As the New Year begins and the baubles are once again banished to the loft, unwanted Christmas gifts that are still being boxed back up to be posted off for a return can really add to the January blues. Depending upon your policy, you could still face returns making their way back to your e-commerce business for some weeks to come. How do you manage this efficiently when you’re trying to get ready for the commercial year ahead, and your planning is probably already on Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, Easter, and those other key peak shopping periods?
Establish a clear returns policy
By ensuring you have a simple and concise returns policy which is easily accessible on your website, you can minimise time spent on returns. Establishing a distinct returns window and stating exchange conditions can avoid costly complications when it comes to dealing with customers on this sometimes-tricky matter.
If you have had unfavourable costs incurred or disruptive customers affecting your trade, it is vital to update your policy officially. This will benefit your e-commerce business in 2022, and ensure no time or energy is wasted on a returns policy which is open to interpretation and exploitation of your business. By protecting your policy and ensuring all staff members are aware of the process you can reduce enquiries on the subject and field questions faster.
Have a well-defined returns process
Whether your e-commerce business is big or small, a predetermined system to deal with returns is the best way to streamline the process and offer a smoother, timelier customer journey. Even if a customer is returning an item, it is important to give them a positive experience and interaction with your brand, increasing the chances of a repeat sale. If you have a member of staff other than yourself designated to deal with returns, make sure they are well versed in accepting, reviewing and responding to returns into your business. Allocating time and resource is an effective way to get accountability in this part of your business.
Consistency is key when dealing with returns; ensuring products are unused and arrive in good condition protects your ability to resell the returned item and recoup your costs. A good system is key to reduce the cost of returns to your bottom line and allows more time to focus on sales for the year ahead!
Collect feedback where possible
With higher volume of sales, you can expect a higher volume of returns. This is even truer of the Christmas period, as more purchases are gifts for others and may not be to the recipient’s tastes. However, returns can be turned into a positive for your e-commerce business if you can collect feedback on unwanted products. Feedback on returned items can be used to improve products and increase sales in 2022. So, where you can, ask for the reason for return, and work these opinions into informed, constructive product development. With a newly improved product you will see increased sales and decreased returns in the year ahead!
On a practical level, the sheer volume of returns can really hamper your business’ productivity and ability to focus on fulfilling orders. This further increases the overall impact to your business’ profitability because any issues in fulfilling orders is likely to impact your bottom line. A parcel box may be a cost-effective way to limit the disruption which large volumes of returns could have on your e-commerce business. A range of sizes can support small or large businesses.
The hard-wearing, fully secure, specially designed Penn Parcel Box is sure to be a good investment for your business – a product that you will not want to return! What’s more, all Penn Parcel Boxes come with a 2 year warranty. With a parcel box able to receive and store incoming deliveries and returns, you can save time and energy, giving you more resource to concentrate on business planning, product development, marketing and order fulfilment. Plus, by limiting loss and damage to returned products, you can reduce the impact on your bottom line and guarantee satisfied customers when it comes to reselling the items to more grateful recipients!
We hope this has helped you to tackle returns efficiently and constructively to allow you to focus on serving customers in the year ahead. With the returns taken care of, you can focus on the New Year and all it has to offer your e-commerce business.
For more information on how the Penn Parcel Box can manage returns more efficiently by taking care of your parcels (whatever their size), get in touch with our friendly team on 01424 429 641.