Consumers Say Returns Are Key to Shopping Decisions
Online retailers have only a few precious touch points with their customers, so it’s important to make sure they all add up to a pleasant experience that meets or exceeds expectations. Returns are too often a forgotten piece of the equation, but a recent article by Retail Touchpoints takes a look at a consumer survey by the voice solutions provider, Voxware, that sheds a little light on just how important they are. As the article points out, the survey of 500 consumers found that more than half of them (57%) said that the most frequent reason for returning purchases bought online or by phone is because the item they received is incorrect. That’s a pretty staggering figure. The reasons for incorrect shipments vary from the product’s size or color being incorrect (42%) to receiving the wrong product all together (15%), demonstrating how important it is to ensure proper fulfilment in the first place. While the article highlighted the reasons for returns, it buried an even more significant number from the survey’s findings. Nearly all (97%) of respondents said that the returns process is important to their future intentions to shop with a retailer. That’s worth restating. If a retailer provides a returns experience that does not meet expectations, nearly every single customer will think twice before shopping with them again. Consumers realize that mistakes happen and they’re willing to give you a second chance, but this survey provides even more concrete data on how many shoppers turn away from retailers after more than one bad experience. Retail Touchpoints drilled into the data a little deeper: “While customers may be willing to forgive retailers after one return experience, 25% of respondents said they have experienced return issues with specific retailers more than once. As a result, 50% of this group said they reduced shopping with that retailer online. To make matters worse, 45% of these respondents stated that they have limited shopping with that retailer altogether — both online and in-store.” The picture is pretty clear. Investing in returns processes can protect against the possibility for missed revenue and keep brand reputation high in the process. Where should you start? Here are nine ways to boost customer satisfaction with returns.