According to a recent report from Hedges & Company, online sales of auto parts and accessories showed a sizable increase over traditional brick and mortar retail sales in 2013. This year, online sales of auto parts are expected to hit a whopping $5 billion. Since ecommerce is clearly where the auto industry is heading, automotive aftermarket suppliers would be wise to take note of online shoppers’ habits, preferences and needs.
The UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper study found that automotive parts and accessories shoppers were less than satisfied with the returns process. Forty percent of these shoppers said that they want sellers’ return policies to be clearer and easier to understand. They want to know upfront what the sellers’ returns processes are, and they expect them to be clear and fair.
Taking a moment to step into the consumer’s shoes, it’s clear that automotive aftermarket suppliers who sell online need to put returns as the No. 1 item on the priority list. Here are a few tips to help you make sure your online returns policy is in tip-top shape:
Let the USPS do the work for you
Leverage USPS shipping to make it as easy as possible for your buyers to send automotive parts back to you. With the U.S. Postal Service, customers can simply hand the package to their mail carrier, leave it in a mailbox for pickup or drop it off at the post office without having to wait in line.
Make it easy
If automotive parts are defective or if the wrong parts were ordered, make it easy for your customers to return them to you, and satisfy your buyers by sending them functional parts as replacements. By using Endicia Pay-on-Use Returns to generate return shipping labels, you can conveniently email customers the return label upon request or include it with their original shipment. The best part is that you only pay for postage if your buyers actually use the label to ship back the product. If they decide to keep it, you don’t lose out on the cost of postage.
Make it speedy
Take advantage of Priority Mail for your return shipping. Not only does it include free tracking, but you’ll get your inventory back in just one to three days!
Out with the old, in with the new
Set your business apart by offering a disposal service when customers order new parts. Include a Pay-on-Use Returns shipping label with your customers’ order and make it simple and incredibly convenient for them to get rid of their old parts by sending them back to you for repair, resale or recycling.
For more insight, check out our ecommerce tips and trends page.