How to Deal With Spikes in "Product Returns" During Holidays
Holiday shopping seasons especially Black Friday and Christmas are the time of the year that most businesses are waiting for. This is because their sales increase during the holiday season. Vendors are thrilled about the increase in sales, but they are also worried about the post-holiday returns.
Product returns are one of the hardest-to-manage escalating problems that have been experienced by most vendors. In fact, the product returns problem existed long before and will still exist and continue to grow especially in the consumer electronic industry. The issue of returned products increases as a result of the Internet growth in which most consumers become more comfortable buying items online. This can be prevented, however, if the retailer knows how to handle the issues by either improving the services or using reliable Product Returns Management software similar to RMAPortal.com .
The expectation of consumers purchasing products online has risen, and choosing the right product becomes more complex. This is one of the reasons why product returns exist. In a way, returning products is normal, but if the number of returns spike, the vendors should exert effort to cease or prevent the surge of product returns. In order to achieve high performance, companies and businesses should comprehensively address the issue. This requires transforming the system for it to become effective and avoid the product return issue.
According to research, product returns cost manufacturers and online retailers billons of dollars due to receiving, assessing, restocking, repairing, reboxing, and reselling products. Likewise, surveys revealed that the return rate of products is increasing over the years. That is why vendors should find ways to cut the costs and reduce the prevalence of product returns.
Online shoppers return products for many reasons. Some customers said that they have received wrong items, while others received damaged items. There are customers returning products because they did not want them due to poor quality, or does not fit them. Perhaps those reasons are the result of the fact that shopping online does not allow the shopper to touch or see the product. Product returns pose big problem to online retailers because they not only lose money, but they also lose the trust of the customers due to an unhappy experience.
Despite the prevailing issue of product returns, many online retailers are unable to address it for different reasons. First, online retailers think that addressing the returns will cost their business. Second, businesses are focusing more on handling the returns instead of preventing them. Lastly, most companies are utilizing the so-called one-size-fits-all approach on the returns. These reasons will not help in addressing the issue, rather it will aggravate and increase the rate of product returns. Therefore, vendors should do action on how to prevent the spike of product returns during holidays.
How to Reduce the Incidence Rate of Product Returns
Educate the customerProper knowledge of the customer before and after purchasing the item is important. It can help the customer to have better understanding about the product he or she purchased. Providing instructional videos can help in educating buyers on how they can benefit from the product they bought.
Offer set-up and delivery servicesProviding value-added services to customers can reduce the incidence of receiving product returns. This can be a win-win situation because while the retailer is giving value-added services, they can also generate additional revenue. Improving brand image can help in reducing returns. Doing the right thing will not only reduce the cost of the returns but also make customers happy and eventually boost the sales.
Proactive customer serviceAssisting customers before they become dissatisfied and return the product. This means that retailers should reach out to customers during the first 24 hour after making the purchase. This way, they will know if the customer is satisfied about the product and prevent the possibility of returning the item.
Offer multiple service optionsCustomers have different ideas when choosing products. They are not only choosing what is convenient to them, but also how the product will answer their needs. Customers are also very particular with the services. Customer support can be provided through the telephone, the mail, or the web. Thus, retailers should ensure providing multiple service options so that they can keep in touch with their customers and weed out the possibility of returning the products.
Determine the impact of returnsOnline retailers should follow metrics in assessing the problem and tracking the trends just like manufacturers are doing. In addressing the returns, it is important to start with a baseline to gauge the impact of returns. This way, they can identify the cost-effective way of improving or introducing new approaches. Retailers can use metrics such as return rates by item, length of time from the purchase, reason of returning the item, manufacturer, and item class. Knowing this information can help retailers to address and avoid product returns.
Utilize efficient product returns management software
• It helps in setting the rules including return date, dollar amount, and other details.
A product returns management software like RMAPORTAL is a useful tool that provides flexibility on how you want to handle the product return issues. The various features of the software can help retailers in improving their services as well as their brand. Therefore, in order to avoid product returns, retailers should ensure handling returns the right way not only during Christmas holidays, but throughout the rest of year as well. RMAPortal's easy and ready-to-use cloud based RMA processing software will help you manage your product returns more effectively, and gain more customer loyalty.