Retailers can Eliminate Returns by Making Them Unnecessary
The convenience of shopping online is unparalleled for most consumers. Yet, even with the added comfort of shopping from home, customers often miss the dressing room experience of brick-and-mortar stores – and for good reason. With no way to touch, feel, or try clothes on digitally, consumers often abandon their purchase or end up buying more sizes and styles than necessary. Retailers have attempted to remedy this issue by offering flexible return policies with free shipping and instant refunds. While this may benefit the consumer, it increases waste for businesses due to costs of return shipping, restocking, and product loss. Returns also wreak havoc on the environment. Returns double the transport involved and many damaged goods end up in a landfill. In Mark Finch’s article featured in Retail Focus, “Don’t Drown Your Business (and the Planet) in Returns – Help Customers Get it Right the First Time,” the VP Sales EMEA at goMoxie explains how businesses can eliminate the return conundrum.
Make Returns Unnecessary by Offering Relevant Guidance When it Matters
Regardless of how painless and easy a returns process may be, it’s never a customer’s first choice. Returns are still a hassle and take valuable time to complete. Finch argues that retailers can eliminate the issue entirely by offering customers relevant, in-context information right where they are.
Guiding customers is at the heart of in-store shopping. The best retail associates use behavioral clues to recognize when a customer needs help. Online businesses can follow suit by using real-time behavior analytics to acknowledge similar insights. If a customer is putting multiple sizes of the same items in their cart or bouncing between two pages, their behavior indicates a struggle. These problems can be easily addressed – and solved – by proactively guiding the customer to the right online tool. With assistive resources at their disposal, the consumer can confidently complete their purchase, no returns necessary. The best part? The company saves money, the customer avoids a struggle, and the planet is free from needless waste.
An online retail strategy designed around a higher volume of returns only causes more work for the customer, increased cost for the retailer, and more damage to the environment. Providing automated contextual guidance can help retailers build a more successful and healthy online experience for all parties involved.