The World of Returns and Reverse Logistics

Did you know that return options strongly influence customer loyalty?

Picture Lucy. She’s one of your most valued customers, and she just received an item from your current catalog today. It fits great, feels great, but whoops, it’s just not her color. As she searches through the box her item came in, she’s surprised to find out that there’s no return label. A frustrated Lucy then decides to call your customer service line and learns of your labored return process. Unfortunately, an unhappy customer is not a loyal customer, so you don’t receive any purchases from Lucy for a while.

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So, how do you streamline returns and the reverse logistics process to keep customers like Lucy coming back?

One of the most critical aspects of the online shopping customer experience is returns. Retailers that offer a hassle-free process can increase customer satisfaction and ensure repeat business.

  1. Offer free shipping. Free shipping for returns is often noted as the most important part of a consumer’s best returns experience.
  2. Offer a “no questions asked” return policy. Often times, many customers don’t even bother to return an item because they don’t want to “argue” with a company over their return reasoning.
  3. Offer an automatic credit/debit card refund. When a customer returns an item, they prefer to receive their money back right away, as if they were returning that item in a store.
  4. Include a pre-paid return label right in the box. Providing a pre-paid return label in the box the item comes in allows the customer to return their item with ease.

In Lucy’s case, if there had been a return label with instructions in her item’s box, she most likely would have remained a happy customer of yours. Did you know that shipping software actually gives you the ability to do this? With the correct shipping software you would be able to produce carrier compliant return labels and instructions in every package you send out.

To learn more about how to gain this advantage in the shipping world, along with many others, download our free white paper on omnichannel fulfillment and e-commerce!

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