Know your customers' reasons for returning and improve your purchasing process

We know that nobody likes returns. Neither the ecommerce, because of all the reverse logistics management involved; nor the customer, who wanted to enjoy their product and can't because they have to return it.

But what if you could turn this operational part of your ecommerce into an opportunity to improve your purchasing process? Having an optimised checkout process, with a website that meets the needs of your customers, will help you improve your conversion rate and therefore your sales figures. To achieve this, I will tell you how returns and exchanges can be your best allies.

Let's think about consumers' online shopping behaviour. When a person makes a purchase on an ecommerce site, they have to wait at least a few hours for their product to arrive at home. During that time they are waiting for the product they have bought and when they receive it they want to know if it’s in line with their expectations. Sometimes it may not be: from the size not being correct, to the product not being as expected, to it having a defect... 

In short, when a customer requests an exchange or a return, they always do so for some reason. And it is precisely these reasons that will help you to improve your ecommerce and your own purchasing process. Here are some examples that we mentioned in our State of Returns Report 2023.

A large part of the return and exchange requests you receive have to do with sizing errors. 

If this is the most common reason for your customers, check your sizing guide (or include it if you don't have one in your ecommerce). Provide accurate information about the different types of garments, not just the most generic information. 

To try to reduce returns for this reason, you can also include more, more detailed images and even videos on your product pages. This way the product will be shown in motion and you will be able to see how it looks much better.

Many of the returns and exchanges you receive are related to the fact that it is not what your customer expected.

In this case you can refer to the fabric. On many occasions, when buying a garment, people do not pay attention to the composition of the garment and this is something that determines how it may look. Because a 100% cotton garment is not the same as a linen one. In this situation, highlighting the composition and including detailed images of the fabric are key. 

Also, expand the description and highlight those important elements of the garment that you want the customer to know before buying it. For example, type of washing, drying, etc.

Most of the requests have to do with the product being damaged (or not as expected).

Pay special attention to this reason. Unlike the previous ones, where the customer may have made a "mistake", in this case there is no mistake on your part. The product they have bought has not arrived as expected, it may be broken, defective or it may even be another item that has nothing to do with what they bought. 

If this situation arises, you will have a very frustrated customer who is asking you for a solution as soon as possible. First of all, apologise and solve the problem in the best way according to their needs: a new product, a refund, a gift card? Be flexible and listen to what they need in order to offer them the best service.

If the delivery time and the delivery policy of your product does not comply with what was established by the customer at the time of purchase, Houston, you have a problem.

In this case you are facing a very important problem that, although it is beyond your control because you do not directly manage the logistics, you are responsible because you decide who you want to surround yourself with in your ecommerce. Choose those partners who care about your brand as much as you do. 

Choose partners who care about your brand as much as you do. Don't let an inefficient logistics process destroy the entire shopping experience of your ecommerce, and with it, your brand and your reputation.

As you can see, knowing the reasons for returns and exchanges offers you invaluable information for your ecommerce, not only to manage these requests, but also to improve key aspects of your operations: from your website to your logistics process. 

At Reveni we offer you the solution that will allow you to automate your returns and exchanges process and know instantly and at a glance what are the reasons why your customers return or exchange your products. Make decisions based on your ecommerce data and optimise your operations.

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