9 Ways to Improve Your Amazon Product Return Rate

amazon return happening

Last updated on June 5th, 2023

Written by Himanshi Raj

Nowadays, people prefer shopping on Amazon more than on any other e-commerce site. It is the world’s largest online retailer, after all. Naturally, aspiring entrepreneurs often consider starting their businesses on the platform. As in any lucrative venture, unforeseen downsides can be detrimental to a business, and the Amazon product return rate is one such example.

In this article, you will learn nine ways to lessen your return rates, maintain a good reputation, and satisfy your customers.

Returning Purchases in the E-Commerce Industry

The e-commerce returns process is a product of normal consumer behavior. As part of the customer experience, online retailers are expected to provide the best quality products, and when they fail to meet expectations, customers are quick to send them back.

This poses multiple problems for a business. First, since customers usually return items in a used state, customer returns can cut into a business's total retail sales. Although a business designates certain criteria on returned merchandise through a returns policy to control them, they often end up with a significant amount of items going back, resulting in a high refund rate and eventual loss of profit and revenue opportunities.

In addition to a drop in sales, a business's product return rates can also negatively impact a business's reputation, which is why it is vital to care for the returns process in a business. 

What Product Returns Mean for Amazon Sellers

High product return rates can hurt your credibility as an online seller, which is crucial for the health of your Amazon account. Because Amazon prioritizes the buyers' satisfaction and experience, customers can easily return the purchased items.

Even if it does not seem favorable to third-party sellers like you, you must understand your customers' concerns about online shopping. To avoid losses and possibly getting your Amazon account suspended, you must proactively strategize to reduce Amazon product returns. 

Product returns can mean a couple of things for an Amazon seller, including the following:

Additional (and Avoidable) Costs

Customer returns can cost a business lot of money. Losing credibility and a wave of potential customers is one thing, but there’s also incurred fees and additional shipping costs that can eat into your profit. 

A customer expects every business to adhere to grievances related to their returned merchandise. Online sellers are expected to handle everything from customer service to reverse logistics back to the retailer's warehouse or brick-and-mortar store for free, saving customer loyalty.

Return shipping can significantly impact a business's profit margins because part of that sum will go back to expenses—shipping, handling, and using otherwise brand-new storage for replacements. In short, they are deemed unnecessary and preventable expenses.

Unfortunately for sellers, some cases involve customers asking for refunds on stolen or unpurchased merchandise, leading to return fraud and other return-related crimes.

Losing Potential and Repeat Customers

If you run an e-commerce store like Amazon, displaying your product return rates is a crucial decision. This can either boost your business or run it through the mud. 

A relatively low number can reflect well on your business; meanwhile, high return rates could signify seller incompetence or low product quality.

9 Tips to Improve Your Product Return Rate

1. Write Accurate Product Descriptions

Images are usually the first thing that attracts the attention of customers. Once they like what they see, they are more likely to purchase the product, sometimes impulsively. But most online shoppers would also read the product description to gather more information about the item before purchasing.

Doing this allows them to visualize how the actual product looks, despite not seeing it personally. So as an Amazon seller, you can help them make an informed decision by writing detailed product descriptions in your listing. This will not only help you for SEO purposes but also manage your customer’s expectations and ultimately reduce product returns.

In the product description, you must provide helpful information, such as:

  • sizing and color variants;
  • product dimensions;
  • materials or ingredients used;
  • warranty information;
  • satisfaction guarantee;
  • link to Amazon Return Policy;
  • expectations on the package; and
  • instructions on using or assembling the product.

The more details you provide, the more likely you prevent customers from leaving comments about misleading advertisements or incorrect information. Providing precise details will also make you trustworthy as an Amazon seller, prompting customers to purchase again or refrain from returning products on a whim.

2. Provide a Sizing Guide

As mentioned above, you must provide detailed information about your item on the listing, including a sizing guide or chart. This best suits businesses that offer items with several options for sizes, shapes, and measurements.

