Getting to frictionless eCommerce

First published by Admin, on 19 June 2020

Returns management

To increase sales figures, a common tactic employed by many successful brands is to continually engage with their existing customers, building rapport with them and encouraging repeat purchases. To facilitate this process, businesses need to exceed their expectations when it comes to the basics: ensuring that orders are delivered on time, and allowing customers to return unsuitable items easily. 

Why it matters
A product return indicates that a customer is dissatisfied with their purchase - although this is a negative experience, it can also be an opportunity to interact with the customer and turn the experience into a positive one. When customers enjoy a hassle-free returns experience, this translates into trust, quality, and value that builds customer loyalty in the long run.

Returns management can be used strategically as a tool for customer retention. This could refer to efforts such as prioritising returns processing, extending free returns, allowing more flexibility for loyal customers, and more. When coupled with other promotional activities, these efforts demonstrate businesses’ sincerity in wanting to provide value to their customers, and may prove to be more effective in building brand loyalty than discounts and sales events, in the long run. 

For an effective returns policy to be implemented, it must first be clearly communicated to customers. Some tips on how to set up an eCommerce returns policy are outlined below:

Make terms easy to find
Place a link to your returns policy in an easily accessible location on your website. 

Keep policies simple and to the point
Preempt customers’ queries in a section dedicated to frequently asked questions, and direct them to this section for more information. Make sure that they know customer service is readily available with a Contact Us page. 

Set clear, easily understood guidelines
Ensure that customers fully understand the terms of your returns policy so that returns can be processed swiftly and efficiently. Terms to highlight will typically include:

  • Returns window - the number of days from receiving the product in which a customer is allowed to make a return or refund. 

  • Returnable condition - the condition that an item must be in for a return to be valid, including provision of original packaging and proof of purchase.

  • Reimbursement options - what customers can expect once their returns have been processed, whether a cash refund, store credit, or a new product

Balance speed, cost and ease of returns
Taking the time to create a returns policy tailored to your business needs can pay off. Having a more liberal returns policy allows customers to have close contact with a brand’s products, and empowers them to give feedback if the item is deemed unsuitable. As such, returns can be used as an opportunity to capture data about consumer behaviour, and can provide insights for planning future releases. 

Enjoy frictionless returns management with blu
With more than 100 bluPort locations islandwide, customers can drop off their returns parcels easily, while going about their daily routine. Cost-effective and speedy, our fast turnaround time enables businesses to receive returned inventory quickly. Our fully-automated parcel lockers are secure and operational around the clock, catering to the needs of time-strapped modern consumers. Learn more about how we can help today.
 

Written by:

Madu Lokan

Madu is a Business Development Manager at blu. He has over two decades worth of experience in various aspects of logistics, including international freight and supply chain planning. Madu believes that strong relationships, innovative solutions, and a customer-first attitude are vital to business success.

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