045. Taking Back the Return Policy (An Exchange)


released May 11, 2021
(recorded May 8, 2021) - 1 hour, 38 minutes

Returns. The Cost. The Customer Satisfaction. The Financial Loss.

main sources: mytotalretail.com / doddle.com

Too much time is spent focusing on the customer journey up to the point of purchase, but very little attention is given to the post purchase experience. Having a superior return policy can drive customer loyalty and repeat sales.

75 percent of respondents feel retailers should be doing more to improve their returns experiences
86 percent said that a positive returns experience would encourage respondents to shop with the same online retailer again

The research also demonstrated that consumers’ perception of the returns experience often comes down to three Cs: cost, communication and convenience.

66 percent of respondents say that they desire free returns, as in, the retailer pays for the return shipping
Currently, only 35% of shoppers reported that free return shipping was available to them
57 percent saying they would reconsider shopping with a retailer if they had to deal with a restocking fee.
33 percent said it was annoying to have to talk to a person in order to initiate the return process. They wanted an online option.

Consider that 85% said that easy returns were important to them. Meanwhile 86% said that payment choice was important, and 86% said delivery options were important to them.

31% said they want you to include a return label.
28% said they want more than a month to send back the return.

57% of those over 55 years old want reusable/resealable packaging
41% of those 18-24 years old want reusable/resealable packaging

21% of shoppers have NOT returned anything in the last 12 months

25% of shoppers said they returned something they purchased or were gifted in the holiday season.

Some thoughts:
Returns are the bane of internet retail.
Returns can simply mean "I changed my mind", or "I found a better price".

The buyer will muse: "Well, if I don't like it I'll just return it".
For jewelers, you have to check with your insurance company to see if they will insure returned item. If you are using shipping services from Jewelers Mutual, then find out if they can also do the returns. Can a return shipping label be preprinted that allows you to be charged only if it gets used?

Another Report, from salecycle.com, states that 33% of online retailers offer free returns but offset the cost of this by charging for delivery.
20% of retailers said they’d increased the price of products to cover the cost of returns.

Another report, from mhnews.com:
67% are likely to add items to cart to receive free shipping
93% say they will look at the shipping costs attached to the original purchase. Amazon has spoiled everyone with free Prime
77% said delayed order arrival would influence future purchase decisions with an e-tailer. Which means your website needs to do its best to predict when a package will arrive, and your staff must understand the importance of getting a package out the door when an order is placed.

According to the Global Webindex, 2019...
30% of purchases in the accessories/jewelry category were returned. This is a good number to keep in mind for your jewelry ecommerce site.
64.2% of shoppers return an item because it did not match the description or customer expectations. This issue is another clear indicator that your jewelry website needs amazing descriptions and photos. Make sure to include photos with a size reference. The more information you provide them up front, the less likely you'll have a return. Would you rather spend an extra hour writing a better description and taking more photos? Or would you like to spend that hour processing the return and losing out on the sale? The choice seems obvious.

In 2017, a UPS survey showed that 68% or shoppers read the return policy before making the purchase.

Another study:
from ecloss.com, this study has much of the same information, but it did surface this point:
Customers who had free returns increased their spending by 158 - 457%.

Action Items:
Put your returns policy on different pages of your site: Home page, all your shopping cart pages, product pages, printed on the receipts, in the emails you send them after they purchase.

Although your policy for in store returns might demand the original receipt, for online purchases, the customer will want the convenience of showing you proof of purchase by way of an email, a screen shot, a test message, or a copy of any payment notification you sent them.

Honestly, with ecommerce, you already have all the purchase information at your fingertips. In reality, all you would need is someone's ID to prove that they are the person who made the purchase.

Customers want to be able to track the package while in transit back to you. If you are providing them with a return shipping label, make sure they can see the tracking number on the label and they know where to go to track it.

Notify the customer via email when you get the package back. Even if you don't open it, you should notify them that it has arrived.
Notify them again once you've checked in the item and are issuing the return, or you are telling them why you can't accept the return. If you are accepting the return, then your email should also indicate how long it will be for them to get their money back.

Remember that payment cards will usually side with the customer. Even if you don't want to accept the item back, once you have it back in your hands the customer could request the chargeback. If you have a high value item being sent out, you might want to take a photo with your smartphone showing how you have packaged it up. When you get the item back, your unboxing and check in procedure should include taking photos of how it is packaged. You might need those photographs to help you with a claim.
With more local people buying online, you can include an extra note inside the package which invites the shopper to visit the store in person for the fastest method of return. If they visit in person you have a chance to convert their return into another purchase.
AT: 05/11/2021 09:04:30 PM  

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