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How to Evaluate Returns Management Solutions

Matt Blevins
Updated 06/19/20 6:46 PM

How to Know Which Returns Management Solution is Best for Your Brand

As an online retailer, you know that returns are a part of your business.

Ecommerce return rates typically hover between 15% and 30%, and as many as 40% of your shoppers have returned at least one product by their third purchase.

Returns impact your profits, your operations, and your shoppers. The challenges are simply too prominent to ignore.

Many retailers are turning to returns management software to ease the burden. But no solution is perfect, and none addresses every pain point.

So how can you evaluate and compare returns management solutions?

We assembled the basic components of returns management to help you examine your options and make the best decision for your business and your shoppers.

Main Components of Returns Management

From our experience, there are three foundational elements of returns management:

  1. Customer Experience
  2. Operational Efficiency
  3. Returns Optimization

To be truly effective, a returns management solution must address each in some capacity.

Customer Experience

At the core of returns management is a simple truth: returns impact the customer experience.

As a D2C brand, you strive to create an amazing experience at all stages of the customer journey. Returns are no exception.

Many retailers quickly find that a manual returns process can't keep up, especially with respect to the customer experience.

Customer Service representatives become consumed by emails and support tickets. For one retailer we partner with, an estimated 60% to 70% of emails were regarding returns before using ReturnLogic.

The team states that emails about returns are now virtually nonexistent.

This element of returns management is centered around empowering shoppers to start a return without assistance from the retailer, and removing friction from the returns process.

Customer centricity does not end at the time of purchase.

Remember that 30% to 40% of your shoppers will return a product at some point. A better returns experience means happier shoppers.

Operational Efficiency

Effective operations are the groundwork of the customer experience. Shoppers want their refund, exchange, or store credit fast.

One retailer has been able to reduce the time to process a return by 10x since partnering with ReturnLogic. 

Operational efficiency starts with visibility and communication between teams. Intelligently crafted automation then enables retailers to dramatically expedite their processes.

But it's not enough to just process returns quickly, your systems need to be compatible. Inventory management and returns management go hand-in-hand.

Advanced reports provide insights to help retailers continue to improve their operations. You can identify bottlenecks that might be impeding your process and allocate resources to alleviate these obstructions.

Returns Optimization

Returns Optimization consists of continuous improvement strategies that leverage returns data to create value for merchants and for shoppers.

This allows you to reduce your return rate, drive exchanges over refunds, and better understand the needs and preferences of your shoppers.

One brand was able to cut its return rate by 9% and reduce multi-size purchases by 15% after using the ReturnLogic platform.

Just like purchases, returns inform customer lifetime value. You can implement more precise customer segmentation by considering what shoppers bought and what they returned.

Without returns data, we simply are not seeing the full picture of ecommerce.

Deciding the Best Returns Management Solutions

The fundamental components of returns management are Customer Experience, Operational Efficiency, and Returns Optimization.

No one solution will be right for everyone, but these three elements provide a framework, a lens through which you can examine returns management software.

10 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Returns Management Software

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