How many of you have ever tried to return an item that you purchased in a store and it became such a chore and inconvenience? What about ordering items online? Is it a concern of yours to purchase something online and then worry about the return policy and is it going to be a hassle?  Can you return an online item you ordered back to the store or do you have to mail it back? 

In a recent study, people say they want the option to return items in a store that they’ve purchased online. A shocking 63.3% of stores still do NOT offer this option to consumers and I believe they are paying the price. Shoppers will hesitate to make a purchase online if they do not have a convenient way to return the item if necessary.

59% of consumers
expect businesses to offer store
returns for online orders

Amazon, the giant of online shopping, certainly gets it and does a great job in making it easy and convenient regarding their return policy. I recently went shopping with my wife at her favorite store, Kohl’s. To my surprise they had a special area set a side in the middle of the store for Amazon only returns. In other words, if you purchased any item on Amazon and didn’t want it for any reason you could stop inside a Koh’s and return it. Hassle free! In fact you didn’t even need a box or any packaging material. They do it all for you. Just drop off the item to be returned. Pretty easy and convenient wouldn’t you say? 

Of course I noticed numerous shoppers browsing around Kohl’s after the return was completed. Research shows 18% of consumers have made an additional purchase after returning online items in a store, further proving this option is a win-win for retailers. What a great and valuable partnership for both parties.

Are you making it easy for your customers to return items that they purchased from you?  Can they return an item at your store that was purchased online? Do you make it a difficult experience and not very convenient? Like I mentioned earlier, 63.3% of stores still do NOT offer this option to consumers. The question is why not give your customers the opportunity?

U.S. shoppers have buying habits that mesh the two channels together. For instance, they want to research online and find out what products are available in store, sometimes pick up items without leaving their cars, have store and online prices match, and return online orders to a store. The goal is to make it easy and convenient for your customers. Therefore, retailers of all types, should do their best to connect their physical
stores to the digital world and give your customers options.

Here are a few issues to think about for your business:

  • Have a friend or relative shop at your business and then try to return the item. Evaluate if the transaction is an easy and convenient experience or is it a hassle and frustrating?
  • Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and ask yourself would I purchase this item if I had to go through all that trouble or would it be easier to just buy it on Amazon.
  • See if you can reduce the amount of steps necessary that a customer must make when returning merchandise. 
  • Get feedback from your customers and ask them what they would like to see when returning items.
  • Make sure your staff is always overly friendly, empathetic, compassionate, and appreciative of your customers when returning merchandise. No customer wants to feel like they are bothering you during the transaction. Something I often witness at stores. 

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Very few people like to return merchandise after making a purchase. However, if you make it easy and convenient for your customers by providing them options and a friendly hassle free experience, your customers may become more loyal to your business. No to mention the positive word of mouth your customers will share to others about a positive experience they had. Now that would be Magical! Need help? Contact Coach John today!