Customers expect fast, easy, and free returns for their online purchases. Merchants without a solid product returns process should expect a lot of abandoned shopping carts and difficulties in retaining existing customers according to a recent survey of online shoppers.1
The survey shows nearly 50% of online shoppers returned an item they purchased online and 40% indicated they occasionally bracket or buy multiple items with the intent to return some or all the items. In fact, 66% of shoppers check the returns policy before they make a purchase. If they find the process is inconvenient or they need to pay for shipping, restocking, or other fees, 74% will not make a purchase.
Making it easy for shoppers to return products does not mean a direct loss to the bottom line. Over 80% of customers who return a product make another purchase with the retailer, and 95% who are satisfied with the returns process indicate they will buy again. In fact, nearly 60% of shoppers who return products either exchange or replace an item.
The first step in offering an easy, seamless returns policy is to make sure your key systems are talking to each other. For example, to meet customer expectations for real-time status updates, your storefront, fulfillment, inventory, and accounting systems need to be integrated.
In fact, for Amazon shoppers, proactive communications help mitigate a returns process that may require shoppers to print return shipping labels, request RMA’s, and other onerous steps for returning an item. Up-to-date, proactive communications on refund status had 75% indicating their satisfaction with Amazon’s returns process and 91% saying they would shop again on Amazon.
With the holiday season, returns will gain more importance as shoppers look for retailers that will make it easy and painless for gift recipients to return or exchange products. Are your systems ready to make your returns policy a boom for the holidays? Learn how Celigo’s eCommerce integration solutions can help prepare your system for the holidays.
1Narvar Consumer Report, “Making Returns a Competitive Advantage,” June 2017. www.narvar.com.