One big factor that dictates weather an e-commerce customer chooses to shop is the existence or lack of a basic fair and comprehensive return policy. Studies have also shown that generous return policy increase sales without increasing the volume of the returns. Moving forward, Web Retailer reports  that, if your e-commerce business has at least 40% repeat customers, you are likely to have 50% higher sales compared to online retailers who have 10% repeat purchasers. In other words, repeat customers are vital to your business.

Your return rate will mostly depend on the type of item you sell and also the type of customers you sell it to. If you have lots of repeat customers who know your merchandise, your e-commerce returns are likely to be lower than the average expected returns. But your e-commerce return rate can go up by as much as 50% above normal after the holidays. Returned holiday gifts can be a big hazard for e-commerce retailers. Adding on, clothing and shoes are returned at the highest rate year-round, especially because customers often buy multiple sizes with the intention of returning items that don’t fit.

Because of the variation in e-commerce return rates, it’s hard to point down an industry’s average. In 2016, CNBC reported that retailers often have e-commerce returns as high as 30%, and clothing sites can see e-commerce return rates as high as 40% which is a hectic deal on plate.

Tools for return optimization

1.Google Search Console

You might know Google Webmaster Tools. It’s now known Google search console When it comes to these free tools, you won’t be able to find more comprehensive information anywhere about how your site’s performance.

Like other website optimization tools such as ,GSC analyzes your website and also helps you to improve it to rank better and boost conversions.

All you have to do is add your site to GSC while verifying it on your website by installing a code. It’s just a small snippet of HTML.

Once it’s installed, Google Search Console begins to collect information. It will tell you how much traffic, for instance, and where that traffic’s coming from. You can also use it to find your referral sites, bounce rate and much more.

2.Uber suggest

Just enter your keyword idea/thought into the search panel and click “Look Up.” It’s really that simple.

Let’s say you want keyword data on “DIY retail projects.”

Just scroll down to get keyword ideas and other valuable data.

They also added CPC information. It has already resulted in a ton of extra traffic as now you don’t have to pay for that type of information.

3.Hello bar

 Hello bar excels in collecting leads. You can also use the tool to set up any overlay you want to collect emails from website visitors using lead magnets, discount codes, and more.

Even if the person isn’t ready to buy, you don’t want to part ways, right? You want the customer to sign up for your email list so you can continue to communicate.

For an example , let’s imagine a customer decides to exit your site. An exit popup can offer one last chance to convert on your subscription offer.

Top bars, sliders, and other tools can help you become more effective at capturing leads when it matters most.

4.Uber Testing

The site connects you with people who match the criteria you provide. They then evaluate your website based on what they experience as they navigate it.

It’s one of the broadest website optimization tools on this list, so you’ll have to explore it in depth. You can get evaluated for user experience, user interface, and plenty of other criteria.

You can even conduct live interviews with participants to get their off-the-cuff impressions.

5.Screaming Frog

The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a website crawler that helps you improve onsite SEO, by extracting data & auditing for common SEO issues

It allows you to find broken links so that you can fix them with a redirect or many other solutions. Screaming Frog features a redirect audit tool as well and also a tool that lets you automatically find duplicate content provided.

Other features also include XML sitemap generation, search console integration, and many more. There’s also a free version, which might work well for plenty of marketers, as well as for a far more robust paid version.

Other things to be considered

1. MAKE YOUR RETURNS PROCESS TRANSPARENT

A well written and informative returns FAQ can play a major role in helping to reduce customer service related emails and calls. It can also help to improve sales by alleviating any doubts customers may have prior to making a purchase.

Things to consider:

  • Survey the common questions your customers may have such as how long refunds take to process, or reasons for why a return might be rejected.
  • Consider including a printed FAQ and including it along with each product to ensure customers know what to do if they need to return an item.

2. MAYBE PONDER OFFERING FREE RETURNS

Offering a larger deadline such as 60 days will result in more returns due to ‘buyer’s remorse’, however it’s actually been shown that the longer a customer has an item the more likely they are to become attached to it – this is known as the Endowment effect.

There is actually evidence available in the Journal of marketing that implies customers are more likely to remain loyal to the brand if you cover the costs of returns for them. In the theory this means you should be able to re-coup your postage costs over time via repeat business of commodities.

Things to consider:

  • Supply pre-printed returns stickers with each product. Doing so is both convenient for the customer and helpful to you, since you can ensure the sticker contains vital information such as the products SKU code and customer ID.
  • If you can’t afford to cover postage costs at least consider offering pre-paid postage for damaged or exchange items. Otherwise you are almost guaranteed to lose a customer’s repeat business.

3. MAYBE PONDER OFFERING LONG RETURNS

Offering free returns is a great way to take the sting out of returning an unwanted item. Of course this also means that you will have to cover the costs of postage yourself.

4. KEEP IT SIMPLE

Offering free returns is a great way to take the sting out of returning an unwanted item. Of course this also means that you will have to cover the costs of postage yourself.

 The best return policy is 100% money-back, satisfaction guaranteed. It will simultaneously improve sales, service, and customer relations. The number of satisfied customers will grossly outnumber the few people who abuse the policy. Adding extraneous “if then” content confuses customers and creates a logistics nightmare. When customers are unsure of how to submit a return, they improvise. The result is increased processing costs and reduced customer satisfaction.

Place a code on return labels and packing slips to identify the original purchase source. This will expedite the returns process when multiple systems are involved. Eliminate return authorizations requirements except for customized products. It will delete several steps from the returns process, saving time and money.

Try to keep the process easy to understand by both the parties and easy to accessible as well. An easy system to work with saves plenty of time and energy on both ends.

HAPPY RETAILING !

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