What Can You Do to Make Retailer Returns Easier? A Guide


Retail businesses are gearing up for another holiday season. Yet there’s one part of store management most would rather forget. A recent study found 63% of dissatisfied consumers with the retailer returns process.

So with store returns being one of the least appealing parts of your business, they are a necessary evil. But how do you accept returns without them becoming a burden on your operation?

If you want to know how to reduce the pain of a return item, keep reading. Here is a brief guide to easing the retail returns monster.

The Retailer Returns Process

With most brick-and-mortar operations, store returns begin with the customer’s receipt. Yet many systems now rely on barcodes to process a return item without receipts. The clerk needs to scan codes to track the inventory with your integrated software.

The return payment gets processed by either cash or a refund to the original payment method. Some retailers offer store credits or exchanges on store returns. The system gets stressed here if the price of the exchange doesn’t match the return price.

The store clerk also needs to account for the reason for the return item. In some cases, discrepancies about return policies frustrate both consumers and employees. So, store management needs a clear policy to accept returns.

All this process works well if appropriate systems are in place. Yet, store management can still struggle with customer relations. And worse, processing store returns is time-consuming and labor-intensive.

The Cost of the Retail Returns

Even with integrated systems, store returns can still go wrong in many ways. For example, most customers return items because of a size or use issue. Still, other reasons complicate your bottom line.

There is a variance of returns that creates more expense for retailers. You have likely asked yourself if it’s worth the hassle. But a poor return policy can have devastating effects on your business.

When a customer makes an effort to make store returns, they generally have a good reason. If they become dissatisfied with the process, they are less likely to shop there again. If you refuse to accept returns from a repeat customer, the result gets magnified.

As a retailer, you know that repeat customers are ambassadors for your business. If they experience problems with returns, it’s as bad as receiving a sub-par product. So a painless retail returns policy is less costly than refusing the return item.

In the end, store management should have a competent return system than alienating customers. E-commerce has helped make retail returns more prominent. But the cost of not addressing the issue is higher.

Store Returns Are A Reality

Changes in the commerce environment have contributed to the growth in retailer returns. To accept returns without losing goodwill is now a part of doing business. So rather than making a return item more difficult for the consumer, it’s better to put a working policy in place.

Software solutions are more available and more affordable than ever before. So you will help your bottom line, and the customer will never know the difference. Isn’t that the way it should work in retail?

And if this article gave you a positive return, check out some more of our valuable insights.