How to Deal with Seasonal Returns Our Top 6 Tips

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Print
Email

Brace yourselves – the holiday returns season is coming – and it’s expected to be one of the busiest on record. How busy? According to Shopify’s 2018 Holiday Ecommerce Returns Guide, 8-10% of sales will be returned to brick and mortar stores, while online businesses can expect return rates between 20-30%, with a 50% return rate on “expensive” items. Further, in 2017, Optoro, a firm specializing in reverse logistics, estimated that $90 billion worth of holiday goods would be returned, which is roughly 13% of all holidays sales.

Not only that, but according to the National Retail Federation, 32% of people value a company’s return policy when making purchases, which ultimately means returns are BIG business – both in terms of potential sales, and in logistics-related expense.

So, how do you optimize your returns process to maximize sales and cause as little headache as possible for your operation? Let’s dig into it…

Tip 1: Offer a more lenient returns policy on holiday-related sales

Consider extending your normal returns window. If customers usually have 30 days to make returns, offer a 90-day window for any purchases made during the holidays. Remember, some people won’t even be able to give their gifts until a week or two after Christmas, which means extending your deadline could entice more shoppers to consider your offerings over similar ones from your competitors.

Tip 2: State your returns policy prominently and clearly

An enticing returns policy isn’t much good if nobody knows about it, which is why it’s important to give it prominent placement in your store or on your website. Make sure the terms are clearly stated and easy to understand. Don’t hide things in fine print. There’s no surer way to lose repeat business, than by making an existing customer feel tricked by an ill-worded, ill-conceived returns policy.

Tip 3: Promote exchanges in place of returns

When given the choice, most customers will choose a cash refund over store credit or exchange. To level the playing field, consider incentivizing the other two options by offering discounts on future purchases or extra credit toward another item later.

Tip 4: Turn returns into sales

Piggybacking off tip 3, tip 4 encourages you to convert returns into sales when you can. Try organizing your store so customers are exposed to “hot” deals or impulse purchases on their way to the returns counter. Likewise, you could offer special deals or discounts to customers returning items online. Turn it into a seamless part of the returns process and accompany the offer with a friendly message, “We’re sorry your last purchase didn’t work out. Maybe these options would suit you better. Just apply your returning customer discount in the cart.”

Tip 5: Make returning items easy

A simple returns process is key to building a successful customer experience. Brick and mortar shops should have plenty of people working the return counter in the weeks after Christmas to facilitate speedy, convenient resolution. Online stores can make things easier by including return labels (prepaid if possible), and reusable packaging for all purchases.

Tip 6: Prepare your staff

If you haven’t already run your employees through holiday returns training, get to it soon. When handling returns in store, your staff should know what to look for (what’s acceptable), how to process returns within your system, how to prepare items for sorting and restocking, and how to deal with customers. For ecommerce returns, staff should know how to answer customer questions via chat or phone, and know how to process items as soon as they reach you warehouse or distribution center.

 

For more articles like this, subscribe to our newsletter!

Was this article helpful?

Michael Eichenberg is the co-founder and CEO of FreightSnap, allowing the supply chain, logistics, manufacturing, distribution and transportation industries to measure, weigh, photograph and ID pallets and parcels in just seconds. Learn more and share your ideas on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Subscribe to Our Blog

Stay up to date with our latest news, receive exclusive deals, and more.

Like parcel and air freight carriers, LTLs are looking less at what you’re shipping and more at how big it is. Space is the name of the game, and carriers are doing everything they can to make sure they’re getting paid for the amount that’s being used on their trailers....

We’re all looking for ways to save our businesses money. And when we open our books to seek out opportunities, one place we all inevitably land is shipping and logistics. Why? Well, if your business ships any kind of volume, you probably see a big number in that column, and...

Let’s Talk About Drop Shipping In traditional ecommerce businesses, the order fulfillment process involves companies receiving customer orders and shipping the products from inventory they have in stock. This includes picking, packaging, and sending out the order to the customer. Obviously, this method of supply chain management requires significant overhead...

In the rapid world of logistics and freight management, identifying leaders in innovation is crucial. Enter FreightSnap, your solution to warehouse automation and optimization. The FreightSnap Image Station, a groundbreaking development in automated freight documentation, is redefining the game for shippers and carriers. Join us on an exciting journey as...

Subscribe to our Blog

Stay up to date with our latest news, receive exclusive deals, and more.

Ever since volumetric freight dimensioning became the standard form of measurement for the transportation and shipping industries, companies have been working to streamline the process and take advantage of its benefits. But, like any new process, the transition to dimensional weight measurement has caused a few headaches for companies making...

Instead of determining shipping rates based on a combination of density, stow-ability, ease of handling and liability – the case under the NMFC’s class based pricing system – LTL carriers in the United States are turning to a simpler way of calculating rates – dimensional-weight pricing. Since the transition began,...

Demand for quicker delivery has put added pressure on warehouse inventory managers who are tasked with optimizing the fulfillment process so items get picked, packed, and out the door on schedule. As a result, they’re always looking for new ways to optimize operations and improve workflow within the warehouse. This...

Lenexa, KS – FreightSnap’s FS 5000 pallet dimensioner has officially earned OIML certification after passing the established testing criteria for multi-dimensional measuring instruments. Having previously passed certification standards in the United States (NTEP) and Canada (Measurement Canada), the FS 5000’s recent OIML certification means that the dimensioner has now earned...

Product Sheet - FS Parcel Dimensioner

2023 DimReimag LP - FSParcel PS Dwnld

Product Sheet - FS 5000 Dimensioner

2023 DimReimag LP - FS500 PS Dwnld

Request a Quote!

2023 DimReimag LP Pricing Request Form