How to Manage Returns on eBay from Shopify?
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Acquiring customers and converting them might be difficult. But what’s more difficult is managing inventory and shipments. However, good planning and a strategic approach can solve the order fulfillment service issues. But the biggest nightmare that cuts into your profits is when you start managing the eCommerce returns and exchanges on marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, or Shopify.
According to the statistics shared by NRF, for every $1 Billion of sales, there is an average of $106 million merchandise returns. It makes recurring returns a daunting thought in itself. However, taking measures to lower your return rate, incorporating return costs into your pricing, and implementing an efficient returns system is the best way forward to it.
Why do people return items?
In contrast to a 9% return rate experienced with brick-and-mortar stores, online purchases have a return rate of 20%. Many reasons have been attributed to the returns that include sizes, products not as described, defective products also being a contributing factor to it.
Understanding the returns management process
Returns management or reverse logistics is the process of facilitating a customer into shipping a product back. In most cases, returns involve four simple steps depending on your customers and the type of merchandise you deal in.
Step 1: Initiate Return
It is the first step that comes into effect when a customer wishes to initiate a return. For a customer, a good return policy means receiving a full refund or replacement for the product.
Step 2: Recieve Return
The next step involves the customer sending the return to the predetermined location. It can be a fulfillment center or an eCommerce warehouse. Depending on your policies, you can decide what to do with the product once it’s received.
Step 3: Process Return
The final step is the most important. Once you receive the return, make sure the product you shipped is what you received in the same condition. Once done, process the refund the same day.
Step 4: Ship Exchanged Product
Send out the updated order immediately if the customer requests an exchange. Consider marking the restocked item as available inventory if it is applicable for resale.
Customer Loyalty and Return Shipments
When customers elect to return their online purchases, most shops choose to reimburse the purchase amount after the return. About 18% allow exchanges, while the same proportion offers a gift card to be utilized later
It is best to offer a 30 days return policy on the goods and merchandise you sell. Moreover, if you put a foot wrong in this return experience, it adds to a bad experience for customers that can lose them in the long run.
#1. eBay Return Policy should be easy to find
Your return policy should be straightforward, concise, and easy to understand. Use a layout that makes it simple to locate your eCommerce return policy on your site.
Open communication about returns before purchase reduces the number of calls to customer care, reducing the overall cost.
#2. eBay Return Policy should be Clear and Precise
Give your consumers a timeframe to return the products as soon as possible. Don’t bury your deadline in the fine text. Instead, make it clear in bold font in multiple places on your website.
A transparent eCommerce returns policy that establishes the time frame in which consumers can exchange/return an item lets your customers know exactly what is expected of them throughout the returns process.
#3. eBay Return Policy should keep profit margins
Make sure your retail prices contain a sufficient margin to cover your operating costs. As returns can burn out any revenue on sale items, consider introducing a return policy that restricts anything sold at a discount.
#4. Re-engage customers with Great eBay Returns
Re-engaging customers becomes essential. A return does not mean your relationship with your buyer is done with. Instead, an impeccable return service that handles the return well can help you convert a shopper into a loyal and profitable customer.
Return Rates And Customer Experience
Consumers consider returning a purchase before making a new one. More than 60% of shoppers admitted checking the return policy of an online store before making a purchase based on a study conducted by UPS.
It makes having an excellent return policy a must for sellers as it can convert a potentially harmful buyer experience into a positive one.
How to Customize the eBay Return Services?
When you create an eBay Seller Account, it lets you customize the returns service that suits you the best. You can offer the following through eBay to make your clients’ experience and relationship perfect.
#1. Immediate refunds
When selling clothes and apparel dependent on size and fittings, you should always offer immediate refunds. It helps you keep the customer happy and contend with the service making them come back to you for a different product or order the same product in a different size.
#2. Partial refund option
The return of damaged or missing parts will result in a partial refund if the return is not in the same condition as when it was shipped.
#3. Automatic acceptance
You can simplify the return process by automating the acceptance of returns. Requests for returns are automatically approved when buyers pay for the return of items.
