5 Ways to improve your return process

5 Ways to improve your return processWritten by Oliver Trunkett for ShippingEasy

Returns get a lot of coverage in the e-commerce stats world, as they should. Sellers large and small typically have a returns process in place, however many sellers can benefit from improving certain aspects of their returns process, leading to more loyal customers and long-term revenue benefits.

Online buyers return at a rate of 30% compared to retail’s 8% (source: Invesp infographic). While this may seem alarming, many web-only retailers can have extremely low return rates as a majority of returns in the industry are concentrated around apparel sales. Logically, this trend makes sense. As online shoppers can’t try on the clothes first, they can’t be sure the items will fit which can lead to a return. Despite the compelling stats for apparel, all e-commerce merchants should consider an easy return policy. Nailing returns has great benefits like increasing customer loyalty and shopping experience satisfaction. Huge online retailers like Zappos built their entire business on fast shipping and easy returns. In this post we’ll go over a few ways to boost your entire returns process to reap these benefits.5 ways to improve #ecommerce returns by @ShippingEasy (hint: automation is one of them)… Click To Tweet

1. Make sure your orders are accurate
This may sound simple, but many returns are not because customers don’t actually want what they ordered, but because they received the wrong order entirely. This is actually fairly common in the e-commerce world – customers will often receive an incomplete order, the wrong order, or merchandise from a website they’ve never visited (due to recipient address errors). To ensure that orders fulfilled are accurate and go to the correct destination, I suggest removing the capacity for manual errors by automating as much of the shipping process as you can through integrated shipping software. Software enables you to pull in orders as the customers entered them, validate addresses, generate pick lists to guarantee you’re grabbing the right item from your inventory, and generate packing slips to double check the order has everything inside the box.

2. Have a solid return/refund policy on your website
Clarify specifically which items you only offer partial refunds to or don’t offer refunds at all. A personal tip: If you don’t offer a refund on a specific item, give an explanation to shoppers why you don’t. The extra effort to explain the restricted policy goes a long way. When creating a return policy, it’s easiest to find a tool that can build your policy for you (like Shopify’s free return policy generator – which doesn’t require a Shopify login). These tools will build a working return policy based on parameters you enter.  You’ll receive the groundwork for your perfect return policy which you and then edit further to more closely match your product offerings. This article from TermsFeed goes over many qualities that make a good returns policy and how having one can positively affect your sales. These qualities include: set a lengthy returns period to account for restocking and refunding, offer free returns, look at why items are being returned in an effort to fix it, and more.

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Come learn how to build a better business

Come learn how to build a better businessOur CEO Parag Mamnani and his stellar executive team are looking forward to hitting the road in 2017 to help retailers build a better business. In fact, today we officially announced our spring lineup of e-commerce events and conferences. The Webgility team will be traveling across the nation to share customer and partner success stories while showcasing its market-leading Unify software and revealing the blueprints for building the e-commerce store of the future.

You can hear more about us and meet the team in person at the following spring events:

We look forward to meeting prospects, customers, and partners as we hit the road for the spring show season. We’re all excited to hear your ideas for building the e-commerce ecosystem of the future.

Hidden Costs of Omnichannel that Impact Independent Sellers

Hidden Costs of Omnichannel that Impact Independent SellersNew research identifies and solves the major problems limiting the effective use of omnichannel selling

We’ve joined forces with Retail Systems Research (RSR), the only research company run by retailers for retailers, to unveil new research that identifies and solves the major problems limiting independent retailers’ effective use of omnichannel selling. The report, “Three Hidden Costs of Omnichannel that Impact the Independent Retailer,” is available for free download. We’re also looking forward to hosting a free webinar with the author of the report and RSR managing partner Nikki Baird on Thursday, March 2, at 11:00 a.m. PT. Register now.

