Brace yourself for the impending e-commerce returns

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A few days ago families gathered together, exchanged gifts and shared a delicious meal. An eager fourteen-year-old Billy opened up a present to find an old-fashioned tie staring back at him. He took one look at it and knew he could convert this gift into cash to purchase the hottest new video game. It’s time for a return.

The holiday season is undoubtedly one of the most profitable seasons for retailers and online merchants. Yearly targets are often achieved because of the earnings during the last quarter of the year. But how do you keep your customers happy after the holidays?

Outline your return policy clearly

It’s important to clearly communicate your return policy from the start. Keep your customers happy after the holidays with an easy-to-understand return policy with steps plainly laid out. Communication is your best friend here. Offer gift receipts, communicate the 30-day return policy on email receipts or include the policy in every shipped item. You can ditch the legal jargon and simply include a few details for customers wanting to know your return policy.

How long will returns be accepted? 14, 30, 19 days?
How are refunds handled in terms of store credit, product exchange, cash refunds, or credit card refund?
Who is responsible for paying the shipping costs?
How does the product get returned to the e-commerce owner?
How can the customer expect to hear from you once the return is received?

According to a UPS study, 66% of online shoppers take the time to review a retailer’s return policy before making an online purchase. If it’s hidden, confusing or too rigid you are at risk of customers taking their business elsewhere. Return rates are increasing at an alarming rate. In 2015, Americans returned $260 billion in merchandise to retailers, according to according to the National Retail FederationAs e-commerce shopping continues to proliferate, the emphasis on efficient reverse logistics and understandable return policies is required to retain customers. This holiday season consumers will return about $90 billion worth of goods, according to Optoro, a firm that specializes in the business of return shipments.

Real-time reporting

Communication is key to keeping customers happy. Use real-time reporting to monitor return status. Customers don’t want to be in the dark, especially when it comes to returning merchandise. Post-holidays can be just as busy as the holiday season. Real-time reporting tools will keep returns moving seamlessly.

Learn more: How UPS Returns help e-commerce businesses stay competitive

Compile feedback data

Many times customers return an item online because it didn’t meet their expectations. This can be fixed by crafting clear product descriptions and displaying accurate photographs of the products online. Collecting return data can help you understand why customers make returns so that you can potentially prevent them in the future.

Enlist the help of shipment auditing technology

Effective returns management requires top-notch technology to automate the process. As you work to perfect return management processes, Share a Refund works to perfectly audit every shipment processed by your carrier. Share a Refund ensures all shipments are handled with absolute accuracy and that you never overpay for shipping, even when it comes to returns. Share a Refund uses cutting-edge technology to help you save the maximum amount on shipping.

Zappos Vice President of services and operations shared that their “best customers have the highest return rates.” Zappos customers that have the freedom and flexibility to return end up spending the most money. Think of your return policy as an extension of your company. It’s another way for your business to shine and provide customers with a hassle-free experience that keeps them coming back to buy more. Effective reverse logistics processes can give you a competitive advantage and Share a Refund is here to streamline the returns process.

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