Consumer returns are an expensive part of ecommerce. Whether it results from a malfunctioning product or a client that has changed his mind, the cost of returns affects profitability. It’s not just the lost sale that is a problem, it’s also the cost of processing returns. It involves creating RMA’s (Return Merchandise Authorization), paying for shipping, examining the returned merchandise and then either scrapping the product or trying to resell it at a reduced price. Loss – loss -loss.
If you are in ecommerce, you must do whatever you can to minimize returns. Here are 5 tips.
1. Provide lots of pictures:
Customers cannot physically see the product but providing lots of pictures can give them a better feel for the product. Retailers like Amazon and eBay have done a lot of research on this subject and they now force merchants to provide at least one large picture and nudges them to offer additional pictures as it encourages purchases.
2. Enable product comparisons:
If your ecommerce platform is capable of comparing products, that helps customers make up their mind. Works great for products where specifications are easily segmentable. Computers and electronics are good examples of such products.
3. Testimonials based on usage scenarios:
Instead of just saying ‘I like the product’, ask customers to explain how they used the product. It gives potential customers ideas for usage they may not have thought of.
4. Clear instructions:
If your product requires assembly, provide very good instructions with diagrams and pictures. If possible provide videos and have a help line. Even a forum is acceptable but providing a help line, telephone, chat or email is ideal.
5. Encourage suggestions and feedback:
It helps improve your products and processes. Not only is such advice free, it helps customers establish a bond with the company.
I hope that helps.
Have you tried something unique? Let’s hear it. Use the comment form below and share your ideas.