Making the Direct-to-Customer Returns Process Easy and Painless

operations-summit-2014-300-65How do you make your returns process easy and painless for direct-to-customer orders?

We asked this question to three direct-to-customer retail executives who will be speaking at Operations Summit 2015, which will be held April 14-16 in Louisville, KY. And here is how they answered:

Catherine Bickel, Director of Operations, eBags

CatherineBickel_WEBeBags offers free returns – no matter the reason – for up to 30 days. We never want the returns policy to be a deterrent from making a purchase, so we allow the customers to change their mind without penalty. The customer simply has to log into their account on, select the item they wish to return, and we will provide them with a free return shipping label on the spot. Once the shipping label has been returned back to the warehouse, we will automatically initiate the credit back to the customer’s account.

eBags puts a lot of energy into preventing the return to begin with by giving the customer extra details. Outside the standard product description and images, we photograph the product with a model to show scale, we have a 360-degree spin camera to rotate the product image on our website, we shoot product videos, and have collected over 3 million customer reviews.

Chip Edgington, Executive Vice President, Operations, FULLBEAUTY Brands

Chip_Edgington_Headshot_WEBAt FBB, we see the returns process as an integral part of the overall customer experience and have subsequently focused a lot of attention here over the past number of years to ensure it is seamless. We want the customer to feel comfortable as she is making a shopping decision so that, if a return is necessary, it will be worry free.

A self-adhesive return label is integrated into our invoice and is easy to remove and use; our shipping bags can easily be reused, and have a a peel-away adhesive strip for simple resealing of the package; and finally, as part of our partnership with FedEx SmartPost , our customers can easily place their packages in the mailbox for pickup vs needing to drive to a drop-off box or mail center.

Trent Funk, Chief Operations Officer, Saddleback Leather

TrentFunk_WEB_NEWEvery interaction, including when something isn’t quite right, assumes the best of the customer. Returning an item to us is as simple as contacting a customer service guru, printing the return authorization and dropping off the package within 30 days of purchase. It is a no-hassle process.

Before that, building the highest quality product (100 Year Warranty) and driving the best information on our website goes a long way to have customers feel confident in making online purchases without touching the product beforehand. Hassle-free returns aren’t a gimmick, they are one facet of an overall philosophy of respecting our customers.

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