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Returning items to an online store can be a real hassle. You have to package the item properly, find a shipping label, and make sure the return gets to the right place.
But with the right tips and tools, you can make the process a lot easier. In this article, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of returning an item to an online store. We’ll also show you some of the best tools and resources to help make the process as smooth as possible.
Why Are E-Commerce Returns So Messy?
You’ve probably heard the horror stories. You order something online, and when it arrives, you realize it’s the wrong size, or the color is completely different than what you wanted. Or maybe it’s just plain broken.
What do you do? If you’re like most people, you probably do a quick Google search to try and find the best way to return the item. And then you wait for weeks while your item sits in a warehouse somewhere, waiting to be processed.
It’s no wonder that e-commerce returns are such a mess. With no standardized process, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to returning an item from your online purchase.
How Can You Clean Up the Mess?
You can clean up the messy business of e-commerce returns by following these simple steps:
1. Sort and organize the returns
It’s going to be a lot easier to deal with the mess if you can sort and organize the returns as soon as they come in. Create different piles for different types of products, and try to stick to a specific system so you don’t get overwhelmed.
2. Create a process for dealing with returns
Once you’ve sorted and organized the returns, it’s time to create a process for dealing with them. This is going to involve setting some rules for yourself and your team, and making sure everyone is on the same page.
3. Get rid of the junk
Not everything that comes back is going to be worth keeping. Get rid of the junk—the products that are damaged, broken, or just don’t meet your standards. This will free up some space and make it easier to deal with the returns.
4. Address customer complaints
When customers complain about something, it’s important to address their concerns immediately. Don’t let the issue fester—deal with it head on and try to find a solution that makes everyone happy.
Step 1: Set Up a Return Center
So you’ve got a slew of Returns to process. What do you do?
The first step is to set up a Return Center. This is where your customers can go to easily and quickly process their return.
Make sure to provide clear instructions on how to return the item, as well as a link to your returns policy. You should also list the address and contact information for the Return Center on your website.
Your Return Center should include a Return Form that your customers can fill out, as well as a Returns Policy that outlines your company’s return procedures.
Step 2: Streamline Your Return Process
Now that you’ve collected all of the returned items, it’s time to streamline your return process. This is where things can get a bit tricky, but we’re here to help.
First, create a return policy and make sure that it’s prominently displayed on your website. This will let your customers know what to expect when they’re returning an item.
Next, you’ll need to set up a system for processing returns. You can either do this manually or use a software that will automate the process for you.
Finally, make sure that you’re properly packaging the items so that they don’t get damaged in transit. You’ll also want to include a return form with each package so that the customer can easily indicate why they’re returning the item.
Step 3: Automate Your Returns
You’ve come this far, so the next step is to automate your returns process. This will make it easier for customers to send back their items, and it will also save you time and hassle.
There are a number of different software platforms that can help you with this, so do some research and find one that works best for you. Once you’ve set it up, the process will run smoothly and you’ll be able to focus on more important things.
Step 4: Offer Incentives for Return Customers
So you’ve followed our handy guide on how to clean up the messy business of e-commerce returns, and you’re now ready to implement your new system. Congratulations!
But before you put your feet up and relax, there’s one more thing you need to do: offer incentives for return customers. This could be anything from a discount on their next purchase to a free gift voucher or even a cash prize.
The key is to make it worth their while to come back to your store, and to show them that you appreciate their custom. So why not take a leaf out of Amazon’s book and give them a little something extra?
You’ve probably had to return at least a few items in your lifetime. It’s not the most fun thing to do, but it’s part of the shopping experience.
When it comes to e-commerce returns, though, things can get a little messy. That’s why we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to help you make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.
So, what are you waiting for? Follow these steps and start returning those items like a pro!