The holidays are the time of most sales when many people feel the need to buy things for themselves or as gifts. However, not only does it increase the number of purchases, holidays also increase the number of returns. Sometimes buyers don't pay much attention to details such as the size of the clothes and order several clothes of different sizes to be sent back later after getting the right size. Another case can happen when a customer buys something as a gift and the recipient doesn't like it. If you often experience high returns during the holiday season, here are some tips that you can apply to reduce your holiday returns and make a lot of profit.
To optimize your returns process before the holiday buying spike hits, you need to know why you should optimize your returns process. Any proper vacation returns management strategy strikes a balance between managing the customer experience, speeding up the return process, and maximizing the value of return returns.
The first step you should take is to decide on your priorities in the holiday return process. If your primary goal is to manage your relationship with customers, then you may want to process returns with a more lenient policy to keep customers comfortable. However, if the main priority in your return is to maximize the value of the recovery and still make a profit even if the item is returned, you may want to thoroughly examine your return strategy before proceeding with the refund, exchange, or providing store credit. You should also be able to encourage customers to make an exchange instead of opting for a refund.
If your business accepts returns, then you probably already have a policy that explains what products can be returned or exchanged, and what conditions must be met for the product to be returned and how long the customer has to return. However, you may need to change your policies slightly so that you can address special situations such as during the holiday season. For example, if someone bought a gift for the Christmas holidays in October and your store has a 30-day return policy, it is possible that customers will return it if they feel does not match the item they bought or if they want to change their mind. To avoid this, you can change your holiday return policy by extending the return deadline for example until the end of the Christmas holidays.
Once you've established your primary goals and modified your return policy, you can apply standards and documentation to the return process. When your sales volume soars, you may have to hire part-time staff or shift other job functions as needed. Even so, don't think about hiring new employees or staff as this can be very inconvenient.
Document the entire returns process in your business thoroughly so that any part-time employee or employee who handles the returns process can get the latest information and can work as productively as possible. You can also plan how you will organize your employees' workflow well in advance of the holidays to improve their work efficiency.
Maintaining supply or inventory is also very important in your e-commerce business. The current COVID-19 pandemic is affecting supply chains globally, and many businesses are experiencing slower than usual stock-taking processes. To solve this problem, you can make a decision to keep stock of goods before the holiday season arrives and plan what products you will promote during the holiday season. That way, you'll know which products you should keep more of in your inventory.
Also be prepared to replenish your inventory with returned products as quickly as possible so they can be resold and not wasted. If necessary, consider increasing your inventory of exchangeable items so that customers don't run out of stock if they wish to make an exchange.
Long shipping can certainly spoil the pleasure of customers when shopping in the holiday season. Likewise, when they make returns, slow delivery can create a negative impression on your business and make it a bad experience. A poor return delivery process will certainly make customers have to wait longer, and you'll get more emails for your customer service team to respond to. This can really interfere with your team work, right? When the holiday season arrives when sales increase, you can work with a delivery provider who can deliver orders to customers faster. That way all the returns process will take place faster and easier.
Before accepting a returned product, make sure you check the damage claimed by the customer and if the item is not damaged then also make sure that it is in the same condition as when you sold it. These efforts can help protect your business and prevent losses by identifying and rejecting fraudulent returns. Many customers who deliberately buy a lot of products just to try it and then intend to return to you from the start. This is something to watch out for during a surge in sales during the holiday season. However, if the damage occurs before the product reaches the customer or in transit, then it is your responsibility to refund or exchange the product they received.
Don't forget to also classify returned products as high quality, mediocre, or unfit. You can resell high-quality products, while products with reasonable condition or slight damage can be sold by mentioning the damage or defect in the product. while bad products can be separated for disposal or recycling. If the returned item can be resold, immediately return the item to the same category in your inventory.
When planning a strategy to deal with a spike in sales over the holidays, waste may not be the first thing to think about. But, who would have thought if the return during the holidays had a big contribution to environmental problems such as air pollution and plastic waste. Be prepared to handle excess waste caused by the return process such as boxes, packaging, plastic wrap and products that can no longer be used. You can define a return policy for this eg you can tell the customer that they don't need to return a defective product. Consider everything carefully so that you can handle the spike in sales and returns in the holiday season well.
You can apply the tips above to prepare for a surge in sales and returns during the holiday season. To make the return process easier and more efficient, you can also use specialized software for returns such as ReturnKey. ReturnKey will help you manage customer returns and help you decide whether the item can be returned and resold or you should throw it away. Make sure you think about all aspects of your business carefully including returns so that customers are satisfied and you get maximum profit.