The Art of Returns

Posted by Speed Commerce on October 15, 2020

Holidays mean large order volumes, busy warehouses, heavy site traffic, and more activity for online retailers. With big buying comes the possibility of a higher number of returns. Returns are bound to happen, (for whatever reason) and you need to be prepared to handle it.

Sometimes it could be an oversight on your part. Other times, the product may not be a good fit, or the customer was expecting something else. Either way, you can put some simple tools and processes in place to master the art of returns.

Be Prepared

Things happen. It may or may not be in your control, but can you be proactive by having a plan. Do you have a solid returns policy in place? Is your order fulfillment partner on board with this policy? What is the time frame you are operating in? What happens if the customer wants to return a damaged item? Does the policy apply for sale and clearance items?

The instructions to return an item should be clear. Create a returns policy that is posted on your website to set expectations upfront. Also, include this information in your product packaging.

Minimize Returns with Solid Site Search

One of the best ways to minimize returns is to have your site search and product information up to date. Since customers cannot physically handle the product before ordering, you need to give them as much detailed product information as possible. Add plenty of photographs from different angles. If you are selling apparel, check that sizing and measurements are correct. Studies have shown that close to 15% of all holiday sales are returned because of inconsistencies in size and color. That really adds up at the end of the season!

Quick Turnaround

Your staff needs to be well trained and have the technical know-how to get products back in shape for resale. Some products may come back less than perfect, especially if it is a garment that has been worn or a gadget or toy which has been taken out of its packaging. Returns like these need to be handled carefully and ‘re-treated’ in order to be sold again.

Speed Commerce can help you revive returns and have products ready to be shipped out in no time. We can handle many special processes required (from garment steaming and repairs to hygienic cleaning) to get that inventory as good as new.

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