Manage returns and exchanges
Returns and exchanges are a natural part of all retail operations. That is why it is important to have the most convenient solution possible. It is also a good opportunity to follow up with customers and build customer loyalty.
Customers return or exchange
Returns happen for various reasons. A customer may have ordered the wrong size or wrong color, or they may have simply changed their mind. To retain a consistently positive shopping experience, returns should be handled conveniently both for customers and for you as an e-retailer. This improves the likelihood that people will want to shop with you again.
Make sure you have a clear returns policy
- Having a clear policy ensures you avoid unnecessary misunderstandings
- Clarity also generates confidence in terms of customers daring to make purchases from you, as surprises and uncertainties can be prevented by providing clear information
Make it easy to send return items
- Enable own printing of return shipping notes
- Clearly describe how the customer should pack the item
- If it is not possible for you to offer free returns, you can still make things easier for the customer – refer them directly on the website to existing solutions for making returns themselves in a cost-effective manner
- Guides, step-by-step instructions and short videos are also great ways to answer possible questions about returns.
- Use returns as a strategy for increasing sales
- Try to control your returns flow
Accepting returns is expensive. The returns have to be checked and put back in the warehouse, and the money refunded. Returns should be handled as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to satisfy customers. Changes and complaints take a long time for the consumer because the replacement is only sent once the return has been received and checked.
Refund or send a new product
The process varies depending on whether the customer wants to exchange a product or simply return it. In the case of a return, the money is refunded and the goods returned to the stock balance. If the customer wants to exchange the product for a new one, it becomes a new order and is handled in the usual flow.
As an e-retailer, it is important to be transparent with any refunds. Many customers call customer service to ask when the money will appear in their account.
Customer follow-up is an important part of marketing and should be done regardless of whether or not a return has been made. After a return has been completed, you should inform the customer that the return has been received and provide information about a possible refund or when the replacement item will be sent.
Continuous customer monitoring is done to identify areas for improvement in the shopping experience. Target offers to customers who have made a return but have yet to buy a new item, or simply thank them for showing trust in choosing to shop with you and let them know you hope they enjoy their purchase. Customer follow-ups in some form can improve customer loyalty while identifying opportunities for improvement in customer experiences.