Surely you have read many reports on how to improve the sales process of your ecommerce such as how to optimise your checkout or which type of discounts can be more eye-catching. But what about after-sales? And reverse logistics? On many occasions the focus on the customer, so present (supposedly) throughout the purchase, disappears precisely when the purchase is made: long processes with a lack of information that become a real headache for consumers.
Therefore, at Reveni we focused on what we do best: returns and exchanges. We wanted to know what brands and customers think about these processes; what their experiences and expectations are. To do this, we asked brands and almost 3000 customers about their returns and exchanges processes, to show that returns can stop being a problem and become an opportunity. How? Let me tell you how.
1. Understand why your customers want to return or exchange their products
The fact that your customer wants to return or exchange a product should not be seen as a threat for your brand. In fact it is something much easier than you think: simply that T-shirt did not fit as expected, or the colour did not fully convinced your customer.
In fact, returns and exchanges can help you getting to know your customer much better and can let you understand what can be improved in your ecommerce as well as giving better insights on your products. This way you can find a solution more quickly.
We analysed the reasons for returns in our State of Returns Report 2023, highlighting that the main reason why a customer returns is because the clothes they buy don't fit as expected (33% of those surveyed said so). Given this, perhaps it's time to review your size guide, improve your product images or even add videos.
2. The importance of offering simple returns and exchange processes
A few months ago, Sendcloud published its E-commerce 2023 Study report in which 32% of those surveyed stated that complicated returns processes would influence them in completing their first purchase. In fact, this is the fourth reason why consumers abandon their shopping cart and do not complete their purchase.
An unclear and long return process can not only decrease your re-purchase rate but it can also influence your conversion rate.
3. Whoever buys from you online also wants to return online
As a result of the pandemic, many ecommerce companies decided to substantially improve their purchasing process. However, hardly any resources were dedicated to improving everything related to reverse logistics. And it is only now that brands are beginning to understand how important it is to take care of this part of the operation.
It is crucial to understand that if a user buys online, they will most likely also want to seamlessly exchange or return goods online. The majority of brands are not fully prepared to offer this, and not being prepared for it can have consequences on their online growth
4. Go for exchanges
We know that returns can be a real headache and can make you feel like you're losing money. But what about instant exchanges instead of returns? If most of your returns are due to a sizing error, make the exchange process quick and easy for your customers. Allow them to easily request an exchange and save time in receiving the product they want. This way you will avoid the customer having to place a separate order and having to wait an infinite number of days to receive the product they want.
As you can see, your returns and exchanges process still has a lot of room for improvement to meet the needs and expectations of your customers. And you still have time to improve them for the next peak season, which is just around the corner.