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Top Return-Prevention Strategies for Ecommerce

Clothing returns are a growing global problem. Online retailers are bracing for a flood of returns and implementing a variety of pre-and post-purchase strategies to mitigate the negative impact of returns on their bottom line.

The fashion industry is one of the world's most dynamic industries. With enormous manufacturing quantities, we have consolidated the fast fashion industry – that is, short-lived fashion created in bad working conditions and with disastrous environmental repercussions.

As online shopping advances, the fashion business experiences more returned items, which often end up in landfills. Online clothing stores, thanks to generous return terms that allow customers to try on directly at home, encourage ordering an excess of items that differ in size, color, style, quality, and brand.

How to deal with clothing returns and what are the reasons? 

It is worth examining their major reasons to handle the return of goods effectively. Both the customer and the store may be responsible for the reasons.

Most of all, returns caused by the consumer’s side are the following:

  • The purchase's impulse character.
  • Change of decision.
  • Data for delivery incorrectly specified.
  • Simultaneous ordering of the same product in several stores.
  • Not canceling an unnecessary order.

And here are the most common return reasons which refer to the retailer’s fallback:

  • Poor product quality.
  • The size was not suitable.
  • Incoherence between the item and the image on the site.
  • Too long delivery. 
  • Packing curiosities and content of the parcel.

What is the best-case scenario? Ecommerce returns best practices that restore the fashion industry's viability. Let's take a look at some of the most effective practices and attempt to figure out what role they might play in the future of sustainable fashion. 

Improving consumer experience is the best way to cut returns

Customers are less eager to return items that are more difficult and expensive to return, but they are also less driven to make purchases. People expect to be able to return products that don't fit right soon, according to a study, and 67% of shoppers check the exchange and return policies before shopping. Conversions will be harmed by an unpleasant return policy.

Providing high-resolution images

High-resolution product photographs are the simplest approach to convey clarity for an informed purchasing decision. These photographs allow you to view the item up close and analyze details such as pattern, stitching, buttons, and prints, allowing you to create accurate expectations and reducing the danger of making a hasty purchase.

The majority of retailers have already realized that high-quality product photography is not something to skimp on. According to studies, retailers with good product photographs see a 40% increase in conversion.

Introducing new tools

Retailers should consider investing in a 3D dressing room system, which can assist customers in making more informed purchasing decisions. The virtual try-on feature can substantially increase the accuracy of evaluating whether or not an item fits a particular person. As a result, rather than ordering many sizes to try on and return, online shoppers may be able to make more precise purchases.

3D fitting rooms use computer-generated 3D images to create a virtual model (avatar) containing measurements and information about the customer's shape.

Demonstrating shoppers’ feedback

According to statistics, approximately 98 percent of customers read reviews before making a purchase.A study undertaken by Boston University scientists looked into the impact of reviews on purchasing decisions. They discovered that product quality and application reviews were highly linked to better sales and lesser returns.

Take the first move and invite users to participate in a survey if they aren't extremely active in submitting reviews or giving their ideas about your products.

Placing comprehensive product descriptions

If consumers bought a product and wished to send it back, citing the fact that they didn’t know that the clothes were too large/small/different in color than they expected, it means that the online store’s site doesn’t contain sufficient information. 

Some copy the manufacturer's description, while others provide brief descriptions of their own, but if you want people to buy from you, pay attention to the extensive, detailed, and personalized wording. This strategy will help you develop client trust and boost the likelihood of a repeat purchase.

However, do not over-praise the product in the description; it is sufficient to highlight its most important features and benefits over competitors. This will provide the customer a thorough image of the clothing item and help clients to make an informed decision. 

Providing a full range of pre-sale services

Make sure the buyer can get answers to all of their queries quickly and easily. Remember that the buyer wants to engage with individuals, not with a company, thus your salespeople must be courteous and friendly, and they will assist in converting the visitor into a buyer.

Use a variety of communication methods. Keep in touch with your clients and use all available methods, including email, SMS, instant messaging, and phone calls. A link to order confirmation, for example, should be delivered by email or SMS, and it is preferable to check the delivery time over the phone.

Making delivery conditions transparent 

One of the most essential aspects influencing a customer's return to your store is prompt delivery of goods. The better the image of your online store will be if the order was assembled faster (and, of course, of higher quality) and sent to the buyer sooner. And this is the basis for future loyalty and purchases from you.

Besides, delivery time specification is also important. If the clients do not understand how much the delivery will cost and what the terms are, they may change their minds after making payment. As a result, it is worthwhile to describe in detail how you have this procedure, as there will be fewer returns.

Make your return process easier, but don’t overdo it

By making the return process as simple as possible, you create a loyal customer who is more likely to return to your store. According to research, 92 percent of consumers will buy again if the return process is simple. However, you should establish a return window to limit the number of times customers can send back their purchases. This way they will know how much time they have to return clothes in case they decide to do it. 

Make a policy for returning items to your online shop that is straightforward and easy to comprehend and post on the website. Yes, it will take a long time, but it will be well worth it: such a document can eliminate all objections, instruct you on how to conduct yourself properly during the procedure, and make it as plain and transparent as possible.


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