Baird told us, “One of the biggest obstacles of being a small, independent retailer is that you have all of the challenges of big retailers, but none of the resources they have to tackle these challenges. Omnichannel—the act of serving customers holistically across multiple touch points—is no different. New #retail #research identifies and solves the hidden costs of #omnichannel selling Click To TweetConsumers don’t care if the retailer is big or small. They just want to shop how, when, and where they want, in an interaction with a retailer or brand that is seamless and consistent. In this new research, we identify the top hindrances for independent retailers and offer practical solutions that will empower them to make the most of the omnichannel selling environment.”

This new report tackles key issues facing independent retailers including:

  • Inaccurate product availability: Small retailers struggle to “see” their inventory. Indeed, RSR found that only 8% of respondents with $250M or less of revenue can see inventory levels across their business, and can promise with confidence that they can sell an item to consumers across multiple selling channels.

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How Unify simplifies operations and Boosts profitability

 

How Unify simplifies operations and Boosts profitabilityOur customers show us record transaction volume and revenue growth

Today we announced a record quarter for customer revenue and activity. And as I predicted, leading the adoption trend are members of the emerging niche economy—small, independent retailers who are building entire industries around specific offerings ranging from coffee roasting to horse grooming.

The days of online retailers trying to be everything to everyone are over. Small retailers are recognizing that you don’t have to be like Amazon to compete with Amazon. All you need to do is tap into the incredibly targeted market needs and software solutions that now exists to build the business of your dreams, finding not just revenue but personal satisfaction along the way. Unify helps companies focus on their business rather than their data management. We’re glad to see more and more companies finding success by embracing our solution in record amounts. Continue reading

The Marketing Mind Meld: Millennials Meet, Boomers

The Marketing Mind Meld: Millennials Meet, BoomersIn a galaxy where the skills of our youngest and oldest generations peacefully co-exist, modern marketing will go where no man has gone before.

We’re at a very interesting crossroads in marketing—there are many Millennials  (hereinafter referred to as red shirts. Just kidding, we’ll call them Ensigns) coming into the profession but there are still plenty of Generation Xers and Baby Boomers (hereinafter referred to as Admirals) who are still working. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough finger pointing about the contrasting styles of each generation. Endlessly debating about our differences gets us nowhere, and considering the pace at which we all must move today, there’s simply no time to waste. Instead, I’d rather explore the anomaly in the space-time continuum that occurs when we fuse the best marketing tools of the youngest working generation with those of the oldest. By melding all of our most efficient tools together and letting go of practices that don’t work, we can achieve a perfect age-blind blend, bringing forth a super-generation of successful marketers. So let’s explore this strange new world together, shall we?

Plan like an Admiral
If my 25-plus years in marketing (in case you were wondering which camp I fall into) has taught me one thing, it’s that Admirals know how to plan go-to-market strategies. In fact, it’s one of their strongest characteristics. Planning and goal-setting creates a sense of purpose and urgency that otherwise just going with your gut never will. Of course, an important part of planning is having a firm understanding of the metrics that are available to you, whether those come from Google Adwords, website traffic, number of leads, or conversion. Without having those metrics planning is fruitless, and without understanding those metrics, you’re shouting into the wind.Marketing Mind Meld: Fuse the best tools of Boomers with Millennials and win a galaxy of customers.… Click To Tweet

Step up to the tech
As adept at planning as Admirals are, they’re equally ineffective when it comes to understanding and embracing today’s social media platforms and technology. In fact, I often run into marketing professionals of my generation who say, “I don’t even have a Twitter account. I don’t need that.” Free social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, and Instagram are the exact tools that enable all marketers to maximize their planned promotions, increase lead channels, and reach bigger audiences. To discount them as unnecessary is irresponsible marketing.

And when it comes to technology, there’s plenty more to choose from in the areas of marketing automation, artificial intelligence, predictive programs, targeting, segmentation, and personalization. No matter your age, if you’re not leveraging technology in your marketing plan, you’re leaving leads behind. Continue reading