How big is product return an issue for fellow retailers?

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I am selling jewelry online using Shopify and Etsy, and my website has demonstrated a pretty good conversion rate, around 3.4% of visitors are purchasing my products.

However, my business has a quite high return rate, around 15-20%. I do understand that customers are usually more sensitive when buying jewelry due to incorrect size and the high price, but there are a few serial returners who are killing my P&L. There are even some customers who say that they did not receive products when I actually delivered the correct products to their front door.

In terms of solutions to this issue, I can think of a few.

1. I should provide more details about products in order to reduce returns due to incorrect size.
2. Buy shipping insurance as a back-up against possible missing items or malicious buyers.

In my mind, I think returns will still occur. How are you guys dealing with product return issue for your business?
#big #fellow #issue #product #retailers #return
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  • Profile picture of the author xSellco1
    Nobody likes rejection. For online sellers, one of the ultimate forms of rejection is receiving a request for a return. I understand the temptation to attempt to minimize returns by burying the return policy deep in the bowels of your website. But what you save on avoiding one or two returns isn't worth what you lose in a potential lifelong customer.

    Here are some best practices when crafting your returns policy

    Simplify as much as possible

    I once saw a comedy prank show where a retailer promised rebates for people who'd purchased gas. But in order to get the rebate, they had to drop off a form by hand on the top of a mountain. As ridiculous as that sounds, some online sellers try to discourage returns by intentionally making them inconvenient for the buyer. Do that and you're guaranteed to never have that person purchase from you again. Make returns easy: Provide return instructions in your shipping package. Offer printable labels to customers seeking a return and accept it in any package if you really want to go above and beyond in simplifying returns.

    Make it free

    Ask yourself how you would feel if you bought an item expecting it to be amazing and then ended up having to return it. Would you expect to have to pay for that? Absolutely not. It's surprising that it's so common for online sellers to expect their customers to pay shipping costs for returning an item. For the sake of your future sales, do your best to make returns free. Whether you provide the return label or issue a refund for the shipping costs along with a refund for the item, e-commerce sellers should cover the cost of the return. This keeps customers happy and helps ensure they convert again in the future.

    Support internationally

    E-commerce is a global exercise. The geographical borders that hold traditional retail don't apply to online stores. But if you're going to sell internationally, you have to be prepared to service internationally. That means processing returns from every country in which you sell. But how can you do this in a way that's inexpensive and fast? You can always eat the entire return and offer a refund without asking the customer to ship the product back. Other options include using an international carrier for all your shipping, paying a global returns manager to handle it for you, or using parcel forwarding in a number of other countries.
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  • Profile picture of the author xSellco1
    You definitely want to minimize the cost of these returns. Take a look at your marketing and sales efforts. Can you do some research and find out why that certain % are returning the items. Is your messaging unclear. Are you including a size chart for your jewelry?

    Check your SKUs and make sure they are consistent across all channels. You should take a look at some inventory management software if you're not currently using any. This will help map your SKUs and bring everything into one system. That will means you'll save time and speed up returns.

    You should also take a look at your returns policy. Don't make the process inconvenient to your customers. You want to keep your customers happy. Simplified returns instructions and printable labels can help.

    If you are selling internationally you have to be prepared to service internationally. Maybe look at the international carrier for all your shopping or using parcel forwarding in a number of countries.

    Maybe look at promoting exchanges or gift cards instead of cash returns
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    One thing, for sure, you should do is require a signature upon delivery. That makes it pretty hard to claim they never received the merchandise.
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    • Profile picture of the author shoptechmedia
      Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

      One thing, for sure, you should do is require a signature upon delivery. That makes it pretty hard to claim they never received the merchandise.
      Well, every delivery guy at my door all of them requires my signature on receipt.. I cant recall of any that didnt get my signature at delivery.. so yes, requiring signature is a really good way of solving that issue of buyers saying "the never recieved items".. whoever invented it..
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  • Profile picture of the author sameolesong
    online clothes retailers have a higher return rate than 20%, some of them have moved away from "free returns" for that reason.

    also some products attract the magpies more than others, jewellery I expect would be one of them.
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