Unpacking Returns:
Navigating the Impact of Product Returns on eCommerce Businesses

Designing a smart returns process is a key consideration for any eCommerce business when crafting its customer experience. Customers consider the returns process when making purchasing decisions and may be discouraged from purchasing if their preferences are not available. eCommerce businesses should simplify the process for their customers as much as possible and be generous in their returns policy where they can.

The right online parcel management service gives eCommerce businesses the tools and support they need to make the returns process easier for everyone. Addressing logistical issues, and the needs of customers, enables the creation of a satisfactory returns policy/process that improves outcomes across the board.

Unpacking Returns: Navigating the Impact of Product Returns on eCommerce Businesses

What impact do returns have on eCommerce business?

A properly executed returns policy is an essential component of any eCommerce business, helping to protect the company, setting clear rules and ensuring legal compliance.

Customer returns have a significant impact on all eCommerce businesses. Returns cost UK retailers £60bn a year, so eCommerce brands must be prepared to facilitate them in a cost-effective way. Those in the fashion industry are particularly affected, with purchases of clothes, shoes and accessories having a higher rate of returns compared to other categories.

Conversely, a robust but straightforward returns policy can also drive sales and transform first-time buyers into loyal customers. If a customer is able to make a purchase with confidence that they are able to return a product with ease, they’re more likely to have a positive customer impression of the retailer and make a future purchase.

How do eCommerce returns policies affect customers?

Online shoppers are very aware of returns policies and factor them into their purchasing decisions. 80% of shoppers check the returns policy before making a purchase. They want the reassurance that they will be able to return an item if they’re not happy with it. The existence of a returns policy isn’t enough to keep them engaged, either. 42% of shoppers have abandoned a purchase due to poor returns options.

On the other hand, 81% of shoppers would repurchase from a company if returns were easy to make. This demonstrates how important it is to pay attention to returns policies. A poor policy could mean that customers feel that they run the risk of losing out or wasting their money. They may abandon a purchase or choose not to shop with the same business again. However, a favourable returns policy could mean they not only make their first purchase but also go on to become repeat customers.

Unpacking Returns: Navigating the Impact of Product Returns on eCommerce Businesses

How can an eCommerce business simplify the returns process?

A complicated or laborious returns process can discourage customers from buying. 79% of shoppers believe that retailers could make the return process easier. The more steps they have to go through, the more problematic it can become to return an item. They want to be able to quickly arrange a return and either quickly drop off their items at a convenient location or have them collected.

There are several ways eCommerce businesses might simplify their returns process, making it easier for the customer.

  • Make returns easy to arrange online – Enable returns in just a few clicks with an online process that allows customers to manage any returns they have requested.
  • Offer a choice of carriers – Give customers the option to send the return using their preferred carrier, such as posting their parcel, dropping it at a parcel shop, or having a courier collect it from their home.
  • Make returns free or low cost – Reduce the financial cost of returning items by carefully considering how much they will need to pay to make a return. Make payment easy if you charge for return delivery.
  • Provide labels and paperwork – Automatically create labels or a QR code for returns and provide packing slips with all required information, in addition to customs information, if necessary.
  • Provide updates – Keep customers up to date with notifications of where their return is in its journey.

How can an online parcel management system help with returns logistics?

Managing the logistics of the returns process is challenging for any business. Small businesses may feel they don’t have the right resources, while larger businesses can struggle to keep up with large volumes of returns without the correct processes in place. Fortunately, there are options available for businesses of all sizes to smartly manage their returns logistics.

Using an online parcel management system such as GFS’ Enterprise Carrier Management technology simplifies the returns process for both the business and the customer. Managing both domestic and international eCommerce is easier when you have the tools and support to make it happen. GFS Global Returns Pro delivers everything you need to manage a smooth returns process. With a full technology suite and multi-channel integration, it’s easy to bring together all of the essential stages of your returns procedures.

Your online parcel management system can allow you to view and sort orders, and easily see when someone has requested a return. Customers benefit from being able to quickly arrange their return in their own language, choose their preferred return method, and receive updates on the progress of their return too. With the delivery service and tools to manage everything, you receive flexibility, money-saving measures, and a fantastic experience for your customers too.

Unpacking Returns: Navigating the Impact of Product Returns on eCommerce Businesses
Unpacking Returns: Navigating the Impact of Product Returns on eCommerce Businesses

What should you consider when choosing a parcel management system and delivery partner for eCommerce?

When looking for shipping for eCommerce business services, it’s important to have the right criteria for choosing an appropriate partner. There are several key factors to consider before making a decision.

  • Costs – Look for a delivery and returns partner to help you cut costs and keep your expenses as low as possible.
  • Tools – You need tools that make it simple to manage returns, as well as deliveries. Request a demo so you can explore if the features offered will work for your business.
  • Branding – Choose a return partner that allows you to brand your customer experience.
  • Overall customer experience – Consider the experience from the customer’s point of view, ensuring they will be as happy as you.

Select a partner that can provide management of both delivery and returns, just as GFS does for eCommerce businesses. A complete management system that benefits you and your customers.

eCommerce Returns Simplified

Whether you choose to offer free eCommerce returns or start charging for them, you definitely need a smarter way of returns management, and GFS Global Returns Pro can offer you exactly that.

Simplifying your returns process means reducing costs, increasing efficiencies and offering a market-leading consumer experience.

Get More Information for the Smarter Way to Manage Returns