3 Tips for Holiday Returns and Exchanges

Once the giddy days of vacation sales end, online retailers often must take care of the inevitable returns and exchanges barrage. However, while customer contacts are viewed as opportunities, even yields may be a tool to enhance an ecommerce business.

Online returns and exchanges are a point of concern for shoppers. The customer frequently must await an item to send back to the merchant, be processed, and then await a new item to be sent out. Or the customer must wait up to a week for a refund to make its way from the merchant, via a payment procedure, and back to the client’s bank or payment account. In either case it can be a hassle.

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Likewise, some online merchants see returns and exchanges as challenges, because often the merchant pays for shipping both ways and may or might not be able to restock the product or return it to the manufacturer.

As a consequence of the concerns, returns and exchanges can make both the shopper and the vendor unhappy. This is unfortunate, because any kind of customer contact is a opportunity to build a lasting relationship and make more sales.

Online retailers should consider exchanges or returns the identical way they consider advertising. How much could an internet retailer pay for an chance to interact with a client? How about a skilled client known to have an interest in the product the merchant sells? Retailers spend money all the opportunity to have a client interaction — even one that doesn’t end in a direct sale. Therefore, return requests or exchanges shouldn’t be seen so much as an operations expenditure, but rather another way to engage clients.

Having a more positive view of returns and exchanges, there are at least three ways that both merchant and shopper may benefit. These yield and exchange tips include (a) an chance to impress shoppers and earn long term company, (b) the opportunity to create extra sales immediately, and (c) the chance to enhance both shop purchasing and marketing.

1. Treat Returns and Exchanges Like an Chance to Impress

Clients may see the need to exchange or return an item for a service failure. To a merchant, this notion — that the requirement to return something is a service failure — may seem strange. After all, the shopper picked the dimensions, colour, and merchandise. So how can it be the merchant’s fault?

Nonetheless from a client’s perspective, the sale didn’t go the way it ought to have. Either the product wasn’t pictured and explained well or it wasn’t normal in its size or fit. And this is truly an chance to impress.

A customer with a problem with an order requiring an exchange or return will be more inclined to purchase from that identical merchant in the future, if this return is handled nicely. Put simply, once the merchant does a fantastic job handling a return, a client learns that working with this shop is simple, even if things go wrong. The client trusts the merchant to address any future problems, and should be more likely to purchase again.

2. Use Returns and Exchanges to Make Extra Sales

Anytime a merchant has an chance to interact with a client, there’s an chance to make another sale.

For instance, a multi-channel vendor from the northwestern U.S. recently started giving customers who requested an exchange an chance to add other items to the exchange dispatch at a 10-percent discount and with free delivery.

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Imagine the customer calls in and asks the exchange. The store representative takes down the contact info and then says,”Great, as usual, the transport for your exchange is free of charge. Is there anything else that you want me to install the box? The free shipping would apply to this product too, also, I can provide you 10 percent from anything on the website, right now.”

3. Let Returns and Exchanges Improve Marketing, Product Choice

Information gathered from customers that are requesting returns or exchanges may also be used to improve store operations.

Merchants should monitor all returns, searching for the most often exchanged or returned items. Looking at all these items, the vendor must look at product photography, product descriptions, promotional and advertising copy. Is the thing being described properly? Similarly, look at the production packaging and quality. Is the item something that the merchant should continue to inventory?