Articles

7 steps to streamline your returns process

Understatement is an underwear brand that empowers women

The returns process in e-commerce can become a tedious process, complicated and expensive for retailers. However, it’s inevitable and vital for e-commerce brands since it's part of the customer's buying journey. If set up and managed correctly, the returns process can be an opportunity to stand out from the competition to increase customer satisfaction.

The question is, how do we correctly streamline the returns process so that it becomes our ally, rather than a headache? Let’s see how 👀

What is the return process in ecommerce?

The return process refers to the steps that customers take to return an item they have purchased online. It's important for the seller to have a clear and easy-to-follow returns policy in place, outlining the steps for initiating a return, any restrictions, and instructions for packaging and shipping the item back. *Once returned, the brand inspects the item for its condition and issues a refund to the customer if it's in good condition.

Why is streamlining the return process important?

Streamlining the return process in ecommerce can have significant benefits for both merchants and customers. When customers have a positive experience with returning an item, they are more likely to return to your online store, which increases customer loyalty.

On the merchant’s side, a streamlined returns process can help reduce the workload by automating return operations, which can lead to greater efficiency and faster turnaround times. Additionally, a smooth returns process can help prevent negative reviews or complaints, as customers are more likely to have a positive experience even if they ultimately decide to return the item.

By making the returns process easy and hassle-free, ecommerce sellers can help improve customer relationships and ultimately drive greater sales and revenue.

7 steps to streamline your return process

Since managing returns is an essential part of e-commerce and can have a crucial impact on customer satisfaction and business success, it is most important for brands to streamline the return process as much as possible. Following are seven tips to help you streamline your returns process.

Write clear product descriptions (to avoid returns)

The product description should be clear, precise and easy to understand to avoid confusion. Make sure you vividly and in detail describe the product since the customer cannot feel and see with their own eyes like they do in a physical store. That's why it is crucial to have clear product descriptions and photos that detail and resemble the product as much as possible to help them make the right purchase decision and avoid returns.

Have a good return policy in place

Having a good return policy is a must when dealing with returns; in fact, it should be viewed as an instruction manual. So what does a good return policy really entail?

Well, first thing, it should be easy to find and clearly communicated to customers before they make a purchase. The return policy should include the timeframe to process a return, costs (if any), customer support assistance and information to place ship the parcel back.

By providing a clear and fair return policy, businesses can build trust with their customers and encourage them to buy with confidence**, knowing that they can return the item if it doesn't meet their expectations.

Provide excellent customer service

One way to surely provide easily accessible and reliable customer service is by using AI-powered chatbots to automate and streamline certain parts of the customer service experience. Chatbots can be programmed to answer both simple and complicated questions, or questions that are most frequently asked, such as "Where is my return?" This helps the customer service team save countless hours of manual work and instead focus on other areas that require the human touch.

Aside from offering the chatbot, there’s another way to cut down on customer service calls. With a returns management platform like yayloh, you can offer your customers a return tracking page that allows customers to live-track their return status. Apart from the tracking aspect, a return tracking page can also be a great marketing tool to re-engage customers and draw them back to your online store.

Collect and analyse return data

Some brands refrain from collecting and analysing return data out of fear of negative feedback or a lack of understanding of the benefits it can provide. It can be detrimental to a business's success because, without the insights, brands can't identify which products need improvement or identify trends and patterns in customer behaviour.

For instance, yayloh returns management platform provides data analytics dashboards that give customers access to first-hand data insights. With these, brands can analyse return reasons and identify and address the common issues leading to them, which consequently helps reduce returns.

Give customers enough time to return products and offer free returns (if you can)

If a brand wants to reduce the number of returns, giving customers more time to return items would be a better strategy. A recent study found that when customers have more time to return an item, they're less likely to actually return it. One reason for this could be the endowment effect, which means that the longer people have an item, the more attached they become to it and the less likely they are to want to return it. It’s a sneaky but smart strategy 😉

Another research conducted by Klarna,  states that 78% of shoppers will buy more in the long run if a retailer offers free returns. Customers may be hesitant to buy something if they're not sure if they'll like it or if it doesn't fit properly, but offering free returns makes it easier for them to take that chance. Offering free returns helps increase the brand's reputation, giving a feeling of trust and authenticity throughout the customer journey.

All in all, giving consumers a reasonable amount of time to return things and making such returns free can positively impact customer satisfaction. Additionally, it could increase sales, enhance brand reputation, and be a key differentiator that sets a business apart from its competitors.

