Nowadays it is usual that customers return their products due to one or another reason. Sometimes, they don’t find the product correct, sometimes there’s a size issue, sometimes the wrong description, etc… Whether you are selling your products online or in-store, returns are the most usual part of the retail industry. It’s almost tricky, as at some moment returns increase which can cause cut downs in profit margins. Let us first take a look at the covid-19 impact on returns and then will move on to the ways to reduce the cost of retail returns.
Covid-19 Impact on Returns
The study, it shows that 30% of products that are ordered online are returned then compared to 8.89% of brick and mortar stores. At the time of Covid-19, most of the online sales got increased which result in more returns. Due to the pandemic, along with the higher return rates, certain return challenges have been exacerbated and others have been created. Let’s take a look at the following examples,
- Retailers are forced to extend the return due to the challenges associated with returning the products to stores.
- Due to an increase in health and safety policies all the stores have to put the products aside for at least 24 hours to reduce covid-19 transmission. Retailers have increasingly used steam cleaning to ensure sanitation.
- A retail business must enlarge its store space and assign labor costs to its sanitation process.
- Restocking returned merchandise on the sales floor must be undertaken by stores with understaffed staff.
Ways to Reduce The Cost of Retail Returns
Hope you have understood the covid-19 impact of the retail returns. Next, let’s discuss how to reduce the costs of retail returns. If you are willing to form a return policy for your business, take a look at Ikea Return Policy which has a great return policy.
1. Deliver Parcel on Time
One of the biggest reasons for the returns is the late arrival of the product. Many customers order certain things in order to gift their staff or anyone at the time of the holiday season. If the item arrived late after the holiday season then there is no need for the same hence they return it back. As per statistics, 38% of orders ordered at the time of holiday seasons are returned due to late delivery. Furthermore, retailers are able to gather accurate carrier performance data by tracking delivery exception events – helping them to improve carrier service and better inform carrier contract negotiations.
2. Plan Ahead With Return Label
When it comes to returning a product, all consumers want it to be as convenient as possible. There is multi-carrier shipping labels software that will print out the shipping labels automatically at the time of order fulfillment. As a result, the retailer will place the return labels on the carton to enable a simple, fast, and seamless product for returns. Additionally, retailers can pre-select carriers that are most convenient and cost-effective for return shipping, reducing transportation costs and minimizing return shipping errors, which also benefits consumers.
3. Provide Products Accurate Information
Here comes another most important thing that every retailer must know if they have an online store. You need to provide all the information correctly on your website including size, depth, height, and everything related to the product. All the images related to the product must be added in such a way that the customer can easily know about the product. This can help build satisfaction in your customer’s mind. All the physical stores also need to provide all the information in the tag, especially at the time of covid-19 when the trial rooms are closed.
4. Make Easy Exchange
Most of 50% of returns on footwear and clothes are due to the wrong size. It provides you with another chance to keep up with the sale by providing an easy exchange for the same product in different sizes. Having an easy exchange policy will help you to stay stick to the sale. With its help, merchants can retail more revenue as they don’t have to deal with refunds, and the shoppers will get sure to get the item they are looking for in a perfect fit. Make sure you have a good exchange policy only then you can stay stick to your sale also the customers will get more satisfaction.
5. Customer Reviews And Feedback Are Must
This point can help you a lot. If you feature all the customer ratings and feedback on your website can help you decrease the rate of product returns. It is fact that the reviews and feedback on your website carry a lot of weight at the time of the consumer’s path to purchase. It helps to give a better understanding of the product to the customers hence they can set expectations regarding the functionality of the product. Also, the shoppers can determine whether the product is right for them or not by checking out other people’s experiences. Having customers’ reviews on their website will help the merchant to have a finger on the pulse of their business.
6. Find a Partner to Manage Your Returns
If you have multiple storefronts, managing the logistics of receiving items, returning items, and preparing for potential supply and demand imbalances becomes very challenging. With product recalls, and changes in supplier policies, oversupply of one item, it steps to keep your offerings up to date- meaning you may find yourself with excess inventory. A partner can be a perfect returns management solution to cut your costs down by taking care of these tasks so that you can focus on what you specialize in. You need a partner who knows where to find return solutions internationally as well as domestically.”
To deal with the returns for your store is not at all fun, especially in the time of covid-19. In spite of this, if retailers keep a proper eye on the points mentioned above they can reduce the ratio of returns for their stores. What all things are done by you in order to minimize the return on your store? Kindly let us know your ways in the comment section provided below. Also, if you have any questions or queries related to this article you can mention them in the comment box we are happy to solve that.