Simply Business

The Top 3 Reasons Customers Return Items and How to Avoid Them

1-star rating on a wrist - a thumbs downFor online sellers, customer returns are a part of doing business. If left unchecked, however, your company will suffer, and you might end up with plenty of unusable inventory, especially if they are not handled well during their trip back to you.

To avoid getting items back that you can’t resell anymore, you need to have a reliable logistics company such as with reverse logistics technology that ensures the safe and efficient handling of returned products. If not, you will see your losses mounting.

Ultimately, the only way to minimize the returns is to find out the reasons why so you will know how to avoid them. To give you an idea, here are the most common reasons why buyers return their items.

Wrong Product or Size

Studies reveal that wrong product or size is the most common cause of returns of items bought online. Unlike in physical stores where customers can try the products first before they buy them, online stores only have images and descriptions of items on which would-be buyers base their decision.

To counter this problem, you need to provide the accurate sizes along with photos that show the items according to scale. Don’t forget to include full details and other information that may help a shopper decide that the product fits them.

Sometimes, the wrong item gets sent. The effect of this error is twofold. First, your reputation takes a hit. Second, you have to pay for the added labor costs and shipping.

To avoid or minimize this kind of mistake, make sure the items are for their intended buyers and double-checked before they’re allowed to leave the warehouse.

Item Sent Doesn’t Match Description

This is a serious breach of your customer’s trust. The reputation of your online store is at stake if the buyer files a complaint against you. To make sure this situation doesn’t happen to you, keep the descriptions truthful.

This will require some editing and proofreading on your part, but the extra effort is definitely needed.

Not What the Buyers Expected

In their desire to make a sale, online retailers will sometimes “hype” their products, luring in the buyers only for them to find out that the claims were exaggerated. A recent survey revealed this as the cause of almost 50% of returns.

The best way to avoid this is to give a realistic description of the item. Selling only well-crafted products is another way to meet customer expectations.

Customer returns are normal for online stores but can threaten your profitability if they become unmanageable. Addressing the common reasons can minimize it, if not totally prevent them.