Great eCommerce brands use returns to their advantage, as it is a great way to craft a brand identity that the customer can rely on.

Learn how to take this opportunity to use packaging as a way to impress your customers with easy returns!

Ecommerce Returns 101: a Complete Guide to Ecommerce returns

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Packing Strategies for Ecommerce Business

Returns, they’re not fun but they’re a critical component to a successful e-commerce.

Rather than looking at returns as a hassle, look at them as an asset and opportunity for your company.

You might be thinking:

‘Returns mean that people don’t like my product and that I’m not making as many sales as I’d like’.

However, the easier you make your returns process, the more your customers will want to come back to purchase again.

Example of returns process
Example of returns process

In this article we’ll be breaking down various packaging strategies that will help transform your eCommerce returns into opportunities to impress your customers. These are the strategies:

  • Include an extra poly mailer in your packages,
  • Use a box with a pull-tab and adhesive strip,
  • Use poly mailers with perforated tear strips,
  • Include a sticker or adhesive strip to seal packages for return.

Why does Packagin matter anyway?

Among online retailers, a brand’s return policy is one of the main indicators of a customer purchase.

You have to consider that while you think a lot about shipping, it’s most likely that your customers do not. They don’t have the tools or know-how to make returns as efficient as possible. Because of this, it is critical for you to provide these solutions.

Packing strategies for Ecommerce Returns: Why packaging matters?
Packing strategies for Ecommerce Returns: Why packing matters?

A recent study found that 85% of online shoppers say they wouldn’t do repeat business with a brand that makes returns complicated and that another 40% kept orders that they didn’t want, simply because they found the returns process too complicated.

These numbers can have considerable implications on customer retention if not addressed properly. Lucky for you, we have compiled the following list of packaging hacks that will simplify returns and surely impress your customers.

5 Packaging Growth Hacks for your eCommerce Business

Talking about packaging growth hacks for your eCommerce business, we have to make a general distinction between:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Poly mailers

Shipping in Cardboard Boxes

If you’re shipping in a box you can make returns easier on your customer in three different ways:

  1. Include a Poly Mailer inside the box for the return. This way you can show your customers that you care about making the return process as easy as possible. Below is a picture of a poly mailer.
  2. Include a Heavy duty Sticker, this way your customers can re-seal the original box and makes returns super easy.
  3. Use a Box with a pull tab and an Adhesive Strip. The pull-tab makes opening the package a snap and the adhesive strip makes packing returns hassle free.
Shipping in Cardboard Boxes

Shipping in Cardboard Boxes

Shipping in Poly Mailers

If you’re shipping in mailers there’s actually two features you can build into the mailer itself to make returns easy:

  1. Perforated-Tear Strip, this makes getting to your product quick and easy! Your customers will be able to open your bag without needing special tools or knives.
  2. A double Adhesive Strip lets customers reuse your mailer for returns! One strip is used to close the bag for the original package fulfillment and the second strip is for your customers to seal it again and ship products right back to you.
Shipping in Poly Mailers
Shipping in Poly Mailers
Ecommerce 101: Complete Guide to Ecommerce Returns

2 More Hacks: Return Instructions and Return Shipping Labels

Ok, now you have chosen the best packaging strategy for your products, but, unfortunately, this is not enough!

You have to communicate to your customer how to do the return!

A first method is to write an effective return policy, if you are interested please read our latest article about it. Otherwise another effective strategy is to include within your shipment:  – return instructions  – return label

The second way to do it is to put the return instructions on the package telling customers to not throw away until they are sure of their purchases.

In fact the last thing you want is that your return-ready is wasted or, worse, thrown away before the customer decides to actually make the return.

The third way you can increase the ease of your return process is to include a pre-filled return label inside the packaging.

Find a courier who offers a ‘pay-on-use’ or scan-based postage system. You can check out these articles to find the best shipping service for your business.

If you’re looking for more information about all the shipping documents that you need in order to succeed in your eCommerce business, you can take a look at our article and download our packing list template.

Wrapping Up

Making returns easy for your customers is essential in today’s eCommerce marketplace. A positive return experience is a leading indicator of customer retention.

Remember that:

Almost 90% of customers who have a good return are likely to shop with you again.

In simplifying the process you develop a strong competitive advantage. Customers will be more likely to come back to you, spend more money, and remain loyal to your brand.

If you’d like to read more about how to best handle eCommerce returns, check out our latest article.

Ecommerce 101: Complete Guide to Ecommerce Returns