Shoppers in the United States spent more than $1 billion online, 22-percent more than last year, according to the Adobe Digital Index, and U.S. online sales grew 14 percent on Cyber Monday, on track to set a record this year, as Reuters reported. Online retailers were well prepared for the holidays, but now that the shopping frenzy is over, are you prepared to bump up customer service, turn those returns into sales and gain more loyal customers?
As an online retailer, you have two options: let your business lose sales or turn those returns into an opportunity. Remember, approximately 95% of customers will buy again once they’ve experienced a positive return from a brand.
Here’s how to convert those returns into exchanges and sales:
Change Your Mindset About Returns
Often times, agents and employees approach a return as a simple transactional activity. They process the return at a store, or provide guidance on the return policy and how to return/exchange an item online, and then, take no further action. This is a big mistake. Returns provide an opportunity to connect with the customer and potentially make a sale. So, re-train your employees and agents to approach returns with a “sales” mindset and engage with your customers.
Listen & Suggest Alternatives
Start the return transaction by genuinely listening to your customer. It’s your chance to understand the shopper’s needs and offer alternatives without being too pushy. For example, would the shopper like a different style, color or size? Could a similar item serve the customer’s needs? Be sure to mention the benefits to the customer.
Be Proactive and Engage Your Customers
Remember that you’re competing against an entire online ecosystem of retailers. Demonstrating that you truly care about and understand your customers can attract them back and differentiate your online business.
However, not all returns can be exchanges. Many customers will only want their money back. That’s okay. Take care of the transaction, and use this opportunity to gently, but proactively, mention current or upcoming specials and promotions.
With a positive experience, chances are high that he or she will return to shop with you another day.
Engage via multiple channels
Ensure that you are present – effectively – on every channel and device where customers shop – desktop, tablet, smartphones, etc. They want to be able to reach your site and enjoy the same shopping experience and ease of use anywhere, anytime, and on any device. It’s vital to provide a unified shopping experience. There are multiple channels you can add to allow your brand to further engage with online shoppers and turn more visitors into buyers, or convert returns into sales.
For example, retailers should consider deploying a mobile optimized Live Chat solution, if you don’t already have one. According to Internet Retailer research, mobile commerce is growing at nearly three times the rate of overall eCommerce growth, leaving businesses with no choice but to adapt to the rise in mobile web traffic to attract and maintain customers whether it is return or a new purchase.
For more information, check out the Moxie Suite Digital Catalog on how to craft a winning digital engagement strategy.