The After Payment Emotional Experience (APEX) of customers is influenced by a lot of things, including marketing, returns, refunds, and complaints. The research outlined in the Valitor APEX report shows that when it comes to returns, many retailers believe that they provide favourable terms and conditions, with 93% claiming that their returns policies are excellent.
Consumers, however, have a different view on this. A survey showed that 57% of women claimed that returning purchased items was of no benefit to them. Half also claim that a lack of free returns and exchanges are the most annoying things they experience with online shopping services. Furthermore, 42% of people said that the lack of full refunds during returns was annoying. These negative comments were directed to almost all brand names, including well-established retailers.
The downside of returns policies for retailers
Are these returns the root of all evil for retailers? Favourable returns policies attract and retain customers, but this has some downsides when it comes to keeping a business operating. Items returned can no longer be advertised as being brand new, so the price may need to be lowered in order to resell them.
Most rejected items come back flawed or damaged, some to the point where they are entirely unsaleable. This then becomes wasted product and spells disaster for profits.
It also costs money to make refunds. This is the case especially for purchases that were made online using payment gateways. A small fee is deducted each time a transaction is made, making multiple refunds overly exorbitant.
What is the solution?
Adequately examining your merchandise before placing it on display is mandatory. Quickly check products to assess if there are any breakages, damage, or any other easy-to-notice flaws. If you find any, go through each item slowly, checking for any defects until you are confident of your product’s quality.
You can also sell certain products on an ‘as is, where is’ basis. This means the customer accepts the product as it is with no guarantees and a comprehensive no-returns policy.
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