If the past year has taught us anything, it’s this: Retailers can no longer afford to view returns as a cost of doing business, but instead need to make it a key business strategy driving customer loyalty. Successful retailers are enhancing their returns policies and solutions to make returns a differentiator.
Is your ecommerce returns process preventing customers from returning items – and thus not returning to shop with you again? The answer might be yes. Returns provide the ability to drive repeat purchases, if done right. Make sure your returns processes support this, and don’t instead create non-returners.
With the imperative to reduce returns shipping costs, it’s no wonder SMB fulfillment teams increasingly look for data trends. Patterns can help identify recurring fulfillment errors, which can be eliminated to help reduce avoidable returns. But as the stakes continue to rise, how do you address “unavoidable” returns?
As 2020 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect back on a wild and crazy year in retail, to paraphrase the Festrunk brothers from Saturday Night Live. COVID-19 came in like a wrecking ball in February and March, causing widespread shutdowns that hit retail especially hard, leading to hockey-stick growth in ecommerce.
After the explosion in holiday ecommerce, comes the flood of holiday returns, expected to cost retailers $1.1 billion, twice what it did in 2020, according to data from Narvar. goTRG and Returnly both said Dec. 26 was the peak day for consumers to initiate returns. UPS traditionally lists Jan. 2 as peak returns day for transit of returns.
After parting ways with Amazon last year, FedEx is now jumping deeper into ecommerce returns, much as Amazon did with Kohl’s, by adding Happy Returns bars to 2,000+ FedEx locations, including 300 inside Walmart stores. Unboxed returns will be accepted from 150 different retailers when the program launches at the end of October.
Issues with sizing and color conventions have probably been an issue since the invention of clothes. And with so much shopping now driven online by the pandemic, combined with generally liberal return policies, apparel returns have exploded. New technology solutions and industry standards are both working to solve the problem.
Continuing a growing trend toward making ecommerce returns more convenient and safer for shoppers in the contactless pandemic era, Staples has struck a partnership with Optoro in which the office supply giant will accept unboxed returns from other retailers that will be processed by Optoro. More retailers will come online in January.
Amid a growing reliance on ecommerce post-pandemic, returns are growing rapidly as well. Retailers that don’t analyze the impact won’t stand out from the competition and solidify customer loyalty. Although you must balance costs with customer satisfaction, it is possible to do both. Here are six steps you can take.
While subscription box businesses may not experience the 20% to 30% return rates of ecommerce, they still wrestle with their share, and how they handle them can significantly impact subscriber retention. It is critical to provide efficient, hassle-free service and prompt refunds where necessary. Here are key factors to consider.