E-commerce return is the process of returning a product previously purchased online by a customer to the retailer in exchange for another item or refund. Since most online buyers cannot touch or feel the product prior to making the purchase, they are buying blindly while having it at the back of their minds that there are lenient return policies available at their disposal to make a return in case they are not satisfied with the product.
E-commerce revenue is expected to increase to $2.1 trillion in 2018 but an estimated one-third of all online purchases are usually returned. Statistics show that 20% of apparel and soft goods are returned and 50% of expensive products bought online are normally returned. E-commerce retailers spend about 8.1% of their total sales revenue on the reverse logistics of returns including accepting back damaged, unwanted, spoilt or fake products.
In most cases products are returned for various reasons such as a damaged product, wrong item, products not matching their online description, items damaged in transit, fraudulent returns, or product of different colors and sizes from what was originally ordered by the customer on the e-commerce platform.
What gives you an edge over others especially in the minds of your esteemed customers is how you efficiently manage your e-commerce returns policy. The success you will record as an e-commerce seller is dependent on the effective e-commerce returns policy because it will go a long way in preserving your customers’ loyalty and retention. This will, in turn, boost the profitability of your business.
The best way to have a mastery of your returns policy is by fortifying yourself with the most relevant e-commerce returns facts. Some of these are listed below:
The statistics below show the major reasons behind returns:
While drafting your e-commerce returns policy, it is pertinent to know the numbers of buyers that are interested in reading it. The content of the returns policy influences about 80% of your sales and also about 62% of buyers will actually take their time to read the content before taking a decision on whether or not to buy from your e-commerce platform.
Generally, returns are never a good omen for any e-commerce seller but there is no way you will avoid experiencing it in your business entirely. However, you can limit it if you can make the process of e-commerce returns not difficult for your buyers on your e-commerce platform. Owing to this reason, in the course of designing your return policy, the following tips must be borne in mind. They will create an avenue to provide your customers with services that will make you enjoy their repeated patronage and earn their long-term loyalty.
Offering your customers a difficult experience when returning products will prevent them from patronizing you in the future. However, a good refund policy influences purchase decisions, especially if customers are not 100% sure at the checkout. A comprehensive e-commerce return policy can make or break a sale or turn a visitor into a lifetime customer. As an e-commerce retailer, how a potential buyer’s common question regarding what you will do when they make returns is the biggest contributor to a sale.
A return and refund policy is the agreement that informs the customers about your policies regarding the returns and refunds. It should include the following information:
• How many days they have to return a product• How the refund will be received by the customer (either credit or product's replacement)• Who will pay for the cost of shipping to return the product?
The return and refund policy will create a traditional policy for your e-commerce store. It is imperative to have a return and refund policy page on your platform where the customers will be informed about their rights to refund. These 3 legal agreements must be embedded in the return and refund policy of your e-commerce platform;:
1. The return and refund policy agreement: this will inform users about your policy on returns and refunds.
3. The terms and conditions agreement: this agreement will allow you to set the rules and guidelines for the users when they register an account on your e-commerce platform.
It is generally believed that retailers with hassle-free return policies record greater sales and profit.
A clear return, refund, and exchange policy indicate that you, the online retailer, stand by your product and pride yourself on a stellar customer service experience. By creating a comprehensive policy for returns and exchange you will instill confidence in yourself, business, and your products. Trust and confidence have a great impact on your bottom line as an e-commerce retail seller.
E-commerce retailers are extensively advised to adopt simple, transparent, and generous return policies that boost customers’ confidence and trust. Customers’ confidence can be improved and boosted by adopting automated online product returns that is devoid of fuss.
With complete automation, buyers are expected to visit your website and are able to process a return in just a few minutes. Empirically, a customer-focused returns policy has great influence on repeat purchases and customer lifetime value. Having developed a comprehensive return policy can ultimately reduce the resources you spend on returns and gain customers loyalty and patronage.
To help you build and stand in your return policy you need to negotiate very attractive shipping prices with your courier(s) or shipping solution. Here at Fetchy, with no engagement and no subscription you can enjoy of very competitive prices with top domestic and international couriers, so you can be assured to respect your standards without killing your margins.