E-commerce is growing at an enormous rate all over the world. Ecommerce revenues are predicted to grow to approximately 5 trillion US dollars in the next two years. As the ecommerce industry continues to expand and grow, expected returns from the customers also increases as well. It can be challenging for store owners to satisfy all the customers every single day. It is common for store owners to experience customer returns at some point because a customer will buy from your store, find a problem with the product, return it and demand a refund. The consumers are more connected now and have adequate shopping options. It means the real power lies in the customer’s hands and they expect to be allowed to return products if they find it disappointing. The reason returns are a natural part of the e-commerce process.
1. Sharing Enticing Product Images, Videos, & Descriptions
From purchasing the wrong size to purchasing a product you don’t want to keep, the customers can make mistakes. These types of situations cannot be avoided but as a store owner, there are important things you can do to minimize them. Crucial things such as missing information, no product descriptions, and low-quality pictures may lead to wrong purchases.
- Over 50% of online shoppers thought about returning a product because it didn’t match the product description or the pictures published on the site
- One of the drawbacks of running an online store is the lack of touch and examination that customers have access to in conventional retail stores. One of the best ways to combat this issue is to provide high-resolution images on your website that can be easily zoomed to offer customers with a full view of the product
- To raise the standard of your ecommerce store, entrepreneurs can feature product-related videos on its page. By introducing videos on the product pages, online stores can experience a boost in sales between 5 to 30%
2. Publishing Customer Testimonials
Social proof is a popular term often described as a psychological and social phenomenon in which customers assume the actions of others best reflect what acceptable behavior for a given situation is. The reason marketing experts hire celebrities to endorse their products because it builds instant credibility to the brand.
User-Generated Content (UGC)
User-generated content is a type of content created and made publicly available by a user of a system or service. It could mean anything ranging from a blog or a tweet to a random comment left on a Facebook business page. Even selfies posted on social media platforms can be considered user-generated content.
One-fourth of the search results for some the world’s largest consumer brands are some type of UGC. It means that content created by loyal fans and influencers may lead people to become potential customers. The following are the two best ways to share UGC that store owners can use as social proof to enhance sales and reduce returns:
Customer testimonials and online reviews are reliable forms of social proof. Last year an online store discovered the following statistics when doing a yearly local consumer review survey:
- Over 80% of consumers read trusted reviews for local businesses
- The consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before they feel comfortable trusting a local business
- Up to 45% of consumers only consider reviews written within the past two weeks
- More than 85% of younger adults trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- 50% of consumers will only trust a business if it has a minimum 4 or 5 stars
- Instagram Customer Pictures
From exotic models to spectacular settings, it’s been many years that Instagram has been used as a business tool for UGC by the most renowned brands in the world. Up to 70% of consumers around the world say they trust customer photos more than branded images made from brands. It is better than having visual proof from actual customers showing how awesome your product is. You can use hashtags and start a movement to build a large following on Instagram.
3. Having a Flexible Returns or Free Shipping Policy
Over 60% of online shoppers review a store’s returns policy before purchasing a product. Most of the online consumers make sure they have abundant information before they’re ready to pay for the products. The reason having a clear returns policy that reduces returns and promotes sales is crucial.
Making Your Return Policy Easily Accessible
The first step to building a solid returns policy is to make it simpler to find and accessible on your website. Several online retailers may hide their returns policy under complex terms and conditions which customers can only find by clicking on a vague link on the footer of their webpage. Here are a few recommendations on where to put your returns policy to enhance its visibility:
On the Product Page
In this way, your customers will be able to review the product they’re considering buying, while at the same reviewing your policy. It will reassure the customer that they’re making the best choice.
On the Footer
Your returns policy should be easily accessible on a separate and dedicated tab or link in the footer.
Making your returns policy widely accessible in your checkout cart will encourage the customers to take the final step.
In the Confirmation Email
This will be a final reminder to the customers that your first priority is their satisfaction, and that you’re ready to provide them a hassle-free returns experience if they are not satisfied with the product.
4. Collect Data from Customers
Even with the most informative product descriptions, high-quality images, and a top-notch returns policy, there will always be customers who will want to return their purchase. Determining the reason customers are returning items can be a better way to lower returns in the future. If you find that customers are despising and returning a product due to design faults and quality issues, you can consult your supplier and correct this.
If your customer complains that the product they bought looks much bigger than on the product page, you can change the product images and make them more consistent with the true sizing. Collecting data from the customers through checklists and paper slips can be time-consuming. Building a system is best-suited to streamline the whole process. Your customers will be required to visit a webpage and enter the reason for their return before they can ship the item back to you.