How To Reduce Returns For Your E-Commerce Store

By Paul Wynter nov 6th, 2020

Understanding the before and after of a return is one of the most important things you can do if you want to improve both your customer satisfaction rating and your bottom line. When you have a solid grasp on how your customers are using your website and which elements cause them to either purchase or return, you can make adjustments that promote the former and reduce the latter.

Here are a few key factor when thinking about returns:

Size Guide

Size and fit are important. Whether it's a dress, suit or pair of shoes, your customers must be satisfied with their purchase. But many times online shoppers are left disappointed when they receive the wrong size. To keep return rates low, you need to ensure your customers order the right size from the start. That's where a size guide comes in. A size guide is a simple tool that can help negate returns by showing customers that your clothing will fit them.

A size guide is a must in certain e-commerce categories such as apparel. If you’re selling clothing, you need to find a way to get an accurate size for each garment you plan to sell. A sizing charts at the top of each product page are designed to more accurately identify sizes than the “One Size Fits All” chart. Try taking your own measurements for each product before accepting returns or sending out new items.

Quality Product Images

Before attempting to sell a product via an online store, it’s essential to obtain high quality images of the product. It is easy for customers to purchase a product online, only to return it because of a bad image. Offering highresolution product images with crisp, full shots and different angles that can be positioned to focus on a specific part of the product.

Return Policy

No matter how great your products are, it will happen at some point: some customers will make returns. Understanding why some people return goods to a store is crucial to reducing the amount of returns that come through your doors. A simple and easy return policy is a major step in reducing your returns.

Clear Return Policy = More Sales

When customers know they can freely return or exchange an item without any hassle, they are more likely to purchase. A good policy consists of clear notice on the receipt, effective use of signs around the store, and a streamlined process for returns. It’s very important to have clearly written policies on what types of items can be returned and when you can return them (no matter how long ago the purchase was made).

Customer Service

Customer service is not only about how you treat your customers when they are visiting your store, but how you take care of them when they leave with their purchase. The secret to reducing your store's return rate, and increasing your store's profitability, is easy: Provide excellent customer service. You can do this by offering your customers a wide range of products to choose from at low prices, and by providing efficient service when they shop in your ecommerce store. If you follow up with your customers quickly and efficiently, you will find that you have fewer returns.

Product Descriptions

Product descriptions can be a powerful tool in helping to reduce the number of returns that occur when your customers receive their products. By using descriptions that describe how well the product will serve the specific needs of the customer, you are helping the customer along the buyer journey. Creating unique and accurate product descriptions not only helps to inform the customer, but it also helps eliminate any misunderstandings or doubts that may arise when using the product for its intended purpose. As the product descriptions have such an effect on buyer behavior, they can be vital in reducing returns overall for your store and boosting customer satisfaction.

Shipping and Fulfilment

One of the best ways to reduce returns is by shipping your products out on time. If items are backordered or not shipped within a certain timeframe, customers may feel like they can’t count on you to keep your promise, and might be more likely to return a product because of this uncertainty.

That’s why it’s so important to always use email or SMS (text message) notifications for all shipments—whether they’re on time or delayed—to communicate the progress of an order. There are many retailers that are increasing repeat purchases by focusing on the delivery process as well as customer service after the sale. One of these tactics is shipping products on time.

Serial Returners

When it comes to returns, there's a key factor that all ecommerce businesses must deal with in today's market; serial returners. Serial returners are customers who repeatedly return items, for any number of reasons, with the end result being that these individuals have now cost your e-commerce store money. As an ecommerce business owner, this can be a tough situation to deal with as you don't want to damage customer relations - but ultimately the costs associated need to be covered. The main problem is what to do with repeat offenders?

Although some returners think nothing about doing this, the majority have genuine reasons for returning purchases. Serial returners can be avoided by monitoring common mistakes made when returning items.

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