In a perfect ecommerce world, the customer completes a transaction, the seller packages and ships the order and the customer receives the box—delighted by what’s inside. They then leave a positive review and engage in some word-of-mouth marketing on social media.
However, in reality, returns are a fact of life when it comes to online shopping. Still though, brands can do their part to minimize this costly, time-consuming process. Here are four possible reasons your ecommerce return rate is high; if any of these apply to you, it’s time to work on a solution to improve your bottom line and customer experience.
Sizes or Specifications Are Inaccurate
All online consumers have to base their purchasing decision upon is the information you provide. If you sell garments, make sure your website contains as much sizing data as possible—including conversion charts if you sell clothing internationally. Saying something is a “Size 6” is much less helpful than listing measurements at the waist, hips, shoulders and inseam. One clothing company reduced its return rate from 22 percent to 16 percent after providing consistent size charts, improving the specification quality they received from their vendors and keeping a log with notes about fit for their customer service agents so they could answer customers’ questions more accurately.
Product Listings Lack Adequate Visuals
Another major component of any good product listing is the accompanying visuals. Consumers will click through photographs and video clips to get a feel for the products, which is why your brand needs high-quality photographs from multiple angles for every product you carry. You’ll get bonus points for photographs featuring people actually wearing or using your products. Make sure the lighting is bright, the background is non-distracting and your camera angles capture a comprehensive view of the product.
Let’s say your ecommerce business involves selling beauty products from home. Not only do you need product photographs that capture the size, quality and color of your product lineup, but you will also want to include a few portraits of models wearing your cosmetics. This way, consumers will be able to see how they might look in real life. The difference between matte and high-shine lipstick finishes will be clear as day. Consumers can see how certain foundations look with certain skin tones. Eye shadow palette combinations will be more obvious. You get the picture.
Customers Receiving the Wrong Item
Statistics show 23 percent of returns happen because buyers received the wrong item. Think about it, nothing is a bigger letdown than ripping open a package to find it’s not what you ordered. If you’re lucky, customers who experience this hassle may simply ask for an exchange. However, some will want to get their money back and shop elsewhere next time. It’s up to you to reduce errors in your order fulfillment process.
Products Arrived Damage Due to Packaging
When a flawless product leaves your order fulfillment station and a damaged, bent, or broken product arrives at a customer’s house, you have a problem. It’s important to choose packaging that can hold up to bumps and bruises, and pack everything securely so it can avoid rattling around during the journey. Boxes and envelopes should be a comfortable fit—neither excessively large or very tiny. Securely packaging products can save you customer ire and a costly return trip.
Is your ecommerce return rate high? Check out these four possible reasons and start making improvements where you can. Your bottom line—and your customers—will thank you.