Handling eCommerce Returns in the Post-Holiday Season

The Holidays are over but eCommerce retailers aren’t off the hook just yet. Now we’ve entered the dreaded “returns season.”

Read on to learn what you can do if returns are keeping you up at night…

It is estimated that one-third of orders placed online end up being returned. That means roughly 33% of your daily job will involve handling returns and exchanges. That’s a huge part of your business—so, it’s important to get the process down pat.

Here are a few ways you can make processing returns easier on your business and, in return (no pun intended), easier on your customers:

State return and exchange policies clearly

  • Make sure your customers know exactly what to expect from the return and exchange process.
  • Post clear and concise policies on your website in a place where your customers will easily be able to find them
  • If you need guidance for creating a return or exchange policy, 
  • Shopify has some great tips that can help.

Provide a return label with your order

  • When you ship out an order, package in a return label address with it so that your customer won’t have to go hunting for your address if they decide to return the item
  • If you don’t have the ability to send the label with the item, at least offer shoppers a simple, self-service way to print a return label themselves directly from your website.

Allow your customers to provide feedback on their experience

  • If shoppers have a positive return/exchange experience they are much more likely to return to your online store and make an additional purchase in the future
  • A positive return experience also makes customers more likely to recommend an eCommerce merchant to a friend, meaning that taking care of existing customers could lead to new customers as well.
  • You should consider sending a shopper who returns or exchanges an item a follow-up email, asking for feedback about their experience. This feedback can help you improve your return process moving forward which is great for your business in general.

Consider the value of automation

  • When you process a return, your inventory levels need to be readjusted, invoices need to be updated, receipts have to be issued, the list goes on and on.
  • While your eCommerce platform will likely be able to handle some of these things, your accounting package will need to be updated as well to reflect the changes. This can mean a lot of time-consuming manual data entry. 
  • To make things easier, consider integrating your accounting package with your eCommerce store. Orders, inventory, shipping information, etc., can all be synced between the two systems and updated in real-time without you needing to lift a finger.
  • This will also make returns and exchanges faster—and your customers will love you for it!

Don’t let returns and exchanges reflect poorly on your awesome business. Nothing can ruin a reputation faster than a sub-par return/exchange process. And don’t forget, there’s always room for improvement. Keep tweaking your return process as your business grows and changes to make sure your customers will always be happy with their experience.

This blog post was written by Lauren Macdonald, Marketing Coordinator at eBridge Connections.

About eBridge Connections

eBridge Connections delivers powerful, cloud-based ERP and accounting integration solutions that automate vital business processes and eliminate the need for manual data entry. The eBridge universal integration platform supports over 30 ERP and accounting systems including products from Microsoft, Sage, SAP, NetSuite, and Epicor. With connections to the leading eCommerce and CRM applications, plus hundreds of EDI trading partners, eBridge Connections has become the integration platform of choice for businesses worldwide.

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