Optimizing Fulfillment – Part 2: Become a Master of Returns

bagging products for shipment

It’s not only about what’s going out. It’s also about how you handle what might be coming back in. The average ecommerce returns rate lands around 30%…don’t let failed reverse logistics be your demise.

Understand your customers’ expectations

79% of consumers want free shipping

With shipping rates at an all-time high, you may need to adjust your pricing strategy to meet free return expectations and avoid missing out on sales.

Clearly communicate your policy

67% of shoppers check return policies before purchasing online.

Don’t make them hunt for it. Don’t create more questions than answer. Give clear instructions on how to return items and define the timeframe for returns and refunds.

Make it easy

89% of consumers are less likely to shop at a retailer/brand if they had a bad experience returning an item.

Simplify the process by providing return labels in the box and offer convenient options like return in store or to a 3rd party who can reduce your shipping costs with bulk returns…think Amazon/Kohl’s partnership.

Use returns to build loyalty

“Our best customers have the highest return rates.” -VP of Services @ Zappos

According to Zappos, those same customers are also the ones that spend the most money at Zappos and create the most profit. Customers who trust your returns process and the ease of it are likely to return and become loyal customers.

Have a process for reselling or donating rather than wasting

5 billion pounds of returned goods end up in landfills each year.

Consumers today are increasingly eco-friendly and look for brands that promote and support their values. Consider how this can be used to your advantage when creating your returns strategy.  

Avoid returns to begin with

87% of shoppers rate product content as extremely or very important when deciding to buy.

Focus on publishing good product content like accurate sizing charts and detailed photos and videos to help prevent returns.