eCommerce return rates are a major concern for most of the eCommerce brands. When a customer returns a product, it leads to a loss of operational costs. Most of the companies these days offer free returns due to the competition in the market. However, it also leads them to bear some losses due to eCommerce returns.
But how can you minimize your eCommerce return rates? Performance marketing tools can help you determine what’s working and what’s not working in your marketing strategy. In this blog, we will give you detailed information about eCommerce return rate and the best strategies to reduce it.
What is an average eCommerce return rate?
The average return rate eCommerce is approximately about 20-30%. The average eCommerce return rate varies from industry to industry. The most common reasons for eCommerce returns are size or fit issues, color variation, received a damaged product, the product is not what they expected, etc.
Also, as per statistics, 54% of customers say that free returns or exchanges are one of the main reasons they buy from a brand. Thus, it becomes important for eCommerce brands to have a generous return policy.
Best strategies to reduce eCommerce return rates
In this section, we will tell you the best strategies that you can implement to reduce the eCommerce return rate of your business.
1. Use high-quality images
The advantage and disadvantage of eCommerce is that everything is online. Customers can just see the products virtually and have to assume how the product actually would be. Thus, it’s important for eCommerce businesses to upload high-quality images of products.
Posting high-resolution images is one of the best ways to reduce eCommerce return rates. Try to upload product images from different angles to give an accurate idea of the product to customers. When people are sure what to expect from a product they can make the right decision for themselves.
2. Add detailed product descriptions
Product description consists of the features, benefits, directions to use, and ingredients of a product. People read product descriptions to know more about the product. Many times businesses write compelling descriptions which often leads to consumers setting higher expectations of the product.
As an eCommerce business, you must ensure that product descriptions are accurate and up-to-date. Don’t confuse customers and try to provide exact dimensions and results they can expect from a product. Refrain from putting misleading information. For example, get a 3X brighter tone in one use. When consumers don’t get what they expected they tend to return it due to a 7-day exchange policy which most brands offer.
3. Upload product videos
Uploading product videos is a good way to give customers an idea of your offerings. You can show them the complete view of your product and how it looks in real life. If you think to reduce eCommerce return rates, you need to invest in high-quality cameras then that’s not the case.
You can use a normal quality camera or phone camera to upload the video of the product. You can also create explainer videos in which you can show how to use the product and its best use cases.
4. Provide accurate size guides
You must provide a size guide in the description of your product. A size guide helps people select the appropriate size of the product and mitigate the chances of eCommerce return rates. Sometimes customers end up ordering the wrong size due to confusion in different sizes of US, UK, and Euro. Thus, you should provide a guide that helps them select the right size by comparing it with US, UK, and Euro sizes. Tell them what exactly they need to select if they fit into a particular size.
You must also provide instructions to help people measure their size themselves. In case, they are confused, you should tell them how they need to take measurements to find their exact size. You can put a size-based review listing as well in which customers who have already made the purchase can tell if the size was too small, fit, or too large. This information can help potential customers to make the right decision.
5. Ask for an exchange instead of a return
According to a report, 57% of customers exchange the item purchased and only 16% of people return the product. Therefore, when people request a return, you should provide them with an option to exchange the product instead. This way if they’re planning to return and order the appropriate size of the product, the time consumed in this process is reduced.
However, if your product return service is too long this might lead customers to find another retailer. You must try to offer a seamless return or exchange process. You can also get an app developed by Mobile App Development Company Dallas to manage the exchange and return process easily.
6. Reward customers for providing reviews
Customer reviews on products can help other prospects to know the experience of your customers. Positive reviews can encourage other people to make a purchase. Most of the time brands struggle to get reviews from customers simply because customers don’t want to waste their time.
Getting reviews is important for a brand but not for customers. Thus, you need to offer something special to customers to encourage them to put reviews. This doesn’t mean you need to offer something big like a 40% discount it can be as small as 5 or 7 reward points. You can give reward points to customers which they can redeem on their next purchase.
7. Improve your security check
One of the major reasons for eCommerce return rates is receiving the wrong item. Sending the wrong item not only causes monetary loss but loss of customer’s trust as well. It impacts the overall impression of a brand.
When a customer receives a wrong product, they go online and write negative reviews about it. This makes prospective customers skeptical about your brand. They might reconsider their options and choose another brand.
Therefore, it’s crucial for eCommerce brands to set up a robust security check. A technologically advanced security check can help them make sure that they are sending the right items to the customers.
8. Use good packaging
To reduce the return rate eCommerce, it’s essential to ensure that customers are receiving well-packed items. According to statistics, 20% of the returns are made due to the product being damaged. The best way to reduce eCommerce return rates due to damaged products is by packaging the products well.
Packaging must be a priority for brands to minimize eCommerce return rate. Try to include the best type of packaging like bubble wrap, foam, or a double-layered box. Make sure the items that are fragile have a handle with care sticker. Most of the time items are broken during transportation as they are handled roughly.
Ensure your packaging is appropriate and you are taking all the necessary steps. However, after taking precautions, if you’re still getting returns due to damage then you need to consider changing your delivery partner.
9. Ban serial returners
Nowadays, almost every eCommerce brand offers a return policy. This is due to the fact that eCommerce is a highly competitive space and no brand wants to lag behind their competition. However, these days some people have started taking advantage of the return policy. For example, a customer purchases a dress, uses it once, and then returns it.
As per a report, 30% of customers purchase an item because they know they can easily return it and get a refund. Some people also make multiple purchases at the same time so that they can choose when they receive the products. These serial returners can cause a lot of loss to eCommerce brands.
That’s why it’s important to identify these people who constantly keep purchasing and returning items. You can either charge them for delivery or block their account from your website to prevent them from making purchases. For example, Myntra blocks the account of a shopper after they have exceeded the amount of returns.
10. Analyze returns and improve
If customers are returning products it doesn’t mean it’s always due to size, fit, or damage issues. It can simply be due to the fact that they don’t like your product. Therefore, it’s crucial to engage in conversation with these customers and try to find the reason behind the return.
For example, when a customer is requesting a return you must ask them their reason for return. This information will help you gain insights and identify the scope of improvement in your product. From customer feedback analysis, you can find out what expectations your product isn’t meeting and how you can work on those.
11. Implement a long-duration return policy
Implementing a long-duration return policy is one of the best strategies to reduce eCommerce return rates. It might sound inappropriate to implement but the fact is it really helps. For example, when a customer is given a long duration to make a return they fall into the trap of thinking they have a lot of time to return. Then, they eventually forget to make a return request and keep the product. This is also a good way to reduce the eCommerce return rate.
12. Data-driven email approach
A detailed customer analysis can help you identify the customers who are likely to return certain products. When these customers order products you can send them emails about how they can use the product and what are the benefits of it.
For example, a customer ordered a scarf from your brand. Then, you can send them an email with an influencer video showing how they can use the scarf in different styles. This will make them feel confident about their decision of buying the scarf. If you’re struggling to write compelling emails then learn English as an adult and take the best approach to reduce returns.
eCommerce return rates will always exist no matter how perfect your product becomes. As an eCommerce brand, you cannot control returns but you can ensure setting the right customer expectations and offering the best products. It’s also important to keep customers updated after they have placed an order.
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