Though they often lead way to additional operating costs, the truth is there is a lot of upside to offering returns as a retailer. Aside from the obvious, sometimes customers can be more engaged with a retailer willing to offer them free returns on products they’re unsure of. Unfortunately, many retailers are taken advantage of when it comes to their return policies. Not by genuine customers attempting to get what they truly want, but rather from customers attempting to pull a fast one on retailers through fraudulent activity like money laundering. Throughout this post, the ways in which retailers deal with returns, including the fraudulent ones, will be detailed in length.
It’s best to begin with the genuine returns and how retailers can attempt to curb them through meaningful changes to their processes. For example, beginning with products returned as a result of incorrect sizing or proportions. Retailers should look to rethink the website landing pages for products. Adjusting descriptions and images shared on the product pages is a start. Pictures and descriptions on the product page that are more honest and show off more of the garment or product are suggested. Avoid any misleading images or product details. Retailers should also provide more robust measurement information to avoid returns related to sizing issues.
Improving sales and reducing returns is actually made more possible through free shipping and free return policies. While this may seem counterintuitive, more customers are willing to purchase products knowing they’re being shipped to them for free and if they’re unpleased with them they’ll be able to return them with ease. Often times customers receive the products they order and decide not to return them. This increases the retailers sales while also improving the relationship between the customer and the retailer.
With more and more customers shopping online, it’s easier to imagine how so many retailers are facing such high rates of returns. This past year, retail return rates saw a 70% year-over-year increase. This issue is made worse with certain customers scamming retailers through wardrobing or bracketing tactics, both of which void most return policies by these retailers. Limiting the ways in which customers can take advantage of retailers is therefore imperative.
This online shopping is what has led to the uptick of online fraudulent purchases. Unlike the scams mentioned previously, sometimes these purchases can be done to launder money from stolen credit cards or otherwise harm businesses. This is why anti-fraud tools are so important for businesses. With these tools, businesses are able to block transactions from stolen cards and offer refunds only to the original card or through store credit. There are even unique payment solutions offered by professional services that can help reduce the cost of returns for your business.
It’s easy to assume that most customers that come across your retail organization will be genuine and want the best for themselves and your business. Unfortunately, dealing with the less than genuine customers can cause a number of challenges for any retailer. To avoid these challenges within your retail business, consider reading on to the infographic coupled alongside this post to learn more about the ways to defend against these attacks. Infographic courtesy of Signature Payments.