The Holiday Season is Over – Which Means “Returns Season” is NOW

Man holding up a red Christmas sweater that he plans to return.

The ornaments are in their case, the gift wrap is in the bin and all that’s left of the holidays are the leftovers in the fridge. Yes, the holiday season is officially over – that is, if you’re not an online retailer.

For ecommerce businesses, holiday shopping may have died down, but the rush is far from over as January marks the beginning of “returns season.”

Many of you have already been prepping for this. You’ve showcased your return policy, have an RMA system in place and may have even adjusted your time frame for returns over the holidays. But now that returns season is officially here, there are a few things you can do to ensure your customer’s happiness.

Remember: 89 percent of shoppers say they’ll revisit an online store after a positive returns experience. This is your chance to show customers what you’re made of and earn their repeat business.

Here are the tips –

Be responsive to customer returns.

Even if you’ve spelled out how returns work for shoppers, even if the process is practically automated, the fact is you will always hear from customers who need a little extra help.

The secret is not to leave them hanging, because every day they don’t hear from you is another rung lost in their estimation.

When you do respond to customers, be sure to offer them personal guidance. Spell out the answer to their question, don’t just direct them to a webpage. It’s fine to pull from a template for these responses – it’s just important to make the correspondence sounds human.

Use shipping technology to provide the best return policy.

It’s not too late to get tech savvy with your shipping!

If you were unable to include a return shipping label with your outbound package, make sure you have the resources to create return shipping labels on demand – meaning, right when the customer requests a return.

Check out Endicia’s Pay-on-Use Returns, for instance, which allows ecommerce businesses to produce USPS shipping labels that are not charged postage until they are scanned in the mail stream.

This saves businesses money because they do not have to pre-pay labels that may never be used; it also saves time by eliminating the need to request refunds for unused return labels (because customers can always change their mind about a return…). It also allows sellers to offer the same, affordable shipping services they get with the USPS.

Refund quickly.

When it comes to returns, 57 percent of shoppers want a refund automatically. So as soon as the product is received and any previously-established “return fees” are deducted, issue the refund to your customer. It’s always thoughtful to give them a heads up when the refund has been issued as well.

That’s it! With these tips you should be able to navigate the returns season a little more effortlessly. And to really help streamline the process, you can find more info on Endicia’s Pay-on-Use Returns here.

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