs by decreasing the number of support queries from customers wondering what happened with their return.
Turning refunds into exchanges is one way to reduce costs while maintaining trust-based customer relationships. Generally speaking, refunds are expensive, but the real cost is the end of a long-term customer relationship. With WeSupply, you can encourage customers to exchange their product with any item in your catalog, so that you’re able to retain revenue, delight customers, and keep them coming back to your online store. Moreover, you can offer bonus online store credit or gift cards to encourage exchanges. These act as strong incentives to exchange the product rather than ask for a refund.
When to comes to online returns management platforms and returns centers, you need to have certain options to enable you to turn returns into future purchases. For instance, you could recapture revenue using online store credit, and build and maintain brand loyalty by creating a branded returns page!
Here is a checklist with our recommendations for what to look for when choosing your RMA software:
Create a positive returns experience and 92% of customers will return to buy from your eCommerce business. This will help you make future purchase decisions easier for them and increase customer lifetime value!
WeSupply has you covered in all of these areas, making returns simple and convenient for your customers while increasing your chances to maintain and increase brand loyalty.
If you want to learn more about WeSupply and how we can help, check out our eCommerce Returns Self-Service Center and contact us to get your free demo!
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