'Tis the season, and the holiday spirit is in full swing, bringing a surge in sales for eCommerce businesses. The uptick in purchases also brings a challenge - holiday returns. In this blog, we partner with fellow ecommerce automation and AI tool Saara.io to provide some tips for D2C / Ebay / Walmart / Amazon sellers.
'Tis the season, and the holiday spirit is in full swing, bringing a surge in sales for eCommerce businesses. Whether customers are treating themselves or searching for that perfect gift, the uptick in purchases also brings a challenge - holiday returns. Let's take a closer look at some eye-opening figures to grasp the impact of these holiday returns on eCommerce businesses:
These numbers paint a clear picture of the looming threat that holiday returns pose to online brands. Beyond the logistics of handling these returns, brands also grapple with the financial impact on their bottom line. If not managed effectively, these returns can strain inventory levels, bring a spike in operational costs, and take a toll on overall profitability.
Understanding Holiday Returns
Let's break down the buzz around holiday returns. Returns are a natural part of running an online store, but here's the deal: returns from January to October are way less compared to the holiday months from November to January. Why? Well, it's simple math – holiday season equals high sales, and high sales often mean more returns. That's what we call holiday returns. Here are some common reasons behind them:
Now let us look some of the smartest ways to reduce holiday returns in 2023:
Incentivize exchanges over returns
Encouraging customers to exchange instead of returning is a great way to transform returns into an opportunity for your brand. Think of it like this – you wanted blue, got red? Don’t worry, let’s get you that blue beauty instead!
Incentive customers with store credits, a certain percentage of the product value or some discounted rates for an exchange instead of a return. And here's a bonus – add some loyalty rewards to make exchanges even better. It's an easy way to keep your customers happy and make the whole exchange thing a win-win!
Offer personalized shopping experience
Imagine having your own shopping buddy whenever you go online. That's the magic of personalized assistance. When brands use tools like chatbots or real people to help you choose, it makes a real difference in how you decide what to buy. This also reduces chances of returns as shoppers are likely to make informed decisions before making a purchase.
SalesGPT is an AI-powered sales rep for online stores that helps brands boost sales, converting curious shoppers into buyers. It answers all product queries of shoppers, guide them through their purchase, and even throws in some suggestions based on what your shoppers like.
Clear and transparent return policies
Clear return policies are like a map for customers navigating the shopping journey. Think about it – when return policies are crystal clear, it takes the guesswork out of the equation, making it easier for shoppers to understand the rules of the game. To make these policies transparent and shopper-friendly, keep it simple and straightforward. Use plain language that everyone can grasp without needing a dictionary.
And here's the key – communicate these policies like you're talking to a friend, not a legal document. Let customers know what to expect in a way that feels like an honest chat, so there are no surprises down the road. It's all about making the return process a breeze and keeping the trust intact between brands and their customers.
Know more about how to write a return policy for your store here.
Maintain consistency throughout the entire shopping experience
According to a survey, over half (55%) of shoppers have abandoned a purchase because they found the return policy lacked a convenient option. If a shopper discovers the unsatisfactory return policy only after adding items to their cart, not only could it jeopardize the potential sale, but it may also deter the shopper from returning in the future. Ensure that return policy details are clearly stated on product detail pages and consistently communicated to customers during the holiday season and beyond. Transparency is key, especially when there are seasonal adjustments to the policies. Use your communications to showcase a customer-focused approach and reliability.
Detailed descriptions and Images
Last but not the least, the secret sauce to happy shoppers and fewer returns lies in nailing those product descriptions and images. Think about it - when the product details are spot-on, there's less room for surprises. High-quality images and detailed descriptions make it crystal clear what shoppers are getting. It's like bringing the store to their screens. And let's not forget those specifications – the more, the merrier. When customers have all the info they need, they're less likely to send things back. So, it's not just about selling; it's about making sure customers know exactly what they're getting, right from the get-go.
Bonus Tip: Invest in a returns solution that not only manages returns but reduces them too!
A returns solution that can reduce returns for your brand can be a boon for your business, especially during the holiday season.
EcoReturns is an AI-powered eCommerce returns solution that helps brands reduce returns by an average of 30%. It also flags risky orders and prevents fraudulent returns by 60%.
Know more about EcoReturns here.
Get started with EcoReturns and get your first return label for FREE!