Get the latest information on the mailing and shipping industry.
Get the latest information on the mailing and shipping industry.
We hear you – managing returns is frustrating. It can feel complex, time consuming, or even like the death of a sale. That said, 60% of shoppers who make at least one return to an online store, a whopping 95% of them will purchase from that store again if the return experience is positive. Moreover, if those shoppers feel that their return or exchange was an easy process, 64% of them will refer that online shop to friends. So even though returns may feel like an e-retailer’s nightmare, they can actually be the catalyst for more sales and new customers. In order to win back those sales, you have to make sure your return process is a walk in the park.
Here are 3 simple ways to guarantee a better return experience for your customers:
#1. Make It Clear
Your return policy must be easy to find on your site, with all policy information clearly stated. Be detailed and include all rules, like what you will provide (return postage, for example), and a step-by-step guide on how to proceed with the return. If you’d like an example, Zappos.com has a detailed and clearly outlined returns process that appears simple for the customer. Model your return policy webpage after theirs.
#2. Know The Worth Of Returns vs. Customer Service
Figure out ahead of time the value of letting buyers keep the original item and sending them a replacement, vs. asking that they go through the return process. There are some cases where it is actually better for your company’s reputation, even if you end up eating some of your profit. See below for an example from Practical Ecommerce’s 4 Tips for Better Ecommerce Returns and Exchanges where this special circumstance played out:
A guitarist for a popular party and event band recently ordered a new guitar strap from a merchant on the Amazon marketplace. Unfortunately, there was an error in the shipment, and the merchant apparently sent a shorter strap than expected. When this guitarist contacted the seller about an exchange, he was told that a new strap would be shipped that day and that he could simply keep the smaller strap.
This solution was great for the customer, who did not have to repackage the strap or arrange for a carrier to pick it up. He was generally happy with the experience. This was probably also better for the merchant, who might have simply been able to order a new guitar strap from its distributor for about the same cost as having the strap returned.
In order to determine whether or not you can provide this kind of special customer service, you need to know all applicable variables. This includes cost of return shipping, cost of processing the return and profit lost on the item. Sometimes, a small (or fairly insignificant) loss will lead to a huge gain later. A customer could be so impressed with your service that they will not only shop from you again, but they’ll refer friends. Don’t forget, 64% of buyers will speak highly of retailers that gave them a positive return experience.
#3. Bring The Policy To Them
You already know not to bury your return policy landing page somewhere on your website where shoppers will have a hard time finding it. To keep them in the loop, consider posting (just once) on your social media sites either a link to your return policy page or a cliff notes version for them to quickly scan. Doing this will communicate that you are on their side and want them to be happy with their purchase – and if there is an issue, you want to make the return easy for them. This can be especially timely during the holiday season, and may be a smart post for December 26th. Drive it home with a follow up post inviting social media followers to share pictures of themselves with their new products. The more you can establish an emotional connection between your business and your buyers, the better your business will perform. According to a 10-year study conducted by Hiebing, brands that evoke a strong emotional response can sell more, drive customer loyalty and successfully charge up to 200% more than competitors.
With these tips in your back pocket, you can simplify the return process for your e-commerce store. Your buyers will appreciate it, and so will your bottom line. Of all the customers who make returns, are you ready to bring back the 95% who will shop from you again?
Ecomdash is an award-winning multichannel inventory software for ecommerce retailers. It offers an end-to-end ecommerce solution to complete workflow, including inventory and sales order management, product listing, dropshipping and fulfillment management, reporting and more.
International buyers will make up 86% of the e-commerce market in 2015, according to eMarketer. With the demand for American-made products higher than ever, e-commerce sellers in the U.S. cannot afford to ignore the growing segment of international customers that is expected to reach a record high of 1.06 billion buyers in 2015.
Check’s out Stamps.com’s new eBook (PDF), Complete Guide to USPS International Shipping to get a comprehensive understanding of how to ship packages across the world using the USPS.
– How International Shipping Works
– USPS International Mail Classes
– Packaging Tips for International Delivery
– USPS Customs Forms
– International Product Restrictions
– International Shipping Tips
– and much more …
With Dimensional (DIM) Weight being applied for all UPS and FedEx Ground packages, USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes provide a cost effective option to ship products across the U.S. The USPS provides three different types of Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes: Box A with a weight limit of 15 lbs., Box B with a weight limit of 20 lbs. and Box C with a weight limit of 25 lbs.
