Can you remember a day without online shopping? We can, and it makes us grateful for the modern conveniences we live with.
Online shopping brings product hunting to the tips of our fingers. We can shop for, purchase, and receive the perfect gift for someone we love without even leaving the couch!
However, as a business owner, online shopping can cause some hurdles regarding returns. When selling your products, you want your customers to fall entirely in love and be pleased when they open the package. Nothing stings worse than having a customer write to you with an issue or letting you know they received something they weren’t expecting.
Throw in the backed-up shipping issues, and you’ve got the recipe for a headache on your hands. Thankfully, you can do things to ensure you give your customers the best description of your products or services—ultimately helping prevent some of those returns.
Continue reading for tips on how to best market your business products, prevent returns, and help eliminate further congestion in the system.
Succinct Product Descriptions
The pictures and videos you provide of your products are certainly important, and we will get into that soon! However, it is equally important to be intentional and strategic when writing the descriptions. Depending on your product or service, it may not be obvious WHO the product is for and WHY someone should buy it—the more unique the product, the more information you may need to include in the description.
This does not mean you should go on and on for paragraphs. You should choose words clearly to explain what the product does and what sets it apart from similar products.
Focus on what problem the product or service may help your customer solve while staying away from flowery, useless language. No one wants to scroll through line after line to get to the point. Include all the information that the user needs to know before purchasing the product.
Without a clear description, you run the risk of users receiving the item and returning it when it’s not as expected. In addition, depending on the product, the description may benefit from product icons. Like the ones in the picture listed above, these icons give the user a quick, easy way to get the most critical information.
Icons are often the best way to go for something like eCommerce furniture. No matter how you organize your information, it’s crucial to think about what a shopper would want to know if they viewed the item in person.
High Quality Product Photos and Video
Nothing is as unattractive as low-quality visuals for a product. One of the downsides of online shopping is that the customer doesn’t get to place their hands on the product until after they have purchased it—making quality photos and videos so crucial. Any images on your website should be optimized and fit your branding style. Pictures and videos should also give your customer an in-depth look at the product.
From colors to movement and more, images and video give you an opportunity that words in a product description just can’t. When planning your product photos and videos, make sure you think about what it would be like for your client to use the product.
For example, if you’re selling outdoor equipment, it makes the most sense to provide images showing the equipment in action outdoors. If you sell a product such as an online course, consider showcasing video testimonials from customers who enjoyed the experience.
Providing your customers with accurate information and the best online experience will help ensure they know what to expect when clicking “add to cart.”
Highlight Size & Fit Info From Other Shoppers
If your products are in the realm of clothing, there are a few specific elements you may want to consider. One option is to incorporate the size and fit from other shoppers. When customers can see the product being used or worn by someone with the same body shape, this helps them decide what size and fit to purchase while providing customer reviews or customer photos.
Another option is to provide a sizing chart. When customers feel confident about buying the right fit and size, they are more likely to purchase in the first place. This, in turn, helps to reduce returns and shipping delays by assisting customers with making the best choice.
Let Shoppers Ask Product Questions
Part of the experience we miss when shopping online is the chance to interact with another human! Allow your customers to ask questions they have about the product. When there are questions and answers, this increases the likelihood of finding those customers who fit well with your product. Some websites offer a “live chat” function. Others provide a frequently asked question section to direct customers to answers to questions already answered.
On top of answering your customers’ questions, it’s also helpful to make sure your site includes plenty of brand transparency. While this doesn’t mean you need to give away your best-kept secrets about your products, just like a major restaurant wouldn’t give away a secret recipe, you should be mindful about giving your customers information and details up front. For example, are there specific details about where your source the materials for your products that your customers might want to know? Being upfront and genuine goes a long way, and sometimes gives your customers answers before they can even ask a question.
Giving your customers this personalized interaction helps them make the best choices as they are shopping and helps guide them to the best products for their needs. The more human-like the exchange, the better!
Solicit Feedback From Shoppers Returning Products
We know even with the best practices, products will still be returned. From the wrong fit to a gift return, there are many reasons a product may be sent back. When that’s the case, don’t just process the return and move on. Please take it as an opportunity to learn more about your audience. You could potentially prevent future returns by giving shoppers a chance to provide feedback when they return products. In addition, this feedback may help you innovate new products, product updates, etc., to fit your customers’ needs.
Your customers’ opinions are the ones that matter the most. If you don’t take time to solicit feedback from them, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to improve your business and possibly shape the trajectory of your business’s future.
Letter From the Seller
When customers are considering completing a return, there are a few options to consider. Putting a personal touch on this interaction is important as it helps your customer feel seen and heard. Some ways to do this include sending a personal note to let your customer know they can reach out to you if they’re still having issues.
You could also offer discount codes on future products in return for any issues they were having. Reaching out in a personal way helps to establish a relationship with your customer and also helps prevent further shipping delays.
Things to Consider
When it comes to running a business, there are many things to consider.
When your customer feels seen and heard, they are more likely to come back again and again. Establishing this trusting relationship between your audience and your brand takes time. Still, it’s well worth the work and may even assist in preventing shipping delays to our already congested supply chain.