Returns and refunds create a huge disturbance to the growth of an eCommerce business. Especially when you are a D2C brand, returns act as a major hindrance to your growth.

Today India is home to 800+ D2C brands, if you are also one of these and new ones, you can surely relate to the eCommerce return problem.

Apart from losing customers’ loyalty and their repeat purchases, a brand has to bear many other losses and make an unacceptable compromise with the growing business.

You cannot stop your customers from returning the purchased products, you cannot deny the refund but you can surely turn these refund requests to exchange orders and get some business fulfilled.

Get yourself another chance to make your customer happy. You deserve it!

Initiating timely refunds isn’t gonna help you alone when it comes to managing returns. There are still chances the customers will not repeat purchase from you; being still upset from their 1st purchase.

You cannot undo what happened but you can try and figure if an exchange is possible for the return request.

Before encouraging your customer to exchange, better know why they placed a refund request, why they want a return on their purchase, etc.

Why does your customer request a Product Return/Refund?

Understanding your customer is your moral duty as a retail business holder whether it’s an eCommerce or brick-and-mortar. 

You need to know what can motivate your customers and help you form better relationships with them. 

According to the data, at least 30% of the online purchased products are returned. The top reasons stated for these product returns are product received looks different (22%), damaged goods (23%), received wrong product (23%), etc.

Here are the major reasons for eCommerce returns:

  • Disparity between Displayed and Delivered Product 
  • Delivery of Wrong Merchandise 
  • Order arrived too late
  • Wardrobing 
  • Product Did Not Meet Customer’s Expectations
  • Absence of Sizing Charts 

Ways to encourage customers for an exchange.

Whether your customers have received the wrong product or they changed their mind or they found the same product cheaper somewhere else. You can anytime pull your pain out of these returns by offering your customers a meaningful exchange in return.

Return is an inevitable part of retail business, especially in eCommerce where customers cannot physically touch or feel the real product so chances of returns increase automatically.

It is important for you and your team to handle the customers appropriately and manage the returns requests well – from return policy to the way your team communicates with your customers.

Every return request brings you an opportunity to create the best customer experience that they won’t forget and would ever leave your store unshopped.

5 ways you can encourage customers to exchange

Every time you receive a request for a return/refund, you have lost a sale and a faithful customer – where you cannot reverse the time, effort, and money that your customer had invested during its initial purchase.

Here are the chances, how you can convert these returns into new possibilities and loyal customers.

– Understand their reason for return

Before you start to process the return request, it’s important to ensure why the customer just wants to take his/her money back. 

The reason could be any, either he/she might be dissatisfied with the product or find it cheaper elsewhere. Your team needs to ask the right questions from your customers regarding their product returns. Such as

  • Why are they returning the product? 
  • What are their expectations from the product? 
  • How does the product fall short of your expectation?
  • How and when were you planning to use the product?

Train your team to wisely listen to what the customers respond to these questions, cut out all the distractions, and pay close attention to what customers are saying.

– Make suggestions

Once you understand the reason behind their return, suggest alternative solutions to their problem like changing the delivery time or date, replacement with the exact same product, or any other alteration (size, color of the product). 

Or suggest alternative products in exchange, if required, for the same amount for, however, it is convenient to your customer.

Mark the suggestions on which your customer agrees and fulfill them as soon as possible.

Don’t forget it isn’t just a return but an opportunity!

– Allow quick exchange with desired variants

Keeping your inventory stocked up will always help you to fulfill exchange orders. 

Offer your customers to convert their refund request to exchange with:

  • Replace the damaged product with exact same variant
  • Replace the unfit product with desired size/color product variant

Some of the time when the customers’ reason couldn’t be ignored/refused for the asked refund, neither judge them nor argue/push them for an exchange. Bear patience! sometimes it happens – some reasons couldn’t be fulfilled with an exchange instead they had to be refunded.

Here, instead of a full refund offer them discounts for the exchange, such as:

  • Store-wide exchange options, where customers can exchange with any product available in the entire catalog/store.
  • Replace the damaged products with other products at some discount (let say 50%).
  • Replace with a high-value similar product at the same price when the desired variant is not available.
  • Refund the amount in unavoidable cases with an in-house gift card, store credit, discount coupon, etc.

Make sure to give them equal respect as other customers and to guarantee their repeat purchase don’t send them an empty hand but with a handful of great return experiences from your store.

Let them leave with an abundance of smiles!

Their experience will bring them back for future purchases.

– Update your return policy about exchange

67% of customers look for a return page and return policy before making a purchase. Making a flexible return policy will benefit your sales as other than reducing returns it helps to regain the customers who approached for a refund.

Increase the time period for exchange, don’t make it mandatory to upload images of products for genuine reasons, make the exchange rules more simplified so that customers can themselves request for an exchange without any hesitation/difficulty.

Don’t let this situation occur where you need to convince the customers for an exchange order. Facilitate them with the easier and simplified return policy where all the limits and time period are mentioned loud and clear.

– Assure them for timely exchange

If the customer agrees with your suggestion and confirms his/her exchange order. Don’t let them down this time.

Make sure the exchanged product delivers on time, you can mark the pick-up of the initial product at the time of exchange delivery itself, this will reduce the processing time and enhance the customer return experience as well.

Also, provide the right packaging of the product to avoid any damage during the shipment.

This might be the last chance to save this faithful customer, grab it to retain him/her.

Enhance Customers’ Return Experience and Drive Loyalty

Hope these methods will help you reduce your returns and refunds, building your relationship with your customers stronger.

As the festive season is coming ahead and the returns will again go higher with the rise in sales. People will often order fashionable items and then them for exchange due to sizing issues or fabric/color that doesn’t really suit their personality.

Gain their loyalty with a seamless exchange process!

92% of customers want the return process to be easy and seamless. So, enable your customers with a simplified return portal where they can easily place their return or exchange request along with the specified reason.

Don’t let the returns ruin your festive sales and profit. Make these returns a growth engine for your eCommerce this festive season.

Return management system for your eCommerce.

With Ezyslips, you can have a Self-service portal for returns/exchange, Automatic schedule reverse pickup with QC, Automatic refunds/replacements, Seamless integration with Shopify, Magento, etc. and notify customers at each step. 

  • Upto 70% reduction in turnaround time for the end-to-end  return process