If there’s one thing that ties all sorts of e-commerce businesses together, it is E-Commerce returns. Small businesses, medium-sized companies, and huge corporations all need to be able to navigate through their returns journey with remarkable tact and skill. In fact, it would probably not be an understatement to say that E-Commerce returns have become the lifeblood and hallmark of a competent and customer-focused business.
This is evidenced by our numerous other articles on the subject. ranging from optimising the returns process to setting up returns portals and making the overall post-purchase experience pleasing for the customers.
Today, we shall take a slightly different approach, although we shall be staying very much within the same familiar territory of returns in E-Commerce. In other words, it is now time to take a look at how businesses can leverage and use returns data to maximize their performance.
To keep things simple, we will be looking at our findings in the specific context of Shopify stores. Shopify is an e-commerce platform that provides enormous functionality for facilitating businesses with setting up their own online stores. Businesses that make use of Shopify will be our primary focus for today.
Before we begin, however, let us get the terminology out of the way. E-Commerce Returns Data essentially refers to information or statistics that you can use to tell a story or paint a picture relating to your product returns.
They might tell you why products are being returned and offer tips to reduce returns and boost performance. That is precisely what we’ll be looking at today: how to use E-Commerce Returns Data to grow your Shopify Store. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
1) Perform Returns Data Analysis
The first and most obvious way is to actively engage in data analysis with respect to your product returns. Take note of return statistics, reasons cited by consumers, feedback from buyers, and so on. E-Commerce Returns Data can provide invaluable insight into such matters and, as such, can help improve efficiency and product quality. We shall look into how exactly they do that below.
2) Use Data to Improve Products
As stated above, returns data is an essential component of learning what facets of the business are working and what needs to be done away with. A customer in an online Shopify Store generally does not have the luxury of getting a first-hand feel for the product. Therefore, it is important to ensure that any and all doubts that they may have are properly dispelled, and they can make a fully informed purchase decision.
3) Group your Returns Data according to Return Reasons
Once you have your E-Commerce Returns Data at hand, they need to be grouped and classified according to a number of factors. The most important of these is, of course, the reasons why the products are being returned. If a business does not know what exactly it is doing wrong or how the products need to be improved, it will ultimately result in stagnation and low sales. Hence, comprehensive research needs to be done here to mitigate return reasons and deal with customers when issues arise.
4) Use Data to Analyze your Customers
Statistics is a fascinating discipline. In practice, there is nothing it cannot figure out or make patterns of, provided enough data is available. An interesting application here would be to analyse patterns and classify your customers into various groups –repeat buyers, new arrivals, and so on. Listen to their feedback, try to see if similar groups have similar comments to offer, and notice the variation among groups. Figuring out the customer demographics goes a long way in figuring out their needs, tastes, and preferences.
5) Use Targeted Strategies for Different Customer Groups
E-Commerce Returns Data can provide businesses with information, but that’s all it can do. It is up to the people involved to take this data and use it to boost growth and sales. Once customers have been segmented into broad groups, it is time to figure out their common characteristics. One group might contain your most fiercely loyal customers; other groups might contain casual buyers. Yet another group might contain customers that return products very often. It is up to you to figure out what strategies would work best and appeal to these particular groups.
6) Research Changes in Customer Demographics
Once you are done with the above step, it would serve you well to take it a little further and analyse how your target consumer profiles have changed for your business in specific periods of time. Are they buying less or more? Are they purchasing the cheaper or the more expensive products? How has the customer behaviour changed over the past year or so? These are all questions to keep in mind while investigating changes in customer demographics across your various groups.
7) Optimise your Delivery Operations
With your research and marketing strategies aimed toward different customer groups out of the way, it is time to dig into the delivery workflow. With the enormous amount of competition in the market, simply having Returns Data for your Shopify Store is nowhere near enough to make your business grow.
You have to look at the things that really matter- free, fast, and timely deliveries. Customers are getting more demanding, and if you can’t deliver, you have little chance of survival. For this, you can make use of several logistics platforms such as ClickPost that can partner with Shopify to assist you in your operations.
8) Reduce Reasons for Returns
Once you know the reasons why different groups or segments of customers are choosing to opt for product returns, the obvious step is to raise your product and delivery standards to such an extent that those reasons are no longer valid. If your customers cancel orders midway because deliveries take too long, then cooperate with your carrier partners and figure out a workflow to deliver products faster. If it is a packaging issue, invest resources into research for better and safer packaging. If it has to do with quality control, it is time to upgrade and revamp your product selections.
9) Summing Up
So, there you have it, a couple of highly specific and comprehensive methods you can employ to make sure that you are using your Returns Data in the right way. First off, we took a brief look at what Returns Data is. Next, we then embarked on a step-by-step journey on how to analyse this data and use it for the betterment of your company. We hope you took away some valuable messages about the best way to utilise E-Commerce Returns information and how this data can be leveraged for the growth and performance of your Shopify Store.