The foremost goal for any business to be successful is to understand its consumers. Whether you’re in the brick-and-mortar or e-commerce industry, your priority should be the satisfaction of your customers.
The knowledge behind what motivates your consumers — to help build a solid strategy for your business — ultimately relies on having good relationships with them. Among many other factors, you need to know their likes and dislikes.
Moreover, it’s also important for you to understand the reason why they would pick certain products over others, and why they sometimes proceed to return their purchases. These are some of the main things for every business owner to consider and understand.
We all pretty much live in an era where there’s no need to pop by a mall to get your shopping done when you can simply get it done online. That being said, online stores receive the most number of returns than any brick-and-mortar locations.
This usually happens because of our imprecise habit of online shopping. In fact, there are tons of reasons customers have when returning an item – some of which can seem unusual. However, the most common reasons can boil down to some major types.
Here are 5 examples, and how you can help to avoid having that happen to you.
Change of Mind or Bought the Wrong Item
This is perhaps one of the most common reasons for customers returning their purchases. It’s common to have customers have a change of heart once they’ve received the item, as it may not look like what they had expected.
The odds are, we’ve all done this, but there isn’t much you can do to prevent a customer from feeling differently once they receive their purchased item. In fact, you simply can’t prevent every mistake they make.
But, what you can do is to make sure all the information on your website about your product is clear, accurate, and complete. This will avoid any future complications as the consumer will know what they’re purchasing. Of course, this won’t be able to eliminate this reason of return, but providing your customer with comprehensive information will nevertheless mitigate many such incidents.
FirstEnergy is one such website that will allow you to return your purchase for any reason, as long as it’s done within the first 20 days, and it’s an unopened package. Here is FirstEnergy’s phone number if you need any further details about their items and return policy – 1-866-987-4305.
Wrong Item Was Shipped
If you’ve never experienced having received a wrong item, you may as well wonder just how common this is. It’s actually more common than you think. In fact, large retailers like Office Depot and Amazon have also done it.
All it takes is one small error at any stage of the pick, pack, and ship process, and sooner or later, your consumer will be unwrapping their wanted package to only discover a mysterious item that they never ordered. Oh, we know how disappointing it is!
Obviously, the consumer will contact you but in such cases, if they even consider a return, please count yourself lucky. According to the Federal Trade Commission, it very much goes against the law to bill a consumer for a purchase they never ordered, even if they ordered something else.
Hence your consumer will be under no legal obligation to even return the item. Of course, they usually do so. And when they do, you’ll have to pay for both the handling and shipping charges. Therefore, it’s best to avoid being in such a situation at all costs.
Product Was Damaged or Defective
Accidents during shipping are way too common, and even if a pristine item is sent out, the worst that can happen is it can arrive shattered. If you do indeed get several feedbacks about broken items, it’s high time that you reevaluate the packing procedure the items go by and counter them with better packaging steps.
Defective merchandise is totally different. It serves as a reminder as to how important it is to inspect our inventory and try weeding out products that come under this description. If you have a large quantity of defective items being returned, you need to consider a few things.
You have to take a much closer look at your warehouse, as moisture, temperature, and many environmental factors can cause damage to different types of merchandise. Depending on what your company sells, you may have to implement batch numbers as this will help you identify defective product shipments.
Purchase Was Delayed or Consumer No Longer Needs It
Purchases can arrive late in a consumer’s mind for too many reasons. Perhaps they needed it for a specific event, which unfortunately passed before the item came in. Or maybe they got impatient and eventually bought it from elsewhere.
What you can do to mitigate such instances is to provide your customers with clear and real-time shipping updates, preferably with a tracking number so that your customers are aware when they can expect their purchase to arrive.
As mentioned earlier, there are many reasons for customers to return their purchases. We hope with this article, you’ve got a better understanding of some of the more common reasons and feel much more informed now on how to go about addressing them.