Whether your store is exclusively for online retail, or it’s an extension of your brick-and-mortar business, there is a critical piece of the sales puzzle that many companies ignore: returns and after-sales care management. Not paying enough attention to what happens after you make a sale could be putting you at a disadvantage and driving away repeat business. As your sales grow, it can be difficult to scale up, but here are some tips to help.
Focus on Convenience for the Customer
Many businesses spend a lot of time and money on ensuring front-end logistics go smoothly. This part is important, because when someone purchases something online the speed and quality of delivery reflects on your brand. Getting products to the customer on time and at the lowest price makes sense. But what happens when the customer needs to return an item? Unfortunately most businesses have not invested the same time and effort into making reverse logistics and returns as easy as the initial shipping.
With about 30% of online sales returned each year, it’s not something you can ignore. Some important steps to streamline the process on your end and for your customer include:
- Using a reverse logistics software platform that allows customers to generate return materials authorizations (RMAs) as needed
- Providing an easy way to print shipping labels or simple instructions on where the return must be sent
- Offering tracking information that helps customers see exactly where their item is, with estimates on when they can expect resolution
- Providing simple registration and real-time updates for warranties and repairs
- Giving customers choices for return resolution, whether it’s merchandise credit gift cards, exchanges, or refunds
Use Data to Your Advantage
Returns data can provide valuable insights to your company. For example, if you get several returns of a clothing item indicating that it’s too small, changing the description to indicate that the sizing runs small and recommending people size up could reduce future returns. Other data on how many returned items can be resold, how long it takes to restock, how many items are returned to a vendor for defects, etc. can help you make operational improvements or changes in your suppliers if needed.
Return Product Management
Finally, to minimize the cost of returns and the potential impact on your bottom line, companies need a software platform that tracks every return and identifies the best way to dispose of it—whether that is restocking and reselling, return to vendor (if it’s defective), secondary or clearance sales, recycling, or disposal in some other way. If your current system doesn’t include the ability to manage all these aspects of your returns, you could be missing out on ways to reduce the negative impact of a return on your bottom line.
Embracing the right technology and software can ensure that you are able to scale up your returns as your business grows. Schedule a demo to see how ReverseLogix can streamline reverse logistics for your business.