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Online sellers have reason to celebrate during the upcoming festive season. Diwali, Christmas and New Year offer scope for a lot of shopping, which translates to a lot of selling and good business for sellers. While the opportunities abound to make a killing, there is also the risk of fraud buyers, consignment lost in transit in all the chaos and product returns.

Product returns are a bane for any seller. It results in the obvious financial loss, and also an added logistics burden. The paperwork and technical complications in tracking the consignment, repackaging and resending drains the seller of time and energy that can be otherwise spent on new orders.

Therefore, a low rate of returns is good for business. What can a seller do to reduce the incidence of returns? We list out some good practises that can help control product returns so that all the online sellers can rock the festive sales.

What you can do?

1. Write accurate descriptions

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Give clear-cut descriptions of the product. Don’t leave anything to the imagination, and state the features of the product without any ambiguity. When it comes to apparel, ensure that the colour details are clearly spelt out to reduce confusion.

2. Put together a  support team to clear queries

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What if a buyer has a question about your product and the purchase decision depends on these questions? Ensure that you have both an online and an on phone staff available. A team on live chat is also a good idea. The support staff has to be equipped to answer any doubt the customer has about a product.

3. Upload strategic product images 

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Try to put as many photos as you can. This does not mean simply dump all the pictures from your camera on your page, but try to cover as many angles. Zoom in to show specific details. If possible, look at adding videos. Of late, ecommerce sites have been toying with the idea of using videos to help the user get a better idea of the product. Here is where the services of a professional photographer come into play.

It is also important to give the customer the correct impression. If the seller puts up flattering pictures of the product that conveys a different size (such as bags), a return is inevitable.

4. Offer specific size chartsFlipkart.com

Sometimes sellers neglect to provide a size chart. Add it as a sub link next to the product specifications. This reduces clutter on the page and ensures that the required details are available to the shopper.

If you look at the example given below, the size chart and measurement is a link that pops up when the user clicks the link ‘Size Chart’.

5. Encourage customer reviews

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Encourage your shoppers to write reviews on their experience with the product. Research has shown that reviews have a positive impact on the sales. If a product has close to 50 reviews, it has a 4.6% more chance of getting sold compared to its no-reviewed peers. A user review is also more trusted. This is because a user gives an unbiased opinion as against the glossy description of a product. Reviews also help in getting you a high SEO ranking. Send reminders to customers to write a review.

It also pays to take feedback seriously. If customers have expressed their unhappiness or disappointment in their reviews, look at ways to rectify the issues wherever possible.

6. Request for feedback2

Ask your customer what they like or dislike about your product. In the unfortunate instance where there is a return, send a feedback form so that you will know where the problem lies.

7. Provide an accessible return policy

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State your terms for returns where the customer can find it. If you offer free returns, spell that out so that it attracts buyer attention. Free returns give you an edge over other sellers by the way. You can offer a limited festive period offer of free returns.

Well, there you are, some tips on controlling product returns. Need help with your ecommerce requirements? Reach out to us at Browntape here. We are India’s largest ecommerce service provider and we are always happy to help.

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