Tips for Recovering Return Costs in Ecommerce

When it comes to returns, you want to make them as easy as possible for your customers. Over the long term, it can be good for your bottom line as you build a strong reputation among users. However, the short term could prove difficult. Last year, returned stock, overstocks, and out-of-stocks cost the retail industry almost 2 trillion dollars. Luckily, returns don’t always have to translate into a loss for ecommerce sites. Here are some ways you can salvage sales while keeping customers happy.

Offer store credit

Store credit for returned merchandise is a tried-and-true tactic for retailers, and for good reason: it encourages repeat business, and the value of future orders often exceeds the store credit amount. To further incentivize store credit as a return option, consider offering 110% of the original purchase price back as store credit for returns.

Make exchanges easy

Most returns are for minor issues, such as incorrect size or color. The good news is that the customer is likely to want an exchange instead of a refund. The bad news is that can be the most annoying type of product return for the customer – it could take them twice as long to get the item they actually want and come off as a bad experience with your business. Create a way for your customers to quickly request product exchanges and prioritize them in the fulfillment process. Quicker exchanges result in happier customers.

Utilize your store network

If you have brick-and-mortar stores, allow customers to return products to their nearest location. This has many benefits:

  • No shipping costs for the business
  • Gets a customer in the store – where they can opt for a seamless exchange, or perhaps buy a new product
  • Satisfies customers - 83% of consumers say they prefer physical stores instead of the web when it comes to returning items
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