Befriend the return flow!
The percentage of returns varies greatly from country to country and product to product, but the issue is important to most Nordic e-retailers. Some returns are unavoidable, but they can be minimized and better leveraged if you view them as sources of information, potential improvement and "incoming stock". PostNord has tips for you to familiarize yourself with the return flow.
Do it right the first time!
Recruiting new customers is expensive, and customers are not usually profitable until their second or third purchase. Be sure to eliminate mistakes in the delivery chain so that new customers have a positive buying experience. Make sure the correct item is shipped, that it is complete, properly packaged and sent on time. Returns due to delays, errors or damage don't only cost shipping; they also cost a customer.
Every return is a valuable source of information! By analyzing returns, you can learn more about your customers, find opportunities to improve your inventory, transports and selection, and fix mistakes earlier in the chain next time. The best way to minimize returns is to learn from your mistakes.
If you keep track of the products in the return system, then you can also resell them without having to ship them back first. Take advantage of the fact that returns are actually "incoming stock".
Trust the customer
If a customer wants to return a defective item, it can often save time, money and the environment to simply let the customer throw away or recycle the item instead of returning it. Trust the customer's judgment; it will also be faster to ship a new item.
Have a strategy for shipping costs
Free shipping and free returns have become the norm in some industries. But even free shipping costs something, and it can promote unsustainable buying behavior when customers become accustomed to free shipping. It results in unnecessary transports and makes it hard to achieve profitability. Analyze which customers are profitable and develop a strategy for pricing shipping. Consider offering free shipping for the fist purchase, for purchases above a certain order value, or only to profitable customer groups.
Both the industry and the environment benefit from sustainable buying behavior without unnecessary transports.