#4. Offer replacements and exchanges
Start offering replacements and exchanges to your customers when variations of the same products are available in different colors and multiple sizes. This will make your buyers feel more comfortable when making their purchases.
You can visit the page to create return rules.
Retention and Returns Policy on eBay
Having made its way around the globe, the pandemic has triggered new loyalty shock trends in eCommerce. The loyalty shock has caused customers to re-prioritize their buying decisions based on budget and convenience.
The pandemic contributed a lot as buyers found numerous new retailers globally. As a result, retention has become very important owing to the shift in consumers’ lifestyles and priorities. Making sure your company has a good return policy can help you in this effort.
Create an eBay Return Policy for Buyers
When creating a return policy, you need to keep in mind that they deliver a consistent and competitive experience. eBay offers you the option to choose from five return policies to help streamline the returns. The offers include:
- No returns accepted
- 30-day buyer-paid returns
- 30-day free returns
- 60-day buyer-paid returns
- 60-day free returns
How to minimize eBay product returns?
No matter how good your products are or how great your handling time is, there is always a possibility of getting returns from your buyers. The best way to head towards it is to create policies and take steps that can be utilized to reduce returns. Also, streamlined and straightforward return policies and rules make the entire process simple and hassle-free for both the buyer and you as a merchant.
- Provide an accurate item description and clear photos.
- Remove the products with high defect rates from your listings.
- When shipping the orders, make sure you do not ship a different product than what was ordered.
- Create a checklist to avoid missing items when selling multiple parts or shipping multiple items in a combined shipment.
- When a buyer asks for a refund, check the returned items carefully and then offer a refund.
- When in a conflict, ask eBay to help you resolve an issue by visiting eBay’s resolution center.
Best Way to prevent “Item not as Described” on eBay?
The best ways to reduce returns based on the “Item not as Described” claims include the following:
#1. Reducing the number of damaged items
Work on improving the packaging standard. Also, when selling refurbished and used products, inspect them thoroughly for defects and damages. Make sure you list the errors clearly in your listing description.
#2. Not missing out on parts when shipping.
It’s highly advisable to maintain a checklist for specific products with many parts, as it’ll help you from missing out on including multiple components in a shipment where required.
#3. Not sending the wrong items
Do not ship the wrong items as it will lead to an immediate return and a low seller rating or bad feedback from your customer. You need to inspect products closely to confirm all items mentioned in the order are included and are correct.
#4. Do not sell counterfeit items
eBay has a strict policy against sellers listing counterfeit products, fakes, or replicas of brand-name items. Moreover, you should refrain from using brand names and keywords that lead to false buyer expectations.
#5. Products should match the description and images.
Make sure your listings contain lots of photos and item details to set the right expectations for your buyers. With photos, buyers can see exactly what they’re buying, as well as any specific details they may need. Additionally, make sure you include the item’s condition.
How to manage eBay returns from Shopify?
When you start selling on multiple channels like eBay, alongside your Shopify store, order management, inventory, and product listing become an uphill task. Especially during the festive season, or the 4th quarter, the neverending sales challenge your inventory and product management system while the aftermath of the festive season tests your order management setup.
The best solution to the problem is to manage the entire process from a single location. An integration application like Shopify Integration for eBay lets you sync and process inventory, product details, orders from eBay to Shopify. It becomes a great asset when dealing with returns.
When you receive a return for an order on eBay you do not need to update the inventory for eBay separately, which otherwise could become a cumbersome task with multiple returns each month on both channels.
However, with an integration solution, all the returns irrespective of the channel through which they got sold get streamlined and the inventory is managed from one true location, your Shopify store.
Sellers may not realize they’re losing profits due to returns for some time. Still, they’re incurring inconvenient hidden costs as a result of returns. Recognizing the problem and taking steps to eliminate it are critical.
You should keep in mind the best ways that can help you deal without incurring marginal losses in the transaction when managing eCommerce returns through your Shopify store or marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Walmart, etc.