You may be surprised at how difficult fulfillment, shipping, and delivery were during the 2020 holiday season. Many eCommerce retailers will need to adjust their business operations and return policies in order to provide a positive customer service.
How eCommerce returns: What to expect in early 2021
Adobe Analytics reports that Cyber Monday 2020 set a new record in the United States for largest ever internet shopping day. The total amount spent by consumers was $10.8 billion. This is a 15% increase over 2019. This doesn’t include December purchases!
Despite the pandemic, eCommerce sales rose. The increase in online orders has impacted the supply chain and stressed the fulfillment process.
eCommerce Returns Are Forecasted To Reach A Record High
According to CBRE, an investment and commercial real estate firm, online returns are expected to reach a record $70.5 million this holiday season. This is 73% more than the average five-year average.
CBRE also predicted that November and December 2020 online purchases would exceed $235 billion. This would represent a 40% increase in year-over-year sales. It’s easy to see why returns after holidays will rise with this massive spike in online shopping and a 30% average return rate.
How to Face High eCommerce Return Rates
2020 has been a year of uncertainty that has affected brick-and-mortar shops, eCommerce businesses, and consumers around the globe. Customers have come to expect more from Amazon, and free returns are now considered a key component of the buying decision process.
Optoro is a technology company that helps retailers and manufacturers manage their excess and returned merchandise. Optoro conducted a survey to find out retailers’ concerns about returns. Only 15% of large retailers considered returns to be a major concern in 2019. This number rose to 50% in 2020.
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There are many ways for business owners to adapt to changing circumstances. One way is to extend return dates so that companies have more time to process large amounts of returns.
It’s crucial for companies to emphasize their return policies in the future. Customers will be more inclined to buy from companies that offer easy returns. This gives them the assurance that items and subscriptions can be returned or reimbursed if they are not satisfied.
Informing customers about your company’s return policies during sales increases their conversion rate and builds customer trust. Instead of ignoring potential problems, sales teams should initiate conversations about returns and refunds. Marketing teams must ensure that copy and creative are clear and easily accessible on their website.
Customers who return items should not hesitate to up-sell related products, cross-sell , or offer immediate refunds. Transparency between brands and customers builds trust and allows customers to feel at ease returning an item they have returned.