It’s no secret that the positive experience delivered to a customer determines if that customer will return. Retailers need to improve the customer experience before pushing the “buy” button, but also focus on the post-purchase site experience to keep customer retention data at satisfactory levels.
This is where many online marketers throw the ball; specifically with the processing and management of consumer feedback communications. By incorporating new strategies to optimize this process, marketers can increase customer retention and add new revenue streams to direct business.
Here are some key indicators to support your return optimization business case:
o 85% of buyers say they will stop buying from the seller if the return process is a hassle (Harris Interactive)
o 95% of buyers say they are likely to shop again with a catalog or online retailer if the return process is convenient (Harris Interactive)
o 40% of shoppers do not buy online due to problems with returns (Jupiter Research)
o Quickly resolved customers have an 82% buy-back intent (McKinsey)
Increased importance of online returns
Refunds are an indispensable fact of online commerce. As the depth of online product categories has become apparent over the last three years, the importance of online return policies has become painfully apparent. Enable a bad return experience and undoubtedly reduce the chance of a buyer returning for re-purchase.
For example, sectors such as high-end apparel, consumer returns reach as high as 20%, and an efficient return process is crucial to overall success. Faster inventory cycles and fluctuating retail prices are important not only to efficiently process consumer returns, but also to get them quickly in stock for resale.
Reverse logistics solves fundamental business problems
Retailers are becoming proactive, turning these operational challenges into competitive advantages and incremental revenue streams. By investing in solutions that integrate key platform components and data, online marketers can provide consumers with self-service return options.
A typical reverse logistics solution enables the consumer to initiate a return more easily by incorporating a subscription sticker in the postage. This label can be integrated into the cardboard or it can be a separate standalone piece.
Because label generation is powered by a warehouse management system, the label is able to collect key customer information for monitoring purposes, both for CSR and for the end consumer.
The label provides the customer with one primary source of value – convenience. Mail travel is not required, and retailers improve overall customer satisfaction while facilitating product returns to the distribution center.
When consumers initiate a refund through this process, merchants typically charge them a “handling fee.” This fee is usually 20% higher than the postage provided by the reverse logistics provider. That dollar has increased, between what the buyer is charged and what the retailer has paid the postage for, bringing direct and measurable earnings to retailers.
Improving communication with online consumers
A reverse logistics solution can dramatically improve customer communication during the return process. Newgistics is a great example of a reverse logistics provider that incorporates a customer-oriented communication process into its overall solution.
Once the return package is taken from the consumer’s location, it is sent to the Newgistics sorting and re-location center. During this process, there are strategic scanning mechanisms used to facilitate activated and branded email communication messages.
Email notifications received from consumers when certain milestones in the return process are reached, such as:
o return receipt
o (For example, we received your refund and you should receive a credit in the coming days).
o Completion of return
o (e.g. your return was processed)
Receiving these emails quickly enhances customer confidence, reduces customer service inbound calls, and provides another value-added feature to enhance e-commerce relationships.
Your company takes great risk if it does not provide a great after-sales experience. Feel free to contact Trinity to learn more about this type of initiative and how we can help discover, scale and implement efforts.