80% of online shoppers are more likely to shop at stores that offer a customer-friendly return policy. What’s reason behind this?

Return rates in traditional brick-and-mortar stores are relatively low – under 10 percent – which makes sense because shoppers are able to touch, try on, and assess a product before purchasing them.

However, mobile return rates are estimated to be nearly 30% in some categories and are on the rise due to the popularity of customer-friendly return policies.

Given the high rate of Mobile returns, online brands and retailers are exploring how to turn them into a business opportunity, which requires reevaluating traditional reverse logistics operations.

Mobile Returns could be a good solution to create a hassle-free return policy for your store, but is it the best one for Reverse Logistics?

To find the answer to this question, LitExtension co-hosted with Ready Cloud Suite on our 6th webinar “Mobile Returns: Is it the future of Reverse Logistic” to share all about the facts behind Mobile returns and evaluate the impact of it on Reverse Logistics in the future.

In case you missed our livestream, here is a recap of what we were sharing.

Let’s begin!

What is Reverse Logistics? Why is it important to the future of eCommerce?

Reverse logistics is the opposite of the standard supply chain. The goods move from the end-user back to the seller or manufacturer. It can include returns from e-commerce and retail, as well as components for refurbishing and remanufacturing. The products may be resold or disposed of permanently. When eCommerce started picking up, a lot changed especially over the past year as eCommerce jumped 5 years ahead of where it was projected to be.

Consumers still expect brick-and-mortar service levels while merchants have tried to navigate through and keep up. Consumers expect quick delivery, easy returns, and efficient communications. The merchant has been tasked with handling these expectations set by Amazon.

When this shift started the merchant realized that online returns were much higher than retail returns which is a trend that continues to date. About 30% of all eCommerce returns come back compared to 9% of retail. Due to this, merchants wanted to make online returns as difficult as possible.

The consumer on the other hand, still had expectations of the retail store they had come accustomed to even though they were now buying from the comfort of their home and having their item arrive at their doorstep. As you see here, the consumers’ demands are high and continue to increase daily. They want to be able to return items for free as easy as possible which in this day and age includes mobile options because half of all eCommerce is now bought and returned on mobile as you will see on the next screen.

When merchants started to analyze the data, they noticed a common trend. The companies who made returns hard were having much lower return rates, but the companies who made returns easy were having much higher conversion rates. In many cases this was due to data showing that 65% of the time consumers were returning items due to damage, receiving the wrong item, or a difference in appearance that the picture on the website.

This leads to merchants’ policies getting much more relaxed and consumers feeling much more comfortable with buying something online. This is why now more than ever a returns policy with the capability of doing a return on a mobile device is more crucial than ever.

How ReadyReturns makes it easier for merchants to handle their mobile return strategy

ReadyReturns at its core simply adds an Amazon-like returns experience onto the pages of virtually any website. When ReadyReturns was first released merchants were trying to make returns of any kind difficult for the customer to limit returns. Then as competition increased merchants realized that while it did limit returns, it made the customer much less likely to buy again and took up a ton of resources by asking the customers to call or email in as the previous stats suggested

With more than 50% of eCommerce now being done on a mobile site, this explains why mobile returns truly are the future of reverse logistics. Customers who buy on mobile want to return on mobile,  and we know that many across the world do not even have a computer. In some cases, everything from school work to business is done on a tablet or smartphone with the ability to connect items like a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

Mobile returns not only benefit the customer, but also the merchant. The merchant now gets visibility into what is coming back to the warehouse and why. Is it a refund, store credit, repair, or warranty, and why are these items coming back. Are the same items or components defective? Is the sizing inconsistent? Using return labels, this also ensures the merchant is never billed if the customer changes their mind and decides to keep the product.

With a returns system like ReadyReturn, it also tackles the number one issue many e-tailers face today. Getting traffic back to the website. When you place a return portal on your website which is optimized for mobile, it makes the customer come back to see what is new or what sales are currently happening. Ready Returns also drives customers back to the website to track their returns. This increases second chance sales by up to 44%.

This can be done for domestic or international returns through the same UX saving even more time and resources on the merchant’s end.
What is Direct to Mobile feature? How does it benefit the retailers and their customers?
QR codes is the next iteration of mobile returns. More than half of all purchases are now made on mobile and we expect to see this number continue to grow.

With merchants needing to keep up with the times and fewer consumers having access to a printer, this adds a friction point to a return process that only gives the option to print out a label. This is why we implemented QR codes. If you would like to see the firsthand experience, you can text “ReadyReturns” to 480-630-6380.

QR codes give all of the same benefits to the merchant with a little more. Merchants can charge an additional convenience fee for the services to help ensure returns are not a loss. This can be automatically deducted from the refund using popular shopping carts like BigCommerce and Shopify. It also ensures the customer abides by their time policies. One disadvantage to a label is there is no disappearing ink, so when a customer prints off that label, they can hold it for as long as they want before using it without merchants being able to pause it. With our platform, QR codes expire giving the merchants more peace of mind and ensuring consumers are not gaming the system.

Final Words

In conclusion, eCommerce and the expectations around it are evolving, and it is on the merchant to keep up as it does. When customers have an incredible returns experience like using a QR code on their mobile device, they expect all of the places they shop online to get on board or it could cause the customer to shop elsewhere the next time they are looking to make a purchase. Mobile returns are the future of eCommerce, but it will greatly benefit all involved saving the merchants time and resources and ensuring the customer has the best experience possible, getting them to come back time and time again.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us or join our Facebook Community for further information! Here’s a recording of the webinar Livestream! Don’t forget to visit LitExtension Youtube channel for other webinars and more interesting eCommerce-related videos!