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Jailene Adorno
Content Manager, Reviews @ Yotpo
July 26th, 2022

The Truth About eCommerce Returns and How Reviews Can Help

Uncover how Yotpo Reviews can help your brand lessen eCommerce returns.

Table Of Contents

Let’s face it — as an eCommerce business, you’ve definitely seen your fair share of product returns from your customers. At this point, eCommerce returns are simply a natural part of selling products online.

Because you can’t guarantee that shoppers will be happy with their purchase, customer returns have become a huge challenge for brands, with 30% of eCommerce purchases leading to a return. Let’s dive into the reasoning behind returns, how they can impact brands, how Chubbies has successfully managed returns, and how Yotpo Reviews hold the key to lessening eCommerce returns.

Why customers return products

Your customers may return the products they purchased for a variety of reasons. But overall, it’s usually because the product simply didn’t meet their expectations.

Customers may also return products because:

  • They didn’t like the product’s fit, feel, taste, or smell.
  • The item arrived later than expected.
  • They no longer need the item.
  • They received the wrong product.
  • The product was damaged/defective.

Oftentimes, shoppers may also purchase the same item in multiple colors and/or sizes with the intention of keeping what they want and returning whatever items they don’t.

How eCommerce returns can affect brands

When customers return products, they may often feel disappointed that the product didn’t meet their expectations. But how do eCommerce returns impact brands? Returns can:

  • Hurt profit margins: If a brand sees a rise in returns, it can hurt their profit margins. And once you add in the costs for shipping, handling, processing, and restocking, you could end up losing money.
  • Break brand trust: Customer returns can also indicate a lack of trust in your brand, which can discourage future purchases, and ultimately, lead to churn.
  • Tarnish the post-purchase experience: When a product doesn’t fit, the post-purchase experience may get tarnished. And with acquisition costs rising, this could hurt overall customer loyalty for your brand.

    Consider how returns are impacting your eCommerce brand.

    Turning eCommerce returns into opportunities

    But returns aren’t always bad. In some cases, they can provide inspiration for improvement.

    When Chubbies, a fashion brand best known for their fun shorts, was facing returns, they turned to Loop Returns for help. By working with Loop, Chubbies turned their eCommerce returns into an opportunity by offering their customers exchanges instead.

    The brand also used exchanges as an upsell strategy, allowing customers to exchange one product for multiple products. Ultimately, this process turned returns from a costly process to an active revenue stream. And now, about 10% of Chubbies orders that are exchanged end up in an upsell.

    Chubbies pivoted their returns to exchanges naturally, but if your brand is still facing some challenges, learn how reviews can be leveraged to lessen customer returns.

    Yotpo Reviews: The solution to eCommerce returns

    One element of the post-purchase experience that continues to deliver valuable insights is reviews. Because of this, reviews can help to manage customer returns as they allow brands to gain in-depth feedback about their products and shoppers.

    By partnering with Yotpo for reviews, you’re allowing your shoppers to make more informed purchasing decisions and reduce your return rate at the same time.

    Smart Prompts

    Encourage your customers to write more detailed reviews by suggesting highly-relevant and high-converting topics about fit, quality, color, and more. For example, if they ordered a pair of shorts, you can highlight inseam length and quality as potential prompts. By gathering these details via Smart Prompts, your new and returning shoppers will be able to distill, from the reviews, whether an item will meet their needs.

    Smart Filters

    Smart Filters allow shoppers to filter through reviews with ease to find the exact information they’re looking for to help even further with purchase decisions. Your customers can search by color, size, fit, age, height, weight, and even reviews with photos and videos to help them determine whether they should size up, consider a different color, or find a different fit/cut.

    Reviews with Photos and/or Videos

    The addition of photos and/or videos within product reviews can help to influence shoppers’ purchase decisions. Photos and videos allow customers to see how the shorts that they’ve been eyeing fit someone with a similar body shape or height. By using Smart Filters to only view reviews with photos and videos, shoppers can also get an optimal view of the reviews that are most relevant to them.

    Custom Questions

    Searching for specific, in-depth details about your products to help manage returns? With Custom Questions, you can curate distinct inquiries within your review requests. This way, you can ask customers who have completed a purchase to elaborate on product details, or details about themselves to help other customers who may relate to them. For example, they can gather intel on whether your brand’s new shorts tend to run small or true to size.

    Community Q&A

    Community Q&A can also help to lower your return rate and create a more connected environment for your shoppers. It allows potential customers to ask detailed questions before making a purchase. Once the question has been submitted, brands have one of two options. They can either answer the question on their own or choose a satisfied customer who already purchased the product to answer based on their experiences and observations.

    The future of eCommerce returns

    No matter how popular or successful your brand may be, customers are going to return any products that didn’t meet their expectations. While returns continue to pose a unique challenge for eCommerce brands, consider how Yotpo Reviews can be used to help manage those returns. With our high-converting features, you can impact your customers’ shopping experience in a way that increases their customer lifetime value and overall trust in your brand.

    Learn more about Yotpo Reviews here.

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