You can’t ignore the possibility of returns if you plan to run an ecommerce store. This aspect of your business is actually more important than you might predict. People don’t get to touch or try on products they buy online. Due to this, more than 30 percent of items bought online get returned. This is more than three times higher than the rate for physical retailers. It’s imperative to hammer out a return policy before you start selling things.
Here are some of the top concerns driving ecommerce returns
Build Better Product Descriptions
The best way to deal with returns is eliminate them at the source. Accomplish this by creating better product pages. There are a few major pieces to think about on your pages. First, how accurate and thorough are your descriptions? Do they really give the customer a comprehensive overview of the item? You need to provide dimensions, construction materials, and accurate sizing charts. Photos are also crucial. No one wants to receive a package that doesn’t look like what they bought online. Omitting information will only cost you in the long run.
Don’t Confuse People
You might be inclined to write up a jargon return policy. You’ve probably read one of those at some point in your life. And didn’t it drive your kind of crazy? That’s not what you want people to associate with your brand. Keep it simple. Don’t be deceptive. These principles should always be kept in mind when considering how to build an ecommerce website.
Don’t Make People Pay for Returns
It’s no fun having to pay for someone to ship an item back to you. However, you should do this if you want to retain customers. People tend to consider a return as the fault of the retailer, not themselves. Taking care of shipping costs will help preserve that customer’s loyalty to your brand. This process can be more complex when you’re primarily drop shipping your goods. You will need to coordinate with your supplier if you’re in this scenario.
Have Real-Time Assistance
Part of the return process is ensuring people understand what needs to happen on their end. You need to figure out some form of customer support in order to facilitate this. You can potentially utilize chat bots for this purpose. This will cut down on your expenses and time spent on dealing with returns.
Give Fair Return Time Limits
While it makes sense to offer people returns, it’s also okay to have your limits. Many brands will enforce a timeframe of somewhere between 30 and 90 days to make a return. You don’t want people to be sending goods back to you at all—but especially not after a long time has passed. These items might not even be in your inventory anymore. Whatever you decide to enforce for the return limit, make sure it’s stated at checkout.
Offer Store Credit
Another way to deal with returns is to offer store credit instead. You’re going to need to refund the cost of the item, plus have it shipped back. At that point, it might just make sense to give the customer the amount of the sale price to spend in your store. This probably isn’t applicable for online sellers who deal in highly expensive items. However, it can be worthwhile when your costs are generally on the lower side. Plus, it can help boost customer loyalty.
You can’t expect to find your footing as an online merchant if you don’t have a return policy. Consider these ecommerce returns concerns when organizing your store.