By: Noor Al Abid

Feb 15, 2018

Top 4 Ways To Deal With "Serial Returners" And Boost Profits - eShipper

Every online eCommerce business has customers who return most of the items that they buy.

“The size wasn’t right!” “I don’t like the color.” “The product description was wrong.” “My item was damaged on delivery.”

Whatever their reason for returning their items may be (and even if they’re legitimate), “serial returners” can have a serious impact on your profits. So don’t let “serial returners” hurt your business. Here’s what you need to know to deal with them.

Understanding Different “Serial Returners

Serial returning is common in all online marketplaces – but especially among sellers who specialize in women’s clothing.

  • It’s estimated that the average return rate for these retailers can be as high as 50%!

There are several different reasons for this.

  • “Try-before-you-buy” returners may buy clothing or electronic gadgets that they’re not sure that they want, so that they can try them out for a few days. They’ll send them back if they don’t like them.

  • “Fitting Room” returners often buy large volumes of items at once, only to keep just a few and send back the rest – mimicking the fitting room experience of a department store.

And in addition to these types of customers, some people are just impossible to please. They will nitpick the smallest issues with a product, or send products back for almost no reason at all. These are the hardest customers to deal with.

How To Deal With Serial Returns

There are a number of steps you can take to deal with serial returns. Here are the three easiest ones to implement in your store.

  1. Make sure all product description information and photos are as accurate as possible – If you can have extremely accurate sizing, photographs, and descriptions of materials for clothing or other items on your shop, you are less likely to suffer serial returns from “fitting room” returners.

  2. They’ll be able to get a thorough understanding of each item on your website, and they’ll know whether or not it will fit.

  3. Track buying (and returns) history for serial returners and warn them – If you have multiple serial returners who almost never keep the items they buy, it’s fair to send them a warning about their shopping habits, and tell them that they may soon violate your return policy.

  4. Consider banning those who are abusing the system – This may seem extreme, but if there is a customer who returns 90-95% of the items they buy, they are costing you some serious money. It’s worth it to consider banning them from your store outright.

Understand Serial Returners, And Do What You Can To Mitigate Their Impact

Serial returners are not avoidable for eCommerce companies. But with these tips from eShipper, you can differentiate between legitimate customers who are simply very particular – and those who are abusing your return policy to “rent” items for the short term, or to try dozens of items without buying them.

So think about how you can improve your store – and increase profitability – today.