5 Tips for Dealing with Post Holiday Returns

The holiday return season generally starts as early as 2 January and with Amazon’s new return policy last until the end of the month. Amazon’s policy is that for the 2020 holiday season items shipped between October 1st and December 31st can be returned until 31 January 2021. These returns can be costly to any online business, especially when you take into account that customers look for free return policies when choosing where to shop online. Not only is there a loss of the sale but the handling of returns can also be costly for merchants. Some businesses choose to refund the entire purchase price of an item rather than process a return. On average returns cost businesses about 10% of their total supply chain costs. 


Therefore, the way in which you deal with refunds can  have a profound impact on the success of the business. If you are selling online then you are very likely to face the return of products; as online purchases are nearly three times more likely to be returned then items bought from brick and mortar shops.


Tip 1: Avoid Having Returns

The ideal situation is to not have returns. It is not possible to avoid all returns, however, there are some ways to drastically reduce them. Generally, returns happen because products do not meet customer expectations. The expectations of customers are based directly on the way in which the item is described.  So you need to be very careful in the way that you word the title, bullet points and descriptions of products to ensure that they are correct and true to the actual product. Do not use vague language, ensure that the descriptions are clear and do not lead to confusion over things like size and colour. Product images should also be clear and  should show the actual image for sale. 

Customer reviews are a good place to look for any feedback that can help ensure that the listing is clear and accurate; rectify anything that has already been commented on to make sure returns do not keep happening because of the same issues.


Tip 2: Exchange Instead of Return

It is better to have the customer ask for an exchange rather than returning the product. Perhaps they only ordered the wrong size or colour and then by offering an exchange you avoid losing a sale and end up with a satisfied customer. 


Tip 3: Make the Return Process Simple

It is not always possible to avoid returns, so when customers do return an item that process should be as simple and straightforward as possible. It is possible to have a customer return an item and then come back as a repeat customer. The majority of customers now expect a free return policy and a quick refund. It might be worthwhile using the services of a sales enablement company to ensure that the listing has all the details in place to entice customers back - even those that return products. If the return process is simple and easy customers are also less likely to leave a negative review. 


Tip 4: Make your Return Policy Visible

Customers often look at the return policy before making a purchase so it is important that you have the policy in a place that customers can actually see otherwise they might be tempted to make their purchase at another shop. The best place is in your description or bullet points, however, it does not need to be in your title as this will play havoc with your product listing especially on Amazon. A company proving Amazon sales support will be able to guide you on how best to include your return policy in your listing. .


Tip 5: Dealing with Returned Products 

The process of having products returned can be a long and tiresome process, however, it does not just end once the customer has been refunded. You also have to deal with the returned inventory. You might be lucky enough to be able to sell it again - depending on the product but you could also end up with it sitting  in your inventory centre costing you money. One way to move the product is to offer it for sale at a reduced price or if it is damaged create a removal order so that it is no longer on your inventory.


It is important to deal with returns with customer satisfaction in mind as the way in which you deal with return can have a huge impact on your brand. Dealing with returns quickly and politely will help build good customer relationships with even your least happy shopper, thereby avoiding those dreaded negative reviews. Hopefully, these tips will help you continue to have a problem free holiday returns process.


How the London Bridge Project Can Help to Deliver Success 

The London Bridge Project (LBP) is a leading sales and management consulting firm that provides both amazon consulting services and amazon sales support for businesses looking to grow exponentially within the biggest marketplace in the world. We offer a complete end-to-end service for Amazon based businesses, which includes providing valuable insights into Amazon sales data and a pipeline of under-explored opportunities within your niche.

If you would like to learn more about how the London Bridge Project can help your online business, make sure to contact a member of our team today to discuss your requirements.