When the potential for sales is highest, the last thing you want to think about is product returns. However, ignoring the bigger picture and inadequate planning for product returns will cost you.
To learn more about how to manage returns like a pro, keep reading below!
Peak Season Comes and Goes But Returns Are Year-Round
For managers, the purpose of a sale and the hype of peak season comes from turning over a high volume of products. Understandably, few managers want to think about returns after the sales.
However, returns are an inevitable part of the eCommerce economy. According to research, close to 70% of online shoppers take note of a brand’s return policy before they buy. Furthermore, with 1 in 4 customers likely to discover your brand for the first time during peak season – creating that first impression is vital.
Delivering a positive return delivery experience can help lock in brand loyalty and drive repeat business. Therefore, making sure your return policy is clear and easy to access should be a top priority.
Mishandling Products Will Hurt Your Bottom Line
There are plenty of reasons why shoppers return their purchases; understanding some of the underlying causes might help you plan. From wardrobing, damaged goods to failed deliveries, the list is endless.
But it doesn’t have to compromise your revenue targets. On the contrary, the quicker you can get eligible returned goods back into the sales funnel, the more chances you can protect your revenues.
Firstly, start by planning approximately 10% of your retail sales for returns.
Next, make sure all your systems and processes are unified by onboarding an advanced multi-carrier management system. These systems are designed to manage all aspects of your shipments and are easy to install.
Finally, make sure the system you install is carrier agnostic like SmartConsign; unlike other systems, they do not charge carriers to integrate onto the platform – which means that the rates you access are unbiased.
With returns management costing almost twice as much as outbound shipping, ensuring you get the best carrier rates is vitally important.
Turn Returns Into Profit With Some Simple Strategies
Whilst not all returned goods are equal, there are still opportunities to recover your losses. Just over half of returns are not fit for reselling at full price and based on the latest research, that equates to approximately £400bn worth of goods.
Successful eCommerce businesses mitigate the loss by selling returns in the outlet section of their website. So – the concept serves an entirely new audience.
An alternative strategy might be to offload returns to online auction houses like Trade-secret.co.uk or auctioneering site John Pye for larger or higher value ticket items.
Furthermore, these strategies help to minimise the volume of goods sent to landfills, so it’s not only good for business but also good for the planet.
Think About the Bigger Picture, Not Just Peak Season
Peak season is one of the more exciting parts of online retail, but it’s just one part of the bigger picture. After peak season inevitably comes an influx of product returns. And if your company is not prepared for that, it risks missing out on chances to recoup on losses.
To help improve your chances of success, invest in a system that connects all your shipping carriers, sales channels and partners. Whilst you cannot control the timing and volume of returns after each sale – you can have the best system in place to mitigate potential losses.
Peak season has already started, but you still have time to build your returns management strategy. To discover more – search for SmartConsign and talk to our returns management shipping experts.