How To Be MacGyver About Ecommerce Returns

Just how appealing is your online product returns policy for the shoppers that are visiting your store? If customers think that returning products to you is a hassle, they’ll simply take their business somewhere else that makes returns easy. Getting your returns policy and process in order is not rocket science. But it never hurts to have some MacGyver-like tricks up your sleeve in the process. These seven tips can help.

Automate The Process

Did you know that 36% of shoppers want an easy and automated way to return a product to your online store? That’s what the most recent ComScore study for UPS has revealed. Consumers don’t want to fuss with phone calls or confusing return forms.

MacGyver Solution: Studies are showing that more consumers just want to be able to place a return online directly from your store in a few simple steps. Offer them this, and you can win over more customers (including the ones that happy customers bring you via word-of-mouth).

Double The Industry Standard

A quick look at the most reputable retailer return policies is telling. Experts say that the industry’s golden standard is 30-days from the date of purchase. But if you really want to win over more customers, you’ll have to truly set your store apart.

MacGyver Solution: Go the extra mile here for your customers. Instead, double your return policy over the industry standard. Offer 60-day returns to your customers and advertise this on your website in conspicuous places (like the banner, hint-hint). You’d be surprised at how many more conversions you can get as a result.

Feature Pay-On-Use Return Labels

Over 50% of consumers recently polled by ComScore overwhelmingly agree: they want a pay-on-use return label included in the box. This makes it easier for the consumer to send back an item if they didn’t receive what they wanted.

Did you know that in 65% of all cases, the return is your fault, not the customer’s.

  • 65% of returns are due to retailer error, not consumer fault.
  • 23% of online returns are because the consumer received the wrong product.
  • 22% of online returns are due to the product being substantially different in appearance than was advertised online.
  • 20% of online returns are due to the consumer receiving a damaged or a defective item.

MacGyver Solution: Include pay-on-use return labels so that customers can easily send a product back. When you make returns simple and straightforward, you appeal to over 58% of shoppers. And 36% want an easy-to-follow return procedure, too.

Offer Free Return Shipping

One of the largest hurdles that retailers face these days is the cost of shipping. But it’s not just the cost of outbound shipping, but return shipping fees as well. Certainly, there are some retailers who are just too small to ever be able to absorb this cost. But for most retailers sending packages 20-pounds in weight or less, you can slash your return shipping cost by using discount USPS Priority and Express Mail shipping services like Flat Rate Select.

MacGyver Solution: Integrate a discount shipping solution for your domestic packages so that you can offer free return shipping. 68% of shoppers polled in recent studies have stated that this is, by far, one of the greatest determining factors in them doing business with your entity.

Automate Card Refunds

Let’s take a good look at a leading retailer/marketplace to get a better idea of how customers want to see our return process in action. Amazon lets customers easily place a return by filling out a simple form and scheduling return shipping from their Return Center. Once the carrier has scanned the return shipping label, a refund is credited back to the consumer’s account. This is exactly the type of return process consumers desire.

MacGyver Solution: 48% of shoppers polled want an automatic refund to their debit or credit card after the return has been scanned. 37% become frustrated and less loyal to a brand that takes too long to credit back the refund for returns. Make refunds automated and fast to win over more customers and to preserve long term loyalty and retention.

Don’t Charge Restocking Fees

When you buy a product from a local retail store, there usually are not any restocking fees associated with the return. Take for example a store that most shoppers have near where they live, Target. They offer the easiest in-store returns around. There are no restocking fees. As an online store, you are competing with shoppers like this to earn their business.

MacGyver Solution: In the most recent consumer polls, it was found that 36% of shoppers do not wish to pay a restocking fee, while 58% desire a hassle-free, no-questions-asked return policy. Ditch this restocking fee and you can appeal to and attract more customers while appeasing your existing customer base.

Reengage Shoppers With Value Added Proposition

So what happens when customers need to make a return, and you already have an automated return system in place like ReadyReturns? You get the added bonus of them returning to your site to place a return. This allows you to showcase special offers and impulse buys while making returns convenient and simple for the customer.

MacGyver Solution: Offer shoppers a special in-store credit on the returned value to keep the revenue in house. Follow-up on returns with a customer care message and a special offer to earn the customer’s business again. Doing so can help you turn a return into a future purchase and keep the monies in-house.

Dig These Tips

MacGyver Suggestion: Creating A Winning Returns Policy Is EASY!
In order to create a returns policy that is attractive to prospective customers and equally as lucrative to your bottom line, there are several steps that will want to take. We’ve outlined them all in this infographic so that you can use it as a reference guide when crafting your perfect ecommerce returns policy.


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