Get Ahead of Returns this Holiday Season

Posted on Nov 9, 2017 By tpawelka Share:

How to never lose a loyal customer due to your returns process ever again.

Sometimes it can be difficult to guess what trends will occur in the online retailer community, but one thing is certain: with the holiday season right around the corner, online returns are expected. According to Bloomberg, about one third of online orders are returned, while returns at brick-and-mortar stores are only 9%. Also, remember that the 2018 UPS rate increases are taking effect December 24, 2017, meaning that the price of shipment prior to the holidays will differ from the holiday return season.

Flashback to the State of Shipping in Commerce

The best way to increase conversion rate is to offer a seamless returns process. In case you don’t remember, our 2017 State of Shipping in Commerce report states that 43% of shoppers would actually shop online more frequently if returns were free and easy. On top of that, 72% of shoppers want free shipping when returning their items.

A Story about Lucy

Picture Lucy. She's one of your most valued customers, and she just received an item from your current catalog today. It fits great, feels great, but whoops, it's just not her color. As she searches through the box her item came in, she's surprised to find out that there's no return label.

A frustrated Lucy then decides to call your customer service line and learns of your labored return process. Unfortunately, an unhappy customer is not a loyal customer, so you don't receive any purchases from Lucy for a while.

Bummer.

Now What? Update that return policy!

According to a study conducted by UPS, 75% of shoppers returned their items back to a store just this year. Retailers that offer a hassle-free returns process can increase the customer experience and ensure repeat business.

1. Offer free shipping. Free shipping for returns is often noted as the most important part of a consumer’s best returns experience.

2. Offer a “no-questions asked” return policy. Often times, many customer don’t even bother to return an item because they don’t want to “argue” with a company over their return reasoning.

3. Offer an automatic credit/debit card refund. When a customer returns an item, they prefer to receive their money back right away, as if they were returning an item in a store.

4. Include a pre-paid return label right in the box. Providing a pre-paid return label allows the customer to return their item with ease.

Sometimes providing free returns is not an option for some retailers, but maybe there are other opportunities. For example, BestBuy gives special return deals to those who are part of their loyalty program. Implementing programs such as this allows retailers to give special discounts on returns to their best customers. Another option is to give shoppers a discount if they choose to “opt out” of returns. An example of this is Jet.com, where if a shopper opts out of their return policy, she gets her item at a lower price.

How ProShip Can Help

Did you know that shipping software actually gives you the ability to offer hassle-free returns? With the correct shipping software, you would be able to produce carrier compliant return labels and instructions in every package you send out.

Never lose a loyal customer like Lucy due to the reverse logistics process. To learn more about how to gain this powerful advantage in the shipping world, download our free white paper on ProShip Multi-Carrier Shipping Software.

Download 2017 State of Shipping in Commerce Report

Sources:
State of Shipping Report
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-03...

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