Things to keep in mind while handling e-commerce returns

Things to keep in mind while handling e-commerce returns

Things to keep in mind while handling e-commerce returns

July 2, 2021

July 2, 2021

Studies have shown that 66% of buyers online check the returns policy before hitting the ‘Buy’ button. They make it a priority to review an online store’s returns and exchange policy before deciding on a purchase. Therefore, to attract customers, it is essential to offer an easy and well thought returns and exchange policy. A well-crafted and effective policy checks off all the boxes on e-commerce must- haves. It is a way of investing in your brand ensuring future stability. A mismanaged and lenient returns and exchange policy leads to drop in the performance of the site/brand.

Best practices to keep your e-commerce returns and exchange policy up to the mark:

There are many retailers that do not have the support or the system of properly managing online returns or exchange. Statistical studies and evidence have clearly shown how a customer-focused e-commerce returns policy can have a positive impact on repeat purchases and customer lifetime value.

We have listed a few practices that will induce stability and growth in handling e-commerce returns and exchange-

1.       Focus on improving order accuracy:

The need for return and exchange won’t arise if customers are given exactly what they ordered for. Hence meeting the expectations of the customers is the first step to avoiding returns or exchange requests. Work on accuracy of product details, size guides and descriptions.

2.       Have a return policy:

Stating and going through with a clear return/exchange policy builds trust in the customers, which increases sales.Therefore having a customer-friendly return and exchange policy is quite important.

3.       Avoid delaying the returns and exchange process:

Time is of the essence. Customers expect their returns and exchange requests to be met within a week or two at the maximum. Easy communication with your customers and a simple policy with a few steps can go a long way in keeping your customers happy and satisfied with your services. Take up the ownership for collecting the product from the customer. Shortage of man-power? Tie up with a third party to like Return Prime to make things easier for you and the customers.


4.       Keep the convenience of the customers as the set goal:

Ensure that your customers are vividly clear on the process and the terms and conditions. Different customers have different preferences and needs. Lay down the policy of e-commerce returns and exchange in a lay man’s language to avoid any confusion. Keep the customers constantly on the loop regarding the status of their return or exchange orders.

5.       Educating your receiving team is as important as educating the customers regarding the policy:

Managing the returns with accuracy can be a tedious task, hence instructing your returns team to manually check each and every product becomes an important task. Using return labels can save a lot of time and energy. There can be times when the team may have to face challenges when it comes to dealing with damaged or misplaced products, to handle such situations, come up with a list of other unexpected scenarios and create a detailed workflow of each scenario.

6.        Seamless internal coordination is the trick to it all:

Communication and coordination makes the returns and exchange process move smoothly. There are different ways of doing this like by writing emails to the different teams, keeping each team updated, forwarding of order receipts and so on. However, at times the volume of returns and exchange can be overwhelming and this is where platforms like Return Prime can step in to make everything run smoothly.


Listen to what your customers have to say

Feedback from the customers helps improve and optimize your returns and exchange.

Dig a little and find out what your customers think about your policy or returns and exchange. Ask, analyse and work towards improvement.

However, remember to keep the survey simple and short as too many questions may overwhelm them. Surveys can be done through in-app via the business app, if you have one, else through emails and SMS where the link to the survey can be attached. 

To sum up, handling e- commerce returns is all about pre-planning and strategizing every move carefully. Ensuring that your team is well trained to handle any challenges along the process and most importantly keeping your customers happy is quintessential.