Automate the return process to save time

One effective solution to streamline the returns process is to automate it. By leveraging automation tools such as returns management software, ecommerce brands can save precious time whilst boosting customer loyalty. Automation can help reduce the time it takes to process returns, improve the accuracy of return data, and enable customers to initiate and track returns at their own pace. By automating the returns process with a returns management software like yayloh, ecommerce brands can focus on other important areas of their business while still providing excellent customer service.

Offer a branded return experience to your customer to engage them further

Having a branded return experience might come as a surprise and is something that most businesses don’t even think of. Essentially, a branded return experience is a digital return process that can be customised according to the brand’s guidelines.

Providing a customized return process has the potential to enhance customer loyalty and strengthen brand recognition. When a brand is involved at every stage of the customer journey, including the return process, customers feel secure and comfortable. This sense of security fosters loyalty and increases brand awareness, as customers are more inclined to recall the brand and associate it with positive experiences. Moreover, a branded return experience enables brands to differentiate themselves from competitors by offering a distinctive and secure return process.

Automate your returns management process with yayloh

Automate and streamline your return process seamlessly with yayloh, a returns management platform that digitises the entire return process. With yayloh, you can easily improve your customer service experience and productivity by integrating with, for example, Gorgias or Klaviyo. yayloh also helps you collect and analyse return data, reducing the number of returns and boosting customer satisfaction. In addition, the platform enables a fully branded and customised return process, helping you increase customer loyalty and brand awareness.

"yayloh return management platform streamlines operations, saving our team hours of manual work."

Lucie Hanon

Head of Growth, ANJA Paris

Save countless hours with yayloh

How it works

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Articles

7 steps to streamline your returns process

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Jefimija Vujinovic

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The returns process in e-commerce can become a tedious process, complicated and expensive for retailers. However, it’s inevitable and vital for e-commerce brands since it's part of the customer's buying journey. If set up and managed correctly, the returns process can be an opportunity to stand out from the competition to increase customer satisfaction.

The question is, how do we correctly streamline the returns process so that it becomes our ally, rather than a headache? Let’s see how 👀

What is the return process in ecommerce?

The return process refers to the steps that customers take to return an item they have purchased online. It's important for the seller to have a clear and easy-to-follow returns policy in place, outlining the steps for initiating a return, any restrictions, and instructions for packaging and shipping the item back. *Once returned, the brand inspects the item for its condition and issues a refund to the customer if it's in good condition.

Why is streamlining the return process important?

Streamlining the return process in ecommerce can have significant benefits for both merchants and customers. When customers have a positive experience with returning an item, they are more likely to return to your online store, which increases customer loyalty.

On the merchant’s side, a streamlined returns process can help reduce the workload by automating return operations, which can lead to greater efficiency and faster turnaround times. Additionally, a smooth returns process can help prevent negative reviews or complaints, as customers are more likely to have a positive experience even if they ultimately decide to return the item.

By making the returns process easy and hassle-free, ecommerce sellers can help improve customer relationships and ultimately drive greater sales and revenue.

7 steps to streamline your return process

Since managing returns is an essential part of e-commerce and can have a crucial impact on customer satisfaction and business success, it is most important for brands to streamline the return process as much as possible. Following are seven tips to help you streamline your returns process.

Write clear product descriptions (to avoid returns)

The product description should be clear, precise and easy to understand to avoid confusion. Make sure you vividly and in detail describe the product since the customer cannot feel and see with their own eyes like they do in a physical store. That's why it is crucial to have clear product descriptions and photos that detail and resemble the product as much as possible to help them make the right purchase decision and avoid returns.

Have a good return policy in place

Having a good return policy is a must when dealing with returns; in fact, it should be viewed as an instruction manual. So what does a good return policy really entail?

Well, first thing, it should be easy to find and clearly communicated to customers before they make a purchase. The return policy should include the timeframe to process a return, costs (if any), customer support assistance and information to place ship the parcel back.

By providing a clear and fair return policy, businesses can build trust with their customers and encourage them to buy with confidence**, knowing that they can return the item if it doesn't meet their expectations.

Provide excellent customer service

One way to surely provide easily accessible and reliable customer service is by using AI-powered chatbots to automate and streamline certain parts of the customer service experience. Chatbots can be programmed to answer both simple and complicated questions, or questions that are most frequently asked, such as "Where is my return?" This helps the customer service team save countless hours of manual work and instead focus on other areas that require the human touch.

