Returns will always be part of the retail business; there’s no way we can eliminate them unless we get rid of the entire policy. While having the ideal reverse logistics technology is ideal for managing these returns, you need to be well aware of the reasons they happen in the first place.
Here are the most common reasons for product returns, as well as some tips on how to avoid them:
1. The customer bought the wrong size or product
This is the most common reason for product returns, especially in the e-commerce industry. If you have a brick and mortar store, you are less likely to have this problem. However, if customers mistake a product for something else due to irresponsible marketing or unknowledgeable salespeople, it’s bound to lead to a few returns.
On the other hand, online stores have customers returning products frequently because of this reason. If the customer orders the wrong size, it can be entirely their fault. However, you can avoid running into these incidences by:
- Making the product description as descriptive and accurate as possible
- Providing a more precise sizing chart
- Posting clear and high-res photos of the product with multiple angles
- Encourage customers to leave reviews about the products for others to see
2. The customer no longer needs the product
After customers purchase something, they may decide that they no longer need it after all. Sometimes, it can be a whim, but other times, customers may have had something happen in their personal lives that lead them to no longer needing the product. For example, if they bought a phone case from your store but were then gifted a different phone model shortly after, they are likely to return the product.
It is difficult to argue with someone who no longer needs something, but you can avoid these types of returns by:
- Convincing the customer to keep it for other functions
- Encouraging customers to exchange the product for something else
3. The product was damaged
Another common reason customers return a product is when it arrives damaged or defective. As a retailer, you should be careful when handling these customers since they are already displeased with how their orders arrived. To avoid this, you should:
- Make sure the product is well-packaged before shipping
- Double-check the product for quality
- Choose reputable couriers or shipping companies
4. The product wasn’t up to their expectations
Your brand plays a significant role in managing customers’ expectations. If too many of your customers are returning a product because it did not meet their expectations, you should be mindful of the following tips:
- Make sure the quality matches the price
- Don’t oversell a product
- Be realistic when describing products
- Don’t make claims that you cannot prove
- Get feedback from customers to gauge their expectations
- Adjust your marketing strategy around customers’ feedback
Managing reverse logistics can be a massive pain for you and your business. So, if you want to keep the returns at a minimum, always remember these pointers and recommendations.