Return Shipping Strategies For Your E-Commerce Business Store

Return Shipping Strategies For Your E-Commerce Business Store

The entire shipping process takes up a major part in any e-commerce business. Your shipping and return policies can be the difference between converting a website visitor to a customer and an abandoned cart.

Returns are inevitable and sometimes beyond your control. No matter how amazingly user-friendly and attractive your store is, when the product reaches the hands of the customer, he might feel it’s not suitable for him or he doesn’t need it anymore. In such situations, the returns have nothing to do with you or your product but you still have to be ready to handle them.

So what are the ways in which you can handle the return shipment costs? The strategy highly depends on your business scale and type. There are mainly three ways in which you can handle your return shipping:

  • Your customer bears the entire return shipment cost
  • You pay the full cost involved in return shipping
  • A combination of the above 2

The decision of which approach will be best suitable for your business depends on:

Financial feasibility of your business: What are your profit margins? What are your shipping charges? What is the break-even and by when do you aim to achieve it? And how often do you anticipate returns?

Your environment: What is the competition offering? What is your customer service strategy? And what is your end goal?

Now your shipping logistics will depend on the return shipping option you choose to go ahead with. If your e-commerce business is new, chances are you might not be able to afford to take up the entire costing of the return shipment. The best choice for the new or small businesses is to go ahead with the third choice of splitting the cost between you and the buyer.

If the customer is paying full amount of returning the package, it becomes their responsibility to ship the poly bag or box back to you. This option is generally used by established brands to whom customers don’t mind paying the return shipment charges as they already trust the brand and a sense of loyalty already exists.

If the customer is paying full amount of returning the package, it becomes their responsibility to ship the poly bag or box back to you. This option is generally used by established brands to whom customers don’t mind paying the return shipment charges as they already trust the brand and a sense of loyalty already exists.

If you decide to bear the complete return shipping charges, you have to ensure your logistics are economically scaled and advanced to prevent you tremendous losses, especially when the shipment had multiple items but only one is being returned. Replacing boxes with poly bags is now a visible trend. It helps in saving up shipping costs as the carriers charge as per dimensional weight of the packaging. You can offer this option to your customers when products involved are high-priced ones.

Apart from apparel, various other product categories like jewelry, electronics, accessories etc. are now being shipped in poly bags as they don’t just weigh less but occupy less dimensional space.

Clear Communication

No matter what approach or return shipping options you offer your customers, communicating the same in a clear and easy-to-understand language is extremely crucial. This helps customers to know in advance what they have to pay in case of returns. And stating your return and refund policies straight up on your website creates authenticity about your brand in the minds of customers.

Remember, there is no one successful formula for any business. You can start with one approach that fits your business objectives and always adjust it as you go ahead.

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