Solving Your Customers’ 3 Biggest Return Complaints
It is not uncommon that the deciding factor when purchasing an item online is the merchant’s return policy—and according to The Wall Street Journal, more than 30% of all online purchases are returned by shoppers! Consumers find comfort in knowing their wallets are not liable for their purchase if it’s not what they had in mind. A lenient, easy-to-use returns program is now a necessity for online shoppers.
As an e-commerce merchant, how can you ensure that the return experience is a win-win for both you and your customers?
There are a few simple ways to address the biggest pains shoppers experience when trying to return an item.
1. Returns fees are not included. If you’re like me, I’m sure you have transitioned some of your day-to-day shopping online and will continue doing so. When you attempt to return your unwanted item, you realize that you have to pay out of pocket for the shipping—in addition to the shipping costs you already paid to get it to you! This is certainly a pain point for your customers. Not only is it costing them money, but also time.
Solution: Provide your customers with pre-paid return labels in every outbound order and clearly describe your return instructions directly on the label or packing slip. This solution avoids any manual work for the consumer (i.e., hand-writing addresses, return reasons, codes, etc.).
2. Going to a shipping store to drop off your return package. Who has time to drive around town to drop off their return at a shipper’s retail store? Not me! This issue just becomes an added step in getting the unwanted item back to the retailer.
Solution: Provide your customers with the convenience of dropping their return directly in their mailbox or with their local postal carrier. A few steps to the mailbox and the return is taken care of!
3. It takes weeks to get your money back. When returning an item at a brick-and-mortar store, you’re usually able to get your money back instantly without questions asked. When returning an item to an e-commerce merchant, consumers have to worry about the return getting lost or delayed due to limited tracking and visibility.
Solution: Give your customers peace of mind and credit them back as soon as the return item is accepted at the retail counter or a first vendor scan takes place. If you must verify the content before crediting your customer, you can take it to the next level and minimize customer service calls and unnecessary e-mails by providing your customers with electronic event alerts as the return item travels through the supply chain back to your distribution center. Posting expected delivery dates will also delight customers.
It goes without saying that standardization and simplicity frequently lead to cost savings, and returns are no exception. Simplifying your returns solution will reduce handling costs and can assist in managing the flow of inventory, helping you better forecast your expenses and allowing you to focus on your core business. While these are all great benefits, it really comes down to the customer experience. The easier you are to do business with, the higher the likelihood that customers will continue to come back to your site.
To see DHL eCommerce’s full suite of return solutions, click here.