Returns are expensive, disruptive, and time-consuming, but they’re an inevitable fact of life for retailers. A 2018 survey by the National Retail Federation found a median return rate of 10 percent in U.S. retail stores. This adds up to about $370 billion in returned merchandise. Further, return abuse and fraud costs retailers between $5.00 and $6.50 for every $100 of returns, which can have a significant impact on a store’s bottom line.
Those numbers are stark, but they’re not the full story. In a recent article in Total Retail, one expert says that returns are not all bad. In fact, he says, returns may actually be good for business – when they’re handled the right way. Here are a few tips on how to make the most out of returns.
Be Upfront about the Return Policy
About 80 percent of customers never make returns, but they still like to know that they have the option to do so. This makes them feel more secure and confident about their purchase. Make sure your return policy is customer-friendly and easily accessible.
Make the Return Process as Painless as Possible
No one likes making a return. It’s time-consuming, can be intricate, and it just doesn’t feel good. Use your POS system and train employees properly, so that the return process is fast, easy, and uncomplicated.
Shift the Return Mindset
Instead of thinking of returns as lost revenue, consider them opportunities to build customer relationships. Of course, it is essential to be kind to customers when they make returns. Beyond that, there’s an opportunity to help customers find products that better meet their needs. Coach employees to (politely) inquire into the reason for the return, and to offer alternatives and assistance to find something different. Even if it doesn’t result in a sale, the customer will leave feeling cared for.
A point of sale system is a useful tool in tracking return fraud, as well as identifying trends and opportunities to improve sales. Contact Retail Tech to find the POS system that is right for your store.
Retail Tech carries a wide variety of new and refurbished POS equipment. We offer installation and staging, PoS printer repairs, and more. If you need help choosing a POS system, contact our POS systems specialists for help finding the perfect point of sale solution for your small business.