Did you know that over 38% of shoppers are planning to return a gift they received this year? A survey by RetailMeNot found that the high percentage of people returning gifts is supported by retailers offering generous returns windows. Considering this, you shouldn’t be surprised if your business starts seeing a high influx of returns soon!
So how can your business deal with the post-holiday returns rush that is coming its way? Here are 4 quick tips to get you started:
1. Make Your Returns Policy Available Everywhere
As a customer, do you know what are the most frustrating things about retailer return policies? They are full of jargon AND hard to find!
If you want your customers to have the best customer experience, first, ensure that the returns policy is clear, easy-to-understand and free of jargon. Try to avoid confusion of any kind. Second, place your returns policy in every conceivable place where your customers can access it. In addition to having it under the “Returns, Exchange and Refunds” tab on your website, you can place it on each individual web page or include a highly visible link to it under product descriptions. For brick-and-mortar stores, consider placing a print of the returns policy in highly visible areas such as near the check-out counter or the entrance.
With this slight tweak, your customers won’t have to jump through loops or pore over pages and pages of jargon to return a product. The ease of returns will translate into higher customer satisfaction which means increased brand loyalty for your business!
2. Train Employees to Reduce Returns Fraud
According to an NRF report, on average, 8% of returns are fraudulent. Annually, retailers lose $18.4 billion to merchandise returns fraud. Sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it?
Returns fraud occur in many ways – from fabricated receipts to switching price tags on returned products. That’s why it is highly important to train your staff to deal with fraudulent returns. The first step in training your staff should be helping them understand the returns policy clearly. Ensure that they know what kind of returns are acceptable. Train them to look out for suspicious signs such as fabricated receipts.
Although you cannot eliminate returns fraud completely, training your staff to handle it efficiently will definitely help you reduce the rate of returns fraud.
3. Promote Exchange & Store Credits over Returns
Returns are inevitable. And the holidays, especially, bring around a big wave of gift returns. However, this doesn’t mean you have to lose precious sales dollars over returns!
You can encourage your customers to exchange the returned product or opt for special deals or store credits. The result? Despite a few lost dollars, you will still come out on top as you will have made a sale and kept the customer engaged.
Still wondering if it’s the right strategy for your business? Here’s some food for thought. A study by GE capital found that store credits reduced customer turnover rates by a whopping 72%.3 Now that should be enough incentive for you to consider offering store credits for returned products!
4. Offer Flexible Returns Options
A recent report from Forrester revealed that the fear of returns has outright discouraged online customers from buying online.4
Now the question arises, when the fear of returns governs the minds of the consumers from making a purchase, how can you motivate them to buy?
Today, customers look for convenience when they shop. And this need for convenience extends to the return process too. The Forrester report also highlighted that three out of five French, U.K. and U.S. adult online shoppers prefer retailers that offer free return shipping.5
So the answer is simple, offering flexible returns options is one of the easiest ways to provide customers the convenience they seek. Along with free return shipping, reverse logistics solutions such as scheduled pick-ups from customers’ homes and curbside drop-offs are worth consideration. The option to return products bought online in physical stores and vice versa adds flexibility too. And what’s more, such options motivate customers to shop from your business!
According to a report, 66% of U.S. shoppers said they’re more likely to purchase an item online when it can be returned to a local store.6 This stands true for retail giants such as Best Buy. The company allows customers to return the items they purchased online at any of the Best Buy store that’s currently open across the country. Needless to say, such a flexible returns policy motivates customers to shop from the retailer again and again!
To deal with the surge in returns, you need a trusted reverse logistics partner. G2 Reverse Logistics can help. We handle the returns so you can focus on the goal that matters to your business the most – customer satisfaction.
To learn how we can help you manage returns spike, schedule a call today.