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Top 5 Ways to Reduce Returns for Your Online Brand

Owing to the Covid pandemic, online shopping is on the rise and so are product returns. Online brand owners often complain of high returns negatively impacting their bottom line. However, there are ways to prevent returns well before an order is placed and increase the profitability of businesses. Here are some of the top methods to implement, to reduce returns for e-commerce brands.

February 9, 2022
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Top 5 Ways to Reduce Returns for Your Online Brand

Returns are an inevitable aspect of running an eCommerce business. According to reports, nearly 30% of all online orders are returned as compared to 8.9% in brick-and-mortar stores. This number clearly indicates how crucial it is for businesses to reduce returns in order to increase profitability and protect their bottom line. The team at Saara interacts daily with hundreds of merchants, therefore here are some go-to methods that the company encourages all eCommerce merchants to follow in order to reduce returns and increase profits:

Use a Returns Management Solution

An eCommerce business owner, you already have a lot on your plate to take care of. So, why not leave your returns process to an experienced? Manual returns handling is a huge hassle – not only does it increase your operational costs but also causes poor customer experience. Therefore, the best solution is to implement a returns management solution into your business that not only manages returns but reduces them too. EcoReturns by Saara is an AI-powered returns reduction and automation solution that enables online brands to reduce returns by an average of 30% and save up to 80% of operational costs. Features such as returns analytics, risk assessment model, intelligent incentive options for customers, and many more help store owners turn returns into a profit centre for their brand.

Improve your Product Listing

Did you know that nearly 64% of items sold online are returned because the ‘product did not match the description?’ Looking at this data, we can clearly point you towards the importance of improving your product listing with the right information for your shoppers. Online shoppers depend majorly on product descriptions, visuals, and reviews to buy products as opposed to physical shoppers who have the advantage of feeling the item or trying out apparel before purchase. Therefore, it’s extremely important you provide your shoppers with the right information through the product listing so that there is no mismatch of expectations later.

According to a survey, 43% of shoppers have stated poor product description as their top irritation when looking for items online, while 48% said their top irritation post-purchase is that the item did not meet their expectations. Add as many visuals as possible of your product, write the correct details, encourage customers to review the product so that your next customer knows exactly what he is purchasing, thus reducing chances of return.

Dig Deeper into Return Reasons

Shoppers return for a variety of reasons. If you are using an intelligent returns management solution like Saara, it would let you customize return reasons that you want your shoppers to choose from. Once your shopper chooses a reason for his return, ask him further questions. For eg, if a shopper chooses ‘did not like product’, ask him further questions on why he didn’t like the product and provide him with multiple options such as ‘item did not fit,’ ‘did not like the colour’, ‘tight from waist’ etc. This will let you understand why exactly your shoppers are returning and you would be in a position to make changes in your product quality accordingly.

If a shopper has returned stating the reason ‘incorrect size’, it would be best to think of a detailed description of each size in your listing. It’s best to display the exact dimensions of your products. In case you sell apparel that you don’t make yourself, make sure your size chart works for different items, and if not, add a separate size chart for each of them.

Incentivize Customers to Retain Instead of Return

Who doesn’t want incentives? Think of innovative ways to offer incentives to your customers that would lure them to keep a product instead of return. EcoReturns by Saara offers AI-powered incentive options to shoppers via store credits or gives them a certain percentage of the product in order to promote retention. Incentivizing shoppers to retain not only reduces returns for your business but also reduces the carbon footprint the return shipment would have caused during transit.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

Often customers return items for the wrong reason which they might not know of. That’s why it’s crucial to provide them with excellent customer support that will help you in reducing returns. You can set up a simple system of offering them a live chat service where shoppers can ask any questions before thinking of returning a product. If there are commonly returned items, arm your team with the knowledge to re-convert customers before they get to the returns stage. It's all about creating a positive experience for the customer. Positive/happy customers return fewer products (and exchange more often).

EcoReturns Features for Returns Reduction

  1. Returns Analytics - Access key returns analytics such as return reasons, return rate, revenue lost to returns, return reasons by product category, demography, and more. Get notified on return trends & take data-driven decisions to improve the bottom line.
  2. Risk Assessment Model - Determine orders with high risks of return with the help of AI and prevent returns in real-time as soon as an order is placed.
  3. Fully Automated Returns & Exchange Portal – Allow shoppers to return and exchange seamlessly with a fully branded returns portal. Communicate return updates to shoppers via text and email notifications and build customer loyalty.
  4. Allow Exchanges - Offer the best kind of exchange option to your customers that suit your business needs. Whether you want to allow exchanges for all items, or exchange with colour/size variant, the choice is yours!

Now that we have shared all the details to reduce returns, it's time for you to take the apt measures to turn returns into a profit centre for your eCommerce store.

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