How to Reduce Product Return Rates
Product returns have a huge impact on a retailers profit, with 30% of products bought online being returned. That’s a lot of money‚ and it also...
December 19, 2022
Inflation has consumers hyper-focused on value. As customers are increasingly particular about how they spend, ensuring customers are satisfied with the buyer journey from perusal to purchase is not enough. Brands have to ensure they manage customer expectations so they are completely satisfied with their purchases and avoid post-purchase regret. This calls for an information/benefits-based approach. This strategy ensures customers both find and receive what they need. PIM software enables you to provide reliable product information across all channels so customers make confident decisions and avoid post-purchase regret.
Perhaps better known as buyer’s remorse, post-purchase regret results when customers invest in a purchase that leaves them feeling disappointed, anxiety-ridden, or even guilty. It’s like purchasing fitness equipment on New Year’s Day. In the moment, you’re feeling the effects of holiday overindulgence. When the product arrives, you realize you’ll either never use it, it cost a fortune, or it is of extremely sub-par quality. Regrets can relate to indulging in something over budget, causing feelings of guilt or anxiety or an impulse purchase of something you’d never use or need, which results in resentment towards the retailer. In other words, a customer changes their attitude towards their purchases and decides they’ve made a bad choice.
The customer experience and buyers’ journey contribute to post-purchase regret. A customer’s attitude can change once they have time to consider their purchase and how it really fits into their lives, meets their needs, or even impacts their budget. Your contribution is usually unintentional and can include:
If a customer changes their perception about their purchase, this results not only in post-purchase regret but also reduced trust in your brand. Without a process to ensure you always show accurate product descriptions and specs, easy sizing to help customers choose wisely, and detailed images that show all angles of a product, you are far more likely to see changes in attitude, regret, and of course, what always follows – returns. Aggressive sales tactics can also instill feelings of mistrust if a customer feels you took advantage of their emotions.
The most effective way to reduce returns and prevent post-purchase regret is to create a seamless buyer journey. By ensuring customers have what they need at all touch points, you will instill trust in your brand and enable them to make confident decisions. Some of the essentials of seamless customer journeys include:
When you help customers feel they are getting the best possible value, they are less likely to regret their spend. This can include applying discounts, creating seasonal offers, starting loyalty programs, bundling products, etc. Loyalty and bundling tend to work particularly well for value perception as bundling offers more for less, while loyalty provides rewards customers receive in addition to their purchases. Rewards also provide an incentive to reach purchase thresholds and receive those rewards.
Enriched product data and product description accuracy provide a completely transparent customer experience. A what you see is what you get approach makes it easy for customers to make decisions, consider the price compared to the quality, etc. When you provide high-quality images, 3D product views, and video, the customer can view the product in all possible forms, so they have a better understanding of what they can expect.
For example, a front image of a blouse provides very little information, while a blouse worn by a model and showing all angles and details tells the customer not only how it looks but how it fits. You can also include detailed specs suited to the category, whether it is a sizing guide, color swashes or actual images of each color on the products you sell and enrich relevant information that makes it easy for a customer to make an informed decision.
Standing behind the quality of your products with a simplified returns policy or money-back guarantee inspires trust and builds on your promise to meet customer expectations.
Centralization of your product information makes it easier to provide the enriched content required to reduce post-purchase regret. A PIM facilitates easy updates with a single source of truth with automated uploading capabilities to ensure the right information is attached to the right product. As a result, you always have accurate, high-quality, detailed images and product descriptions, while customers are satisfied with zero regrets.
Keep your customers coming back again and again
In the eBook below, we cover:
eBook: Creating the Perfect Online Customer Experience