Turning returns into returning customers

Retail (R)Evolution 2018 may be in our rear-view mirror now, but that hasn’t stopped us from thinking over all the great sessions we attended and speakers we heard from during our two days in Orlando. One of our most anticipated panels was the session on returns, and how to leverage returns for creating repeat business with customers.

Wed May 30 11:19:00 EDT 2018
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Turning returns into returning customers

Retail (R)Evolution 2018 may be in our rear-view mirror now, but that hasn’t stopped us from thinking over all the great sessions we attended and speakers we heard from during our two days in Orlando. One of our most anticipated panels was the session on returns, and how to leverage returns for creating repeat business with customers.

That discussion featured Jesse Casterns, Senior Manager of eCommerce Technology and Operations for Decker Brands; Chris Halkyard, Vice President of Supply Chain Operations for Toys “R” Us; and, Patrick Allard, Vice President of Sales and Business Development for the Newgistics team at Pitney Bowes.

Patrick also moderated the panel, which turned out some really interesting thoughts on the returns process, what customers expect out of them and why returns have to be more relevant and top-of-mind than ever for businesses.

Customers now prize fast returns as part of the experience

Not only do customers want a faster, easier, free experience, they also want a fast refund. This wasn’t the case even just a few years ago. But, today, customers are reading store FAQs more than ever before they shop with you, in order to determine what kind of return/refund experience they can expect. Companies like Amazon and Zappos have really set the bar high for this, and that’s what customers are measuring their return expectations for all companies against.

The bottom line: If you promise the customer a quick refund, and deliver it to them on time, they will come back and shop with you.

Using returns to talk with your customers

The returns process is where your customer really talks to you, particularly if they post a bad review about a return experience they had on social media. Everyone will be all over that in seconds. Use returns as an unfiltered feed of how your business is not meeting customers’ needs, based on what they’re telling you is the case. Isolate the issue, invest in the appropriate problem resolutions tools and processes and, if possible, course correct in real time.  

In the competitive world of global ecommerce, it’s important to know where the industry is heading and how others retailers are reacting. Take the Pitney Bowes Global Ecommerce Assessment to see how you stack up with your competitors – the survey offers a side-by-side comparison between your answers and those of your peers. 

Then, dive into the results from one of the biggest global ecommerce research reports of its kind. The Pitney Bowes 2017 Global Ecommerce Report surveyed more than 1,200 retailers and 12,000 consumers around the world, outlining both retailer and consumer perspectives on the global ecommerce landscape. Download the report to learn how these trends provide key growth opportunities.