Buyer’s remorse; we’ve all felt it. The return process is an incredibly important, yet often overlooked reality in wireless retail. Much like today’s consumer needing a seamless, omnichannel purchasing experience, they also demand a seamless, transparent, and omnichannel return experience.
With all the benefits of omnichannel retail management, these added features can make return logistics more complex. Fortunately, despite these complications, there are many ways you can use omnichannel shopping tools for a seamless return process and create customer loyalty. Here are ways to streamline your returns process and avoid those “return transaction” headaches.
1. Get Trackin’
You can avoid return headaches by starting before the return even occurs. Tracking which products have a high rate of return allows you to make better decisions on which products you may not want to carry in-store or on your Dropship inventory library. Keep track of why customers are returning phones or accessories with reason codes. Some popular reason codes are Product is Defective, Buyer’s Remorse, Exchanged (for the same product) or Swapped (for a different product). RQ’s refunding functionality includes the ability to run a products report that shows you, historically, which products have been in the used status and non-sellable (default setting for returned items) status. A report on the history of items in non-sellable status allows you to determine trending data along with the reason code. This provides valuable, hyper-local data on your customer’s buying behaviors.
2. Offer Refunds
Delight your customer with offering liberal return policies within a specified timeframe. Contrary to what you may assume, allowing full inventory refunds don’t necessarily equal lower profits. In fact, offering full refunds gets your customers back in store, opening more exchange or repurchase opportunities and enhances customer loyalty.
3. Be Transparent
Customers are hesitant to buy from retailers whose return policy is unclear or confusing. Your policy should be simple and seamless and ensure this return policy is clearly stated on your website — especially if you operate an e-commerce platform. Have clearly stated return policies printed on the receipt so customers are aware before they leave the store after a sale. Leaving no room for uncertainty around your policy helps to manage customer expectations and create a great shopping experience.
4. Centralize Customer Data
We may sound like a broken record, but it needs to be said again: customers are looking for an easy, seamless return experience. This includes when and where they can do the return; whether a return can be done at another one of your store’s locations. Ensure you have a POS that stores information on transactions across all locations. That way, if the customer goes to another one of your company’s stores, the customer can easily return the product there. Just remember to be aware of the commission structure from one location to another.
5. Treat Returns as A Sales Opportunity
Retailers need to find every way possible to increase sales and improve customer loyalty. Employees need to understand that while the shopper is bringing an item back to the store, it’s still an opportunity to make another sale and protect the revenue. Imagine this: you have a customer at the till with their wallet out. Don’t be worried that a customer who is returning an item doesn’t want to purchase something else! At the end of the day, that product was originally purchased to fulfill a need and with a return, that need still needs to be filled. Start by identifying the reason for the return. What happens if the customer is making a return because the cell phone case wasn’t the right color. This is a perfect opportunity to leverage Endless Aisle inventory displays, find the phone case in the color the customer wants, and offer to Dropship it directly to their doorstep. Boom! Revenue saved, and a customer satisfied.
Wireless retailers are focusing on creating a seamless, omnichannel shopping experience and product returns is an equally crucial component of the overall shopping experience. Customers are more willing to shop at stores who offer easy, clear, and unrestricted return policies. Retailers who leverage the valuable data from inventory returns can better manage inventory in store and online. If handled properly, retailers can see increases in profits from these transactions and build customer loyalty.
Discover more ways to build customer loyalty through RQ for Cell Phone Stores.
Shutterstock / totojang1977