If you’re running an online business that sells and ships products overseas, the current returns policy you have set in place could be used to attract even more customers and retain old ones. A successful returns management policy that offers generous returns in accordance with low shipping rates has been proven to boost e-commerce businesses. All in all if you consistently offer easy returns and low cost shipping, you greatly satisfy a large majority of your customer base, eventually resulting in increased orders and enhanced customer satisfaction.
A recent report written and published by Forester Research, a think tank associated with UPS, provides some inside information on just how your customers behave when they are in the process of making a purchase from your website. The report discovered that 81% of all consumers like to have an easy returns process that is comprehensible and doable. The report also notes that 80% of all online buyers are more loyal to businesses that present them with a reasonable returns policy.
As customers become more active and proceed to buy more products, it is likely more returns will be made as a result. The Forester study states that 79% of customers seek and want affordable shipping rates and options. For smaller online business, this feature is extremely important. Since most small businesses are niche businesses that compete with larger e-commerce companies, it’s vital to the success of small businesses that their shipping rates and options are offered at competitive, reliable, fast, and fair rates. With shipping options such as Priority Mail flat rate shipping, smaller businesses can now offer quick and cost-effective shipping to their customers.
Likewise, when adapting or creating your returns policy you should consider any associated restocking fees, repackaging fees, and return shipping fees. According to the Forester study, 55% of all online shoppers want few or no restocking fees added with the returns process. They also want the store to honor their returns, because in many cases the customer is not at fault.
Approximately 65% of all online returns that were used and reviewed for the study, the return was caused due to an error on the part of the store rather than an error made by the customer. The breakdown was as follows:
23% of the time it had to do with the online store shipping the wrong product.
22% of the time it had to do with the item’s appearance being drastically different upon arrival than it had been represented as in the online picture or description.20% of the time, a return was initiated due to a damaged or defective item being received.
The good news is that the newer flat rate makes it possible for smaller businesses to offer generous returns and better shipping rates. Using these two strategies help attract more customers to your business, allows you to compete with bigger business, and be able to retain previous customers who value your services.