The advancements of science have allowed us to create products that undo the damage of the modern lifestyle. The ecommerce sector brings these products to us at our doorstep. With a world of these many conveniences, it becomes vital for the customer to experience how the ecommerce product returns in the health and wellness sector are handled. The products from these sectors are more prone to damage during transit as they are sensitive to storage and atmospheric conditions and have a specific shelf life.
The health and wellness sector deals with products ranging from skincare to dietary supplements. The product handling requirements are not uniform across the board. Along with this, the health and wellness sector still uses the traditional supply chain. The above factors make it necessary for ecommerce companies to adopt a hybrid model in the industry. The perishable nature of the products and the complexities of the cold storage supply chain make it challenging to find an optimal delivery process for a solely online model.
The ecommerce returns process becomes more complex due to the product's unique requirements. Therefore, you will find that many ecommerce businesses in wellness offer a free trial and then a subscription to their products to optimize their supply chain for delivery. This model is best suited for consumable products that dominate the shelves in the sector. Most of the products do not have the value or the margin to support the cost of the ecommerce returns. Therefore, figuring out an optimal way to process the ecommerce returns in the sector becomes essential.
In order to optimize your ecommerce returns process, let’s take a look at the importance of the returns process in the health and wellness sector.
2) Importance of Ecommerce Returns in Wellness Sector
The ecommerce returns process is vital to the growth of your ecommerce business. As the company begins to expand, the perks of having a hassle-free returns feature also improve. Here are some of the crucial perks of having ecommerce returns available for your business:
2.1) Improves Brand Value
Brand perception and value carries a lot of weightage in the health and wellness sector. A seamless returns experience helps you create this much-needed brand image and build a trusting customer base. The returns feature also represents that the brand has confidence in the product. On the other hand, the customer is incentivized to try more of your product as they see you have a lenient returns policy.
2.2) Customer Communication
The quality in the eye of the beholder holds for the wellness sector. Your product may be of the highest quality, but the customer's perception makes the difference. The ecommerce returns process grants us a window into this perception by allowing us to collect feedback from unhappy customers. You can then modify your products and services to suit the needs of the general public to create a successful outcome and business.
2.3) Expired Products
You, as a seller, can claim a refund for this product with your manufacturer. In order to claim this refund, you will need to send the product to the manufacturer. If the product has been in the supply chain for too long, it may be very close to its expiry or has already expired. The product is not safe for the customer as well. Therefore, in such cases, ecommerce product returns gain importance in the wellness sector.
These things make it necessary to include an ecommerce returns policy for your ecommerce business. You must implement measures to reduce your return rate. Let’s look at some of the best practices for health and wellness products.
3) Best Product Returns Practices for Wellness Products
While returns are an inevitable part of the ecommerce supply chain, it is in the best interest of your business to keep the return rate as low as possible. Here are a few essential tips to reduce the overall cost of ecommerce returns.
3.1) Refunds and Replacements
The wellness sector deals with consumable products for the most part. Apart from a few electronic products, the value of the products is much lower than the cost of returns. Therefore, it may be more sustainable for you to process a refund or a replacement without getting the product transferred back to your warehouse. This saves you the cost of reverse logistics, although you may have to be a bit careful of returns fraud. Software like ClickPost returns plus provides a streamlined pre-established workflow to automate your returns process.
3.2) Contents of the Product
The ingredients of the product are essential in the wellness sector. Each person may have a different reaction to the same product. It is best to display the ingredients clearly and accurately to avoid accidents or reactions. Unusable products due to allergies are one of the top reasons for ecommerce product returns.
3.3) How-to-use Instructions
If your product has a specific way to be used, make sure that you disclose those instructions on the packaging and website very clearly. You can even include a how-to-use video on the product page so that your customers get the proper use of the product. This can reduce the return rate on your website as your customers know what to do with the product.
3.4) Establish an accurate fulfilment process
It may seem unlikely, but the wrong product is one of the top reasons for ecommerce returns in the wellness sector. Since most products have multiple versions that look very similar, it is very likely that the warehouse sometimes packages the wrong products. If you use third-party fulfillment services, you address these issues in your agreement. You will need to establish a more exact fulfilment process if you manage your warehouse, as this can be a recurring issue.
4) How can shipping software help with ecommerce product returns in the wellness industry?
Shipping software is becoming popular in the ecommerce sector. While they are typically used to maximize your delivery process, software like ClickPost provides return management software. This software adds a lot of value to your fulfillment operations. They enhance the customer experience on your platform while improving and optimizing processes. This software's technological ease also goes a long way in scaling fulfillment operations.
Most return management software markets come with data intelligence technology that provides valuable insights into the returns on your platform. The return management software comes with NPR management features that allow you to handle pickup and return exemptions with ease. You can provide a branded returns experience to your customers to improve post-purchase engagement. The returns software is also an excellent way to enhance your conversion rate and collect customer data.
The operational efficiency of your forward and reverse logistics operations has become very important in the health and wellness sector. Most products are perishable, and some even have specific cold storage requirements. Therefore, handling returns for such products requires enhanced supply chain management. This is where shipping software comes into play. The integrated APIs of the shipping software allows you to track and optimize every move your product makes without manual interference. The management features of the software also make it easy for you to manage and track your returns and refunds.
We spend every waking up minute on the internet. With us being educated about our well-being, the modern lifestyle has taken a healthier turn. As an ecommerce business, the opportunity is vast. But, to capitalize on this health kick, ecommerce businesses have to overcome several logistical and operational challenges. The ecommerce returns process can be tricky for the sector's products as most of them are consumable and perishable.
While handling ecommerce product returns in the health and wellness sector, it is crucial to weigh the return's cost with the product's value. Sometimes, you may find it more sustainable to provide the customers with refunds without processing the return. To reduce your average rate of return, you will have to improve the description and other product-related content on your website. You can even team up with content creators to create detailed videos about using your product which can be displayed on the development and checkout page.
6.1) Should I provide a returns policy for my health and wellness website?
Legally, you are not required to process returns or refunds for regular purchases. Defective and expired products are exempted from this rule as you must process the return. Furthermore, studies have shown that having an ecommerce returns policy has increased customer satisfaction and retention rate on ecommerce websites in the health and wellness sector.
6.2) What should I include in the returns policy for health and wellness products?
Having a comprehensive returns policy that covers all types of product exceptions is ideal for a wellness platform. You can include a separate returns policy for unopened and expired products to enhance the returns experience for your customers. You can also add individual return and refund policies for opened products, as these products cannot be resold. You can refer to guidelines from renowned shipping software like ClickPost to formulate your returns policy.