Are you ready to discover the 5 best practices for ecommerce returns that will help you manage the return process by transforming a problem into an opportunity?

Every merchant has to deal with an increasing number of returns. According to these data, 30% of all products ordered online are returned, compared to 8.89% of physical stores.

Why such a different value between the two channels? Well, those who buy in city stores can touch the object with their own hands, making sure it is what they are looking for.

But it is not the only reason: other data show that the main reasons why customers return products purchased online are the delivery of an object that is damaged (30% of cases) or different from the description (27%). Then we should not underestimate the problems with shipping (20%).

A few more numbers: 92% of consumers will buy again on ecommerce that allows easy returns, while 79% would prefer to send an item back for free.

That said, it’s time to discover the 5 best practices for ecommerce returns that every merchant should adopt for a super efficient return process.   

1. Help customers print return labels easily  

We just talked about easy returns. The first step from which to start is certainly to allow the buyer to make a return without wasting time and unnecessary complications.   

Put yourself in the shoes of a dissatisfied customer who received an item that was damaged or did not live up to expectations.

Return solutions

Would you like to spend an afternoon trying to figure out how to make the return or which documents to print, or would you prefer to receive a prepaid return label from the seller to apply on the package?  

ShippyPro simplifies the printing of return labels and makes the whole process a lot easier.

Thanks to ShippyPro Easy Return feature, you can approve the return from a portal integrated with your ecommerce and then send the return label of the chosen Carrier to the customer.

One issue that affects both you and your customers closely is that of return rules. Let’s see how to solve it together!

2. Simplify your return policy

Do you want to allow buyers to return any type of item, without distinction? Or do you want to impose limitations?

A smooth ecommerce return process should be clear to you first, but also to your customers. 

You should plan which items can be returned and within how many days of purchase. For example, you have to decide whether to limit returns to non-discounted products, or perhaps select some countries from which it is not possible to make returns.

ShippyPro also helps you in this regard and allows you to define a clear and customizable return policy that you can communicate to the customer before the return.

What do you think about these tips? Would they help you manage the relationship with the customer in an optimal way?

Find more information and examples of return policies in this guide.

But that’s not all. In fact, we wrote that most people would like to return an item without having to pay.  

Keep reading to discover what it means for your ecommerce!

3. Free or affordable returns as a business strategy

Many buyers carefully read the return rules and try to figure out if they can return for free even before purchasing a product.

Offering free returns is a way to meet the constantly evolving needs and habits of customers. 

Moreover, it is a way to adapt to the policies of big ecommerce giants like Amazon.

In some cases, however, free returns represent a risk. Not only for the costs of your company, but also for the possible misconduct of some customers, who could buy an item only to receive it, try it and return it immediately.

In short, you need to study in depth all the pros and cons of free (or almost free) returns within your business strategy.

return strategy

What is certain is that you can turn returns from a problem into new sales

Let’s find out how!

4. Turn returns into new sales

It is not advisable to always refund the purchased product to better manage the relationship with a dissatisfied customer. Nor is it necessarily what the buyer wants. 

A solution to completely transform a problem such as returns into a customer retention opportunity is to offer not a refund, but a coupon or store credit to use on your ecommerce.  

If this best practice for ecommerce returns goes hand in hand with an easy-to-understand process and with clear rules, the customer may decide to “take a tour” of the products in your catalog and buy again.  

5. Analyze and learn from returns

We reached the last of our best practices for ecommerce returns, which is to analyze what happened after delivery and why some customers decided to reverse their decision, in order to act accordingly. 

ShippyPro’s Easy Return feature gives you the possibility to have a clear idea of the most returned products, why buyers returned them and also allows you to filter returns by Carrier or Country. 

In this way you will be able to identify the problems underlying your sales and after-sales processes. For example, think of those customers who complain about lying item descriptions: why not intervene in the product sheets, adding data, measurements or improving images’ quality? 

Or, if you realize that many returns are due to damaged articles, try to figure out if one or more Carriers are no longer efficient.

How to use ShippyPro to simplify returns

We described how ShippyPro provides you with Easy Return, a very useful tool to simplify the ecommerce return process.

Here’s a quick summary of everything you can do with Easy Return:

  • Automate returns management with a customized portal to integrate into your online store. 
  • Enter your return rules and communicate them to customers. 
  • Accept and facilitate (for example, by sending the return label) all return requests, even when these increase and you risk wasting your precious time. 
  • Get detailed statistics of your ecommerce returns. 

Start now your free trial and then decide whether to upgrade!