Tips to reduce e-commerce returns

There are many bugbears when running your own e-commerce business and one of the top ones must be dealing with returns! Read on for tips on how to reduce your time spent processing returns, to free up your time for the fun stuff, and the activities that make you money!

Online shopping is a convenient, fast way to access a huge range of products, putting the world at consumers’ finger-tips. However, the rise of online shopping comes with some obstacles for e-commerce customers. Our tips will help you avoid these obstacles becoming a problem for your customers, and in turn reduce returns to your business.

Providing accurate product information and images

Inaccurate descriptions, size guides and imagery of products can mislead your customers and result in an inconvenient return, and potentially a negative review!To reduce the chances of this happening, take a look at our suggestions below:

  • Offer detailed product descriptions: By providing your customers with a comprehensive overview of the product, you give them every opportunity to make a more informed purchase. List materials used in your product, any special features and care instructions. The more information provided, the better!
  • Feature plenty of accurate product images/videos: Presenting your products in the most true-to-life way is a great way to increase your customers’ satisfaction. Colours can be easily distorted by bright lighting when photographing a product, while inadequate lighting can also have a harmful effect on displaying items accurately (and makes your website look amateur). Use plenty of different images of the product taken from different angles, on different models (if applicable).

A video is a great way to capture the essence of your products in a fun, interactive way. Whether it is the scale of a household product or the way a material moves on a model, video is a powerful tool in your marketing. There are some great examples here!

  • Provide a size guide or dimensions: When you include exact dimensions or an accurate size guide, you reduce the chances of people returning items that don’t fit. This is of course a big problem for many e-commerce clothing business owners, but if you can establish a standardised system you stand to gain repeat customers and reduce returns.

Allow customer reviews on your e-commerce site

By encouraging dialogue and engagement on your site you can increase sales AND reduce returns. A review section on a product gives a potential buyer another viewpoint, one considered less biased and so more valuable. A well-managed review section can bolster a product’s reputation and encourage sales. The extra information and personalised customer experience of a particular product can help inform a potential buyer in a way that a description cannot. Customer feedback can also be harnessed to make a product more consumer friendly. Plus aligning your product development with feedback is a very good way to ensure you are on the right track and giving people what they want. Some review widgets and integrations also allow for customers to upload photos and/or videos, which can also better inform a potential customer.

Answer queries swiftly before a customer buys to ensure your product meets their needs

If potential buyers have a question about a product, they are already interested enough to engage – which is a great sign! However, if you do not respond in a timely manner to such queries, impatient customers may purchase something unsuitable anyway, or worse, go elsewhere! By offering clear channels of communication, such as a live chat feature, you create open dialogue and get a chance to answer any questions and put any doubts to rest, converting potential customers into happy shoppers! With a swift response you also limit the chances of a return.

Returns are inevitable – buy a parcel box so you don’t have to spend your time opening the door to the courier

Despite your best efforts, returns are still likely to remain a part of every e-commerce business owner’s daily life. So why not invest in a simple solution to inevitable returns with a parcel box. The perfect way to safely store any returns, with no need to worry about delivery drivers carelessly disregarding valuable stock on your business’s doorstep!

Available in different sizes to accommodate all business needs, the  Penn Parcel Box offers a simple, secure solution to house your returns. There are a range of models and colours, which can be fixed to walls or the ground for added security. The new rear-opening model can be installed into an exterior wall or boundary for a space-saving solution that is even more secure, as the storage compartment can only be accessed within your grounds or property.

By employing the above techniques you will have fewer returns to worry about in the future. However, if you would like a practical solution to the unavoidable issue of returns in your e-commerce business, take a look at the Penn Parcel Box range today. 

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