For many online retailers increased turnover also implies an increase in return shipments. That is a shame, just putting in a little additional work on product pages will quickly reduce the number of returned packages. In this blog post, we will discuss 4 ways to become even more successful online, with declining return shipments.
As an online store manager, your goal is to provide customers with an accurate idea of your products, prior to purchasing them. Research has shown, that the majority of return shipments are caused by wrongly estimated product properties (for example, a garment that does not fit). The tips below therefore focus on improving and optimizing the impression customers get when browsing products in your online store.
1. Provide good product images
The purpose of product images is to stimulate your visitors to purchase products. It is the first impression they will get and largely determines their idea of a given product and the emotional value they attach to it. .
A shrewd online retailer uses multiple images for a single product. Thus, the product can be viewed from different angles, providing customers with a more complete idea of what they plan on purchasing. The problem however, is that inaccurate or poor-quality product images give the wrong impression, which in turn may lead customers to return their purchase. Once delivered, customers discover that the product in question does not correspond with the idea they had when viewing it online.
So try to provide honest and high-quality images that clearly show products (and their dimensions). With clothing for example, it is smart to hire models that wear the garment in question, and even take several pictures of different garment sizes. Invested resources will automatically pay for themselves in the decreased number of return shipments. Read this previous blog post for a simple step-by-step plan for excellent product images.
2. Use product videos
A product image provides indispensable information on a product’s appearance. However, a product video will demonstrate how it works and what it could mean to customers. Furthermore, video is also interactive and far more valuable compared to a standard product description. It helps your customers in getting the right idea of your products, which in turn will lead to less of them being returned. .
Using video enables you to link content to your product pages (as done also, for example, by Coolblue). The fact is that you can create product reviews in the form of videos, post them on your blog and subsequently link them to product pages, thus selling the products.
For product videos, the same rules apply as with product images: They should be of high quality and accurately describe the product in question. If you do not have the resources to create top-notch product videos, you still can embed high-quality versions of third parties (for example, through YouTube). Good video marketing is extremely valuable, that also applies to your online store.
3. Optimize product descriptions
This tip is important to all product categories, but especially the fashion industry, that has the highest percentage of return shipments. By mentioning dimensions per size in product descriptions, sharing specific product details (for example, this T-shirt turns out smaller than usual) and substantiate this in your product images and videos, you will provide your customers with much better advice prior to their purchase.
Your product descriptions should contain the following items:
- Product specifications
List all technical product aspects.
- The most important pros and cons of the product in question
Also mentioning weak points of products will make you come across as much more reliable, resulting in customers taking the information in product descriptions even more seriously. In addition, it is better to inform customers beforehand, instead of risking return shipments or dissatisfaction.
- Accurate product descriptions
Tell your customers about product details and what it is that makes the products in question unique. Make sure to provide original content that you create yourself, this is essential to SEO.
4. Provide support for product reviews
Having your customers share their experiences with your products is the right thing to do. To customers, product reviews are the most reliable source of information, not only when it comes to the products in question, but also to your online store as a whole. Chances are likely, that you will encounter valuable information on product functionality in user reviews, which, in turn, can be incorporated in product descriptions. .
With product reviews, you acquire vital information about user experiences. Which comes in handy, especially when you do not have time to test products extensively yourself. Feedback from product reviews is similar to what could be obtained from focus groups, however, free of charge and helping clarifying the impression that customers get, thus preventing vagueness and return shipments. You can use the Yotpo app to implement a review system in your online store.
Return shipments are not just setbacks. They represent direct customer contact, to which online store managers should respond by applying one of the measures mentioned above. When the number of return shipments is low, your online store will live up to expectations and customers will be satisfied. And that, of course, is of paramount importance!
About the author
Branko is a content marketer at SEOshop. In his weekly blog posts, he keeps readers abreast of the latest trends in e-commerce and provides valuable tips to managers of online stores. By closely monitoring leading blogs and media platforms every day, Branko stays informed of just about any development concerning technology and online marketing. His profound interest in e-commerce originates innovative, yet always critically substantiated insights.