This blog is part three in a five-part series on product personalization. To read the full resource guide “5 Reasons Why You Should Offer Product Personalization”.

Yes, you read that title right – product personalization can actually help eliminate returned orders for ecommerce retailers! Ok, so that might be a little bit biased, considering that most retailers don’t allow customers to return products that have been personalized. But don’t worry! If you get your personalization processes down-pat, you won’t have to worry about orders being returned anyway – and the only thing that will be coming back is droves of satisfied customers.

The first thing you have to get straight: will you allow returns of personalized products? If you do, how will you handle it? Charging a restocking fee can help recoup some of the costs incurred from personalization, but that doesn’t make the order able to be resold nor does it make customers too happy. Keeping a strict handle on quality assurance is key – maintain and update machinery often and train your staff well (or, if you’re outsourcing, work with a trusted vendor, request sample orders frequently, and monitor customer feedback for personalized orders) to make sure you’re getting it right.

If you’re not going to allow returns, address the ways you’ll communicate that to customers. It should be clearly stated on your FAQ page, on the checkout page, and anywhere else where personalization is mentioned. Give customers plenty of chances to ‘see’ their order before they buy – whether it’s an on-page rendering of their product with details, a proof emailed to them to approve, or even a customer care agent reaching out to finalize order details before it goes to print. That way, if there’s an error in spelling or something else, it will be caught (hopefully!) before the customer sees it.

Ready to increase your order volume and product options while decreasing your returns rate? Ready, set, go:

  • Make quality your #1 priority – have standard operating procedures for every personalization process, then create a detailed quality assurance program that makes sure everything that ships out looks perfect.
  • Find creative ways to give as realistic a pre-order personalized experience as possible. Encourage customers to double (and triple!) check their orders prior to processing.
  • Search high and low for the best vendor if you’re not doing it in-house – and then use the same one for every channel to ensure quality consistency.