Optimizing your returns process is a great way to save time and money with your Shopify business. In 2017, returns cost an estimated $350 billion for US businesses*. This number increases every year, especially with the high demand* we’ve seen for online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When a customer is shopping with your store, they expect a robust and efficient returns process. This can elevate the shopping experience considerably. It is also a way to ensure repeat customers, even when products are sent back.
Even though most eCommerce businesses that sell physical products handle returns, the requirements and processes are very individual to each business. That’s why many eCommerce platforms don’t automatically give you any return handling software. Luckily, I’ve got some handy tips for optimizing your returns process and integrating our Shopify returns app, Exchange It!
Reducing Returns vs. Optimizing Returns
Before we give you my top 3 tips, it’s important to clarify the difference between reducing and optimizing returns. Under the best circumstances, you’d have as few returns to your eCommerce store as possible. In reality, customers’ satisfaction or issues with a product are quite unpredictable. Returns are a natural part of the sales process but you want to have the lowest return rate possible.
Reducing returns is important. Having high-quality products, accurate descriptions, and efficient service, will reduce the likelihood of items being sent back. However, some returns are unavoidable. That is why you should focus on optimizing the returns process instead of fully reducing it.
Optimization means creating the most time and money-efficient returns process possible. With a quick, streamlined way to deal with returns, it does not impact the effectiveness of the rest of your inventory and fulfillment processes.
3 Tips For Optimizing Shopify Returns
Now you know why optimizing your returns process is so important. I’ve got 3 tips for streamlining it to save time and money for yourself and your business.
Create A Simple Returns Centre
If you have read our previous blog about warehouse organization, you know that it is key in being an efficient eCommerce.
Something also important for any eCommerce to focus on, is it to have a simple and easy-to-use returns center. This is both true for physical warehouse space and online space.
Have a dedicated space for processing returns. Label your products effectively with barcodes, and have a page or process set up online for feedback. That way, you know where the item is coming from, why, and where to stored it, once the return is processed.
A simple and efficient returns management process will save you time and money. Simply because every minute a return is waiting to be processed, it is costing your business.
Make returns simple
Automate The Returns Process
Once you know where returns will go and how a customer can start the process, automation is the next important step. This is better built in from the start, ensuring efficiency and good time management.
Part of this is having barcode systems and automated inventory management to keep track of your stock. Plus, offering exchanges allows to cut down the potential financial losses of returned products. Luckily, 506.io can help you with automating this!
Exchange It is a seamless app that takes up no extra space and automates the returns process in a simple way. You simply download the app and link it up to your other warehouse software and hardware systems to integrate your returns into the rest of the regular workflow. You can exchange items for others of equal value, process uneven exchanges, or send replacement orders. Which gives a great returns experience and will translate in more customers returning!
Track Returns Data
Finally, during the returns or exchange process, you need to be collecting lots of data. One way to optimize your returns process to save time and money is to know why products are coming back. When you know what issues are arising with your orders, you can find ways to cut down on them.
Using a returns automated system like Exchange It is great. It will give you valuable insights as the app collects data and analytics from returns and exchanges. You can also include open-ended questions or short multiple choice questionnaires in your online returns forms. This gives your customers the option to provide more extensive feedback with their returns and compiles useful data for your business.
There are plenty of other ways to optimize your returns process, but these 3 simple tips will get you started!