Some companies offer a special discount for an exchange as opposed to a cash return. For example, some sites make an offer where instead of taking a cash return immediately, the shopper is given 20% off their entire purchase if they redeem their credit in the next twelve hours. While the shopper feels like they are receiving something extra, the merchant is converting a return into a purchase.
Another returns policy is for merchants to offer shoppers an immediate exchange or an instant merchandise credit at the very beginning of the return process - prior to the shopper returning the original purchase. This makes it easy for consumers to shop right away while they are on the website without having to wait for refunds to hit their accounts. In one case, instant repurchase options resulted in 400% increase in repurchase conversions.
The downside of this type of policy is the increased chance of fraud in which shoppers will use the store credit to make additional purchases without returning the original item. However, there are a variety of ways to mitigate this risk, such as setting threshold credit amounts, refunding a certain percentage immediately and the remaining amount upon receipt of the goods, setting up customer risk profiles, or a combination of these and other policies that can be customized based on a shopper’s past purchases and behavior.
It is important to make sure the returns policy is appropriate to the target customer and products being sold. Companies selling pet products will have different policies from merchants selling children clothing which will be different from retailers selling perishable or non-returnable items. Additionally, policies can also differ based on the frequency of returns an individual shopper requests. For example, first-time requesters can receive a personalized message indicating that they can keep the product while receiving a refund. This technique can be highly effective especially with the millennial audience.
Some retailers who cannot accept or resell returns use a policy that shows sites where the customer could donate the unwanted product to a worthy cause. Other companies have created a “give-it-toyour-friend-on-us” policy to increase loyalty as well as having a chance to reach new customers.
Regardless of the returns policies that are implemented, online sellers must place the same importance on delivering an optimal returns process for the customer as they do for the initial purchase experience. The key to delivering both is to make sure integration of the e-commerce tech stack is available to guarantee that the processes are automated, error-free, and timely in a costeffective and scalable manner.
Celigo’s integrator.io is a next-generation integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) that enables e-commerce companies to quickly integrate their technology stack with minimal technical expertise required.
Online sellers need to make returns a competitive advantage as a way to increase conversions, build customer loyalty, and differentiate from competitors. The most successful companies view returns as part of the entire customer experience and treat it with the same weight as offering an optimized buying experience.
In order to make this a reality, all the key systems running an e-commerce system needs to be integrated. Since integration impacts a number of other processes besides returns, investing in a single integration platform is ideal.
Celigo’s iPaaS, integrator.io, has been used by hundreds of retailers for integrating web storefronts, marketplaces, order management, point-of-sale, warehouse management, 3PL, EDI partners, and other systems. In addition to reducing the time to create integrations, an iPaaS allows integrations to be easily updated and managed as the business evolves and grows.
Contact Us for E-commerce: Turning Online Return into Conversions with Celigo into your Business.
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