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Why it pays to get personal with returns

Personalized Returns = Happier Customers

Product returns don’t have to spell the end of a customer relationship, but sometimes, they are. When your customers need to return merchandise and are faced with a complicated, expensive, impersonal experience, they’re less likely to take a chance on you again.

What if we told you that returns could actually become a hopping off point for strengthening customer loyalty? It’s true. Let’s dive into how to personalize your returns management process while building customer loyalty.

Personalization takes the drudgery out of the returns process.

Strong brands are usually great when it comes to personalizing the shopping experience, often all the way through the purchase, but too often, returns and exchanges are overlooked.

In fact, after-the-sale care is every bit as important as the purchase process because it’s an opportunity to have more (virtual) face time with your customers. It’s your chance to make things right when a product wasn’t what a customer expected.

Curated benefits

When choosing a returns and exchanges partner, it’s important to seek out features and benefits that work best for your brand. However you decide to approach returns with the portal, you want to be able to leverage the process in a way that encourages a preferred outcome (or outcomes). Not all returns solutions are alike!

Let’s say you’d like to focus on encouraging customers to accept a store credit versus issuing a refund (and paying the associated payment processing fees). One approach is to entice customers with free return shipping if they opt for store credit. Your brand keeps the revenue and the customer is sure to place another order to use their credit as part of a whole new transaction.

Maybe you need to get the returned product back in stock as soon as possible. Look for a solution that makes it easy to offer return shipping, but only for a specific window to ensure prompt returns. “Return shipping is free when you send your item back within 7 business days.”

A valuable returns solution partner can help you enforce return policies that benefit your unique brand with your brand identity intact at every step. Generic, unbranded returns solutions are just that — generic. They might technically work, but they might also leave your once enthusiastic customers with an unfair impression of your brand.

Pickup and shipping options to suit every customer

“Omnichannel” might sound like a multi-limbed supervillain, but it’s actually much cooler than your average Marvel bad guy. Omnichannel simply means your customers can ship items back in whatever way is most convenient to them: QR codes, USPS, local pickup or store dropoff, horse-drawn carriage…

Consumers strongly value free shipping on returns — A recent survey reveals that free shipping (96%) and free returns (76%) are the most important factors when shopping online. In another study, research firm Alix Partners identified five attributes related to shipping that ecommerce consumers value the most:

  • Multiple shipping options

  • Clear, accurate online tracking

  • Proactive communication like text and email updates

  • Good communication when problems occur

  • Good support from retailer throughout the transaction (including returns and exchanges)

Ideally, your returns and exchanges partner will value these attributes, as well. The best online returns apps make everyone’s lives easier, on both sides of each transaction. Compared with the onerous, manual processes many merchants still use, it can be a downright joy to outsource these tasks.

Better returns, more loyalty

Did you know that over 60% of customers review a returns policy before they make a purchasing decision? Why not make the best out of a potentially stressful situation? This is your chance to show customers you truly care; it’s also your chance to promote customer loyalty.

Journal of Marketing study found that 81% of consumers say they are more loyal to retailers that have “generous” returns policies, while 73% say they are less likely to buy from a store with a restrictive policy. The study also revealed that consumers spend significantly more when online retailers offer free return shipping.

Moreover, studies show that consumers are markedly more loyal to brands that provide convenient returns — around 90% of consumers said they will remain loyal to brands that offer simple, hassle-free returns. 80% will not shop at stores when they know returns are a hassle.

Adopt a returns solution that reflects your customer experience goals.

Your brand isn’t successful because you’ve taken a one-size-fits-all approach, and your returns process shouldn’t either. You’ve put in countless hours developing a brand that resonates with your customer base — don’t stop just short of the finish line.

The fact is, returns are going to happen. A quarter of all consumers return between 5 to 15% of items they buy online, according to Shopify. When considering returns and exchanges, make sure you’re prioritizing the same goals for great customer experience, like promoting your brand and pleasing your customers.

The Return Rabbit portal seamlessly guides your valued customers through a set of simple, user-friendly steps in just a few minutes. Along the way, smart automation tempts customers with exchanges for products that may be a better fit — oftentimes leading to additional, bigger purchases based on personalized recommendations from our super-smart recommendation engine, REX.

Best of all, Return Rabbit keeps your brand identity at the forefront. We’re an extension of the same excellent customer service you provide throughout the sale. Start a free trial today and visit our blog to learn more about why we do what we do and how.

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