Handling E-commerce Returns: Guide for 2024

E-commerce Returns

Handling E-commerce Returns: Guide for 2024

Handling E-commerce Returns: Guide for 2024 https://i0.wp.com/www.noitechnologies.com/wp-content/uploads/Artboard-1-6.jpg?fit=1280%2C720&ssl=1 1280 720 Visvendra Singh Visvendra Singh https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/0e675e9b7fca446afd5ff8a5c60343b9?s=96&r=g

In the digital era, e-commerce businesses are growing at a fast pace. With the e-commerce industry undergoing a substantial transformation the number of users is also increasing alongside the number of e-commerce returns.

Managing returns is an intricate process, which can significantly influence customer satisfaction as well as the profitability of a business. However, a well-planned solution can surely help in handling e-commerce returns with efficiency.

In this comprehensive guide, we will fill you up with several aspects of efficiently handling e-commerce returns.

What are E-commerce Returns?

E-commerce returns refer to the goods that are purchased by the users online but are sent back to the seller due to various reasons. It is a critical aspect of online shopping, where the users cannot check the products physically before buying, and the purchases are made based on the descriptions and images of the items.

E-commerce Returns Handling

The returns process involves the following steps:

Step 1: The customer places a return request

Step 2: The seller accepts the return request

Step 3: The product is picked from the customer

Step 4: Shipping the product back to its origin

Step 5: Product received by the seller

Step 6: Quality checks

Step 7: Process refunds/exchanges

Why do People Return Goods?

Now, moving ahead e-commerce returns happen for several reasons, and knowing the reasons can not only help minimize the return rates but also help enhance customer satisfaction alongside improving the business processes.

Some of the common reasons are as follows –

  • Better Prices – This is one of the primary reasons why customers return the products. When the users compare the prices of the same product with diverse pricing, they might return the product if you sell it at a higher price.
  • Change of Mind – Sometimes customers return a product after purchasing it online because they simply change their minds, or they do not need the product anymore, etc.
  • Damaged Product – It is one of the most common reasons why users return products. When a user receives a damaged product they initiate a return request immediately, thus requesting a refund, exchange, or replacement as per their needs.
  • Inaccurate Product Description/Images – This is another common reason for e-commerce returns where the product details and images don’t match the product received. This can happen because of misleading images, or discrepancies in size, color, or other product specifications.
  • Quality Issues – Customers might also return a product if the quality of the product doesn’t meet their expectations, where the product might feel cheap or poorly manufactured as compared to the details mentioned online.
  • Size and Fit Issues – It is one of the important reasons for e-commerce returns in clothing and apparel. It mostly happens when a customer receives an incorrect size of the product, the size charts aren’t detailed enough, or the product doesn’t fit well, thus leading the customers to initiate a return request for the product.
  • Wrong Item –  This is another common reason that happens mostly because of inaccurate inventory and errors in order fulfillment, which includes shipping the wrong item, size, color, etc thus leading to an increased return rate.

Once you know the reasons for e-commerce returns, it gets easier to understand the customer requirements, thus leading to an efficient order fulfillment process and lower return rates.

How to Manage E-commerce Returns?

A smooth returns process is a critical factor in providing improved customer satisfaction alongside building trust. Some ways to effectively manage e-commerce returns are –

  1. Define a clear returns policy, where you can outline the timeframe for initiating a return request, acceptable reasons, returns shipping cost, refunds, etc which further helps in a good return management process.
  2. Devise an easy-to-use interface where the customers can easily initiate a return request for a product and track the status of returns.
  3. Provide the users the flexibility with multiple return options like carrier pickup, in-store returns (if applicable), etc which helps build trust and credibility with the customers.
  4. Automate the return management process, which will help in quicker processes, and reduce manual errors alongside improved productivity of the employees. You can also consider using FulFillor’s order management system which will help you in handling e-commerce returns easily.
  5. Collect and analyze the e-commerce returns data to help you identify the areas for improvement. This also helps in increased customer satisfaction alongside providing you with the potential causes and issues of returns.
  6. Offer timely support, seamless communication, and flexible solutions throughout the returns process to provide a seamless customer experience.
Best Practices

Some of the best practices that can help in effectively handling e-commerce returns are as follows –

  1. Consider using artificial intelligence in your solution. It helps in understanding the patterns and thus helping you with recommendations to improve the services.
  2. Provide high-quality and real images of the products alongside detailed and accurate descriptions. It helps the customers to understand the product better and order accordingly.
  3. Provide virtual try-on options or 3D images of how the product would look in real, thus helping the customer to have a look at the product before they order.
  4. Provide custom return policies for different customers and different products. For example: you can set the timeline for returning clothing to 30 days, whereas in terms of edible items, it can vary as per the type of product the customer orders.
  5. Encourage the users to provide insights on why they are returning the product and then use the information to improve your business services, thus helping to reduce future e-commerce returns.


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Summing It Up

Handling e-commerce returns is an intricate process and requires thorough analysis and planning to reduce the return rates. While e-commerce businesses are trying hard to reduce their return rates, it is also important for businesses to provide quality services to their customers.

So, if you are looking for a solution that eases the e-commerce returns processes, then now is the time to start working on it!

Connect with us, and we will help. NOI Technologies LLC is a leading open-source ERP development company that will help you devise customized solutions to ease the returns processes and provide a seamless customer experience.