What’s equally important as BFCM preparation and happens in the New Year? You’ve guessed it, Return Season. We’re here to help you set up the right systems and logistics solutions so you – and your team – can breeze through the stress of post-BFCM and holiday returns! Before we get started, let’s make sure you have a clear and concise returns policy posted on your website. Over 90% of shoppers said they would shop from a retailer again if the return process was easy, and over 60% of consumers said they check the return details on a product before they made a purchase. A clear and convenient return policy and process puts your customers at ease knowing they have simple ways to send back the product if there is an issue.
Here are three ways you can prepare your business for post-BFCM and holiday season returns.
1. Forecast your returns based on current and projected sales
Don’t let a successful BFCM catch you off guard when Returns Season rolls around. With a simple calculation, you can predict how many returns you will have, the cost of those returns, and determine how your team will manage the return process.
Take your total number of forecast sales from BFCM and the holiday season and multiply it by your return rate in order to estimate the total number of returns. On average, it is recommended to use a 15-20% rate of return. If you expect 1500 sales during BFCM and the holiday season, an average return rate of 15% would mean approximately 225 returns – of course, this number will fluctuate, and can be further validated if you have historical data on your store returns. This data will help you predict whether your team is setup to manage returns during this season and throughout the year.
The return journey has many touchpoints and requires resources to approve returns and exchanges, inspect the products, manage inventory, repack, store and ship the items. With the time you spend managing this process, you could have been focusing on growing your sales. That’s why we encourage merchants to look for return solutions like ReturnBear to manage returns for their Canadian customers!
2. Make returns easy with an end-to-end return management solution
The post-purchase returns experience can make or break your chances at repeat purchases. Customers expect a return experience that is as simple and straightforward as the purchase itself. Providing a hassle-free, low-effort returns experience can be the difference between a churned customer and a loyal customer. On top of that, an end-to-end solution saves your team time, effort and money by handling the entirety of the return journey for you.
“We use ReturnBear to handle all of returns. They make returns EASY for us and our customers. Prior to ReturnBear, it was a messy process and resulted in frustrations for our customers. Since using ReturnBear: our return related customer service tickets have gone down, customers receive refunds in a timely manner, and our warehouse team doesn’t have to sort through returned merchandise to sort and put back” – 47 Brand Canada
Using a platform like ReturnBear to manage the process ensures that customers can easily initiate their returns without waiting for support. ReturnBear also makes the physical return process easy and convenient for you and your customers. Customers have the option to either send their return in by mail, or drop-off the return (without printing labels or repacking the item) at a nearby drop-off location. Once the item arrives at a drop-off location or is mailed in, ReturnBear takes care of the rest. They will trigger the customer exchange or refund, and will also unpack, sort, inspect, and ship the returned goods back to your facility. They send you ready-to-sell batches of returns which reduces the cost of shipping as well as the environmental impact of having multiple packages in transit.
3. Retain revenue with store credits and exchanges
At the point of return, present your customers with options that will help you keep the sale, like a store credit bonus or exchange. Many customers return items simply because they want a different colour or size – this is an easy fix. With ReturnBear you can include options to exchange between variants of the sku the customer purchased, and, you can further preserve your sale by incentivizing customers with a store credit bonus option. Some brands using ReturnBear have seen more than 70% of returns convert to exchanges and store credit – that’s a lot of retained revenue! It’s a win-win scenario – your customers are incentivized with a bonus for a future purchase, and you retain the sale. This is very simple to set up, and in a few steps you can automate store credit and exchanges, and add on a credit bonus in the ReturnBear platform.
Bonus tip! Gather insights on your customer purchase habits to reduce returns, it’s really simple to do with a return management dashboard.