How e-Commerce Retailers Can Reduce Return Rates

Nobody Likes Dealing with e-Commerce Returns, Especially Your Business

Designing the e-Commerce Experience

Many e-Commerce stores experience a significant hike in sales during the holiday season, only to be followed by an unwelcome wave of returns. On an average, retail stores see a 20% – 30% return rate after the holidays, return rates like this can be a major problem for online businesses. It’s impossible to prevent all returns from happening, but there are precautions e-Commerce stores and retailers can take to reduce the frequency and volume of returns.

Provide Detailed Size Guides

Online sales of clothing and shoes tend to see the most returns for fairly obvious reasons. It can be difficult for users to determine whether or not a piece of clothing is going to fit them well or whether shoes will fit their unique foot shape. To lessen the likelihood of customer’s choosing the wrong size, provide size guides that give the measurements of bust, waist and hip related to the appropriate size. Some people have an easier time determining sizes when they can compare themselves to the clothing model. Provide the height and size of the model to give shoppers another perspective on how things might fit. For shoes help shoppers by providing any information possible about whether the sizes tend to run small or large, width sizes, as well as whether the footwear tends to be a good fit for people with flat feet or high arches.

Customer Feedback

Gather customer feedback on the reason for returns. Customer feedback can be valuable to minimize future returns by providing additional information to prospective buyers. For example, there may be a malfunction within a particular product which may lead to an unusual amount of returns, you will have to determine whether the defect overshadows the products value and whether you should discontinue offering the product or whether simply providing extra detail about common complaints can guide the wrong buyers away from a particular product.

Display Features Through Video

Video displays can add other aspects and details about a product that are missed through simple product description and one dimensional photos. Product videos effectively demonstrate features, usefulness, the level of complexity and more. According to Zappos, video displays help reduce return rates. Videos also tend to be very useful for promoting products, they can really be a win-win for e-Commerce businesses.

Be Purposeful With Images

Even if you decide not to do a video display, the detailed use of images can be highly effective. Provide high resolution images and products from different angles, perhaps from a 360 degree viewer to give a well rounded depiction and enable users to zoom in for a closer look at your products.

Buyers’ Guides

For products that are technical or complex in nature, customers may need help deciding. Supplying detailed guides that allow customers to choose the right product based upon their unique specifications will minimize returns. How-to-guides are great ways to offer additional information that will properly steer the customer through the buying process. And last but not least, the ability to compare and contrast similar products can make life easier for your customers by enabling them to see what they are losing out on or gaining by choosing a similar but more or less expensive product.

Got Great Products but Need Help Designing or Enhancing a Great e-Commerce Site?

Whether you are a Bay Area retail store, an online boutique in New York City, or anything in between, follow these simple guidelines to minimize returns and improve customer satisfaction and call Hub Consulting in San Francisco at (415) 361-5234 or contact us from our website.

Posted December 30, 2015 by & filed under E-Commerce, E-Commerce Contract Staffing, News, UX & UI Design Staffing.