The Benefits of Regional Rate Boxes
There are many advantages to using USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Boxes:
- No DIM Weight: DIM Weight does not apply to Regional Rate Boxes. That means you need not worry about the dimensions of the Regional Rate box you choose. As long as your item is below the weight limit for the Regional Rate Box you choose, you simply need to find the rate that applies to your shipping zone.
Listed below is the 2015 USPS Commercial Base (online postage) pricing for Regional Rate Boxes. An additional $0.75 fee applies if you purchase Regional Rate postage at the Post Office.
- Low Costs Nationwide: Regional Rate Boxes provide a cost effective alternative to using Regular Priority Mail or Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes. With dimensions almost similar to that of a Priority Mail Flat Rate Medium Box, Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A can save you up to $3.55 per package. When shipping multiple packages every day, these savings can really add up! See a cost savings example below – USPS Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A provides the lowest cost option to ship a 3 lb. package from Los Angeles to New York (Zone 8 shipment).
- No Cost To Purchase Regional Rate Boxes: The USPS provides Regional Rate Boxes for free and you do not need to pay anything extra to use any of these boxes for your shipments. Pick up your free Regional Rate boxes at the Post Office or visit usps.com to order them online.
Shipping Regional Rate Boxes With Stamps.com
Stamps.com customers can easily print Priority Mail Regional Rate shipping labels. Once the destination address is inputted, Stamps.com automatically determines the correct zone-based pricing for your package by instantly accessing the USPS database, preventing you from ever overpaying or underpaying the shipping fee.
You can even order your free Regional Rate Boxes from within Stamps.com. Simply log in to your Stamps.com account, click on “Store” and click on “Free USPS Supplies.” The USPS will send the free Priority Mail Regional Rate boxes right to your door!
Gifts and merchandise come in all different shapes and sizes, and often times a USPS tube is the best option for shipping items like fishing poles, posters and prints, telescopes, and golf clubs. The USPS provides two free packaging options for mailing tubes being shipped with Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express. While you will need to use your own packaging, First Class Package Service is also a great low-cost alternative to ship tubes as long as your package weight is less than 13 oz.
Selecting USPS Mailing Tubes In Stamps.com
Shipping USPS tubes using Stamps.com is easy! The first thing to know is that you don’t need to look for a separate mailpiece type called “Tubes” from the drop-down Mail Class/Mailpiece menus. When mailing tubes, you can select “Packages” as your mailpiece type. Priority Mail is a great option for shipping tubes with costs ranging from $5.05 to $144.82 for all 9 shipping zones and package weights of up to 70 lbs.
Get Free USPS Priority Mail Tubes
There is no USPS flat rate for tubes, and no special flat rate packaging for tubes. However, the USPS does offer free non-flat rate packaging for your tubes. Ordering this packaging is convenient within the Stamps.com software. You can also use your own packaging, but to order free USPS tube packaging, log in to your software and click on “Online Store,” which appears beneath “Buy Supplies.” Two types of free tubes are available in the section called “Free USPS Supplies”:
– Dual-Use Priority Mail/Priority Mail Express Small Tube (25″ x 6″ x 6″ x 5-7/8″)
– Dual-Use Priority Mail/Priority Mail Express Medium Tube (37-11/16″ x 6-1/8″ x 5-1/8″ x 5-1/16″)
Package Tracking For USPS Mailing Tubes
Need tracking? Not to worry. The barcoded shipping label for your tube (which you can wrap around the tube as long as you don’t cover the barcode), includes built-in tracking for your package.
Important Tips For USPS Mailing Tubes
– You can send tubes by First Class Package Service, as long as the tube’s weight is less than 13 oz.
– Since Priority Mail is zone-based pricing, for certain zip codes you will have to enter the dimensions of your tube in order to obtain the correct rate.
– To create an International shipping label for a tube, click on the International tab and select “Package” as your mailpiece.
– Tape each end of the tube with clear packing tape to reinforce and seal its seams.
As of May 31, 2015, USPS Tracking can now be added for FREE to Media Mail packages. Prior to the 2015 USPS Postage Rate Increase, it would cost $1.05 to add USPS Tracking if purchased at the Post Office and $0.23 if purchased online with Stamps.com.
No Action Needed For Stamps.com Customers
Stamps.com customers do not need to make any changes to their shipping processes to access free USPS Tracking for their Media Mail packages. Simply navigate to the “Packages” tab and select “Media Mail” in the drop-down menu for mail class. You will notice Tracking is included for FREE.
Lowest Cost Option For Packages That Qualify
With USPS Tracking now included for free, USPS Media Mail still remains the lowest cost option for qualifying items like books, CDs, DVDs etc. If your package qualifies, you can save big with Media Mail.
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