Ensure that you put all the necessary and precise numerical values, like height, width, and length. Through this, they can measure their own sizes, walls, tables, etc., and choose the best option available.

If you are not entirely sure about this vital information, it would be best to discuss it with your supplier firsthand. If you have a customer service representative, inform them about these things so they know how to respond to such inquiries. 

3. Upload High-Quality Images

Providing high-quality photos can not only help you rank well on the search engine results page (SERP) but also help lessen your product refunds and returns.

Help your customers visualize your product better with multiple angles, zoomed-in or close-up shots, and images that show the products in use or when worn. Also, upload photos for every variety of the product to give your customers options. Ensure high-quality images so they can zoom into the details themselves.

4. Include a Product Video

Even though this feature is relatively new to the Amazon marketplace, you should maximize this feature to improve customer experience.

The product video can serve multiple purposes for your brand. You can use it to attract more online shoppers by presenting how the items would look in real life. You can also demonstrate how to use the item, highlighting key benefits ideally listed in the product description. Lastly, you can use it as a marketing strategy to better showcase the quality of your products and introduce your brand.

If you intend to create product videos for your product listings, it would be best to develop a storyline or theme and hire professionals to shoot and edit the videos for you.

5. Offer Real-Time Customer Service

Sometimes, customers have difficulty understanding the details in your product descriptions. They might have further inquiries stopping them from purchasing and prefer to speak with a customer service representative who can address their concerns first.

As an Amazon seller, you should consider offering real-time customer service that is always available to respond to inquiries about your products. They should also be able to provide assistance related to checking out, return policies, or Amazon Prime shipping services, if applicable.

Having a dedicated Amazon customer service representative for your online store can minimize your product return rate and ensure higher customer satisfaction.

6. Gather Previous Amazon Return Data

As a business owner, you know how important data is to make decisions for your business. For example, data on market trends can help you manage your inventory and adjust pricing. Data on product returns can help you improve the quality of your items and offer your services better. Here are some of the key information related to product returns you’ll want to collect:

  • which products are often returned;
  • what reasons do customers cite for returning the products;
  • which seasons or months see the highest return rate; and
  • who usually returns your products.

Additionally, you can use this information to determine which customers are more likely to send a return request so that you can refrain from giving them promotions and discounts and avoid possible return fraud. This way, you can turn your return issues in your favor.

7. Coordinate With Your Suppliers

Low-quality and faulty products usually prompt buyers to return the products, which usually end up getting sold in Amazon return stores. Because your customers want to get their money's worth, they would not hesitate to return the items, especially since Amazon offers free return shipping.

In this case, it would be best to coordinate with your suppliers if you do not manufacture or create your products yourself. Check the item packaging and return labels from the shipping carrier, especially if you have received several complaints about broken items occurring during shipment. Additionally, you and your supplier should be strict in assessing the quality of the product after one too many customer complaints. 

8. Ask About Customer Satisfaction

One of the best ways to identify your problems related to returns is through your customers' feedback. Amazon has provided an avenue for sellers to communicate with their customers directly through the Buyer-Seller Messaging Service found on Seller Central. You can use this platform to know and understand your buyers and their demands.

Moreover, the comments left by your previous buyers speak for your e-commerce store. Their reviews will prove whether your products meet your customer’s expectations, reflecting customer loyalty. 

9. Keep Them Coming Back With Store Credit

The product returns process doesn't fare well with regards to customer experience, so a good way to make it up to the online shopper is by offering store credit to compensate for their trouble.

Using store credit is a great way to make your customer happy, since you're essentially giving them free or discounted items. The prospect of free items can also ramp up sales for your business, encouraging a repeat purchase.

Just make sure to provide quality service this time.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, you can try several methods to reduce your product returns, and they can be as easy as writing precise product descriptions or providing sizing guides. But if selling on an e-commerce giant like Amazon overwhelms you, there are professionals who can help you with Amazon returns, refunds, and reimbursements to manage your business more efficiently. If you are interested in growing your Amazon business, book a Discovery Call or contact Seller Interactive at 1-800-820-3746.

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