Aside from offering the chatbot, there’s another way to cut down on customer service calls. With a returns management platform like yayloh, you can offer your customers a return tracking page that allows customers to live-track their return status. Apart from the tracking aspect, a return tracking page can also be a great marketing tool to re-engage customers and draw them back to your online store.

Collect and analyse return data

Some brands refrain from collecting and analysing return data out of fear of negative feedback or a lack of understanding of the benefits it can provide. It can be detrimental to a business's success because, without the insights, brands can't identify which products need improvement or identify trends and patterns in customer behaviour.

For instance, yayloh returns management platform provides data analytics dashboards that give customers access to first-hand data insights. With these, brands can analyse return reasons and identify and address the common issues leading to them, which consequently helps reduce returns.

Give customers enough time to return products and offer free returns (if you can)

If a brand wants to reduce the number of returns, giving customers more time to return items would be a better strategy. A recent study found that when customers have more time to return an item, they're less likely to actually return it. One reason for this could be the endowment effect, which means that the longer people have an item, the more attached they become to it and the less likely they are to want to return it. It’s a sneaky but smart strategy 😉

Another research conducted by Klarna,  states that 78% of shoppers will buy more in the long run if a retailer offers free returns. Customers may be hesitant to buy something if they're not sure if they'll like it or if it doesn't fit properly, but offering free returns makes it easier for them to take that chance. Offering free returns helps increase the brand's reputation, giving a feeling of trust and authenticity throughout the customer journey.

All in all, giving consumers a reasonable amount of time to return things and making such returns free can positively impact customer satisfaction. Additionally, it could increase sales, enhance brand reputation, and be a key differentiator that sets a business apart from its competitors.

Automate the return process to save time

One effective solution to streamline the returns process is to automate it. By leveraging automation tools such as returns management software, ecommerce brands can save precious time whilst boosting customer loyalty. Automation can help reduce the time it takes to process returns, improve the accuracy of return data, and enable customers to initiate and track returns at their own pace. By automating the returns process with a returns management software like yayloh, ecommerce brands can focus on other important areas of their business while still providing excellent customer service.

Offer a branded return experience to your customer to engage them further

Having a branded return experience might come as a surprise and is something that most businesses don’t even think of. Essentially, a branded return experience is a digital return process that can be customised according to the brand’s guidelines.

Providing a customized return process has the potential to enhance customer loyalty and strengthen brand recognition. When a brand is involved at every stage of the customer journey, including the return process, customers feel secure and comfortable. This sense of security fosters loyalty and increases brand awareness, as customers are more inclined to recall the brand and associate it with positive experiences. Moreover, a branded return experience enables brands to differentiate themselves from competitors by offering a distinctive and secure return process.

Automate your returns management process with yayloh

Automate and streamline your return process seamlessly with yayloh, a returns management platform that digitises the entire return process. With yayloh, you can easily improve your customer service experience and productivity by integrating with, for example, Gorgias or Klaviyo. yayloh also helps you collect and analyse return data, reducing the number of returns and boosting customer satisfaction. In addition, the platform enables a fully branded and customised return process, helping you increase customer loyalty and brand awareness.

Streamline your returns process with yayloh

Efficiently managing return processes can be a daunting challenge for many e-commerce businesses, particularly when relying on manual methods. Fortunately, yayloh offers a game-changing solution— a fully digital return process. By implementing yayloh, your customer service team can reclaim countless hours that were previously spent on manual tasks. Moreover, your customers will benefit from a seamless digital journey that not only simplifies the return process but also fosters stronger customer loyalty.

Let's talk about returns
one plan. TAILORED TO YOUR NEEDS.

Starting at $60 USD a month.

We want to provide you with the fairest offer possible based on your features and integrations needs. If you are a Shopify merchant, start now by downloading our app on the Shopify App Store.

See what yayloh can do for you

Tell us a little bit more about yourself and we will show you how yayloh can help you spend less time managing returns and generate more revenue with a customer centric return process.
Audit of your current return process
Identify bottlenecks & automation potential
Explore areas for CX improvement
Return policy and return rate analysis
Discover yayloh and see if it could help you

With automation, our team saves countless hours, and our customers have a much more enjoyable experience.

Peder Gulliksson

eCom Manager, Macade Golf

3x

times faster processing returns

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