Reviews are the most recognized way of gathering feedback from customers and experts for a particular product or service. Through reviews, customers talk to each other, thereby giving the retailer a tremendous amount of insight into the reception, positioning and performance of the product. Reviews are much better than a focus group, as the people involved are not getting paid for it, and thus have better credibility and respect inside he social community.
But for ecommerce websites, displaying reviews is like handling a double-edged sword. You cannot filter out all the hostile reviews. Removing all the negative reviews does more harm than keeping them on the site as it undermines the purpose of the review and sharing process. Adopting this approach will result in a loss of trust in the website in the long run.
Yet, you cannot include all the negative reviews since that may seriously damage the brand value of the product and even the website as well. This may lead to a dip in sales and even a deterioration of relations with your manufacturers and suppliers. Therefore striking a balance between the two types of reviews often determines the fate of the product and the fate of the ecommerce website.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind while handling the reviews:
- Allow any type of reviews to be posted governed by a fair degree of freedom which has constraints like profanity, not to mention competitor names and a customer has to buy the product to review the same
- Allow customers to flag reviews which they think is not justified. This ensures that the retailer can take a look at the particular review and decide, thereby reducing the effort to screen the reviews.
- Merchants should make sure that in the website, only those products which the customer is passionate about, gets included in the user reviews and feedback section.
- Merchants also should ensure that they do not edit the reviews for grammar and brevity. The language and prose reveals a lot about the reviewer, thereby enabling the readers to identify and associate themselves with the reviewer. This means that even spelling errors – if any – on the review should be left as it is, since it tells something about the person who has written the review.
Following these can go a long way in making your reviews section a happening and engaging place for your customer community.
There are still some reasons for returns that are within your control. Unclear copy or graphics that are hard to associate from the catalog to the web can be remedied and improved upon. Sometimes the retailer’s operational divisions can also make errors in order entry or distribution that adds up to excessive returns. There are also cases where a consumer ordered an item in the spring but did not receive it until late summer. Successful retailers have managed to overcome returns by measuring and analyzing causes of returns, calculating actual costs of returns and creating a plan to reduce the costs and maintain higher levels of customer services.
Identify Reasons for Returns
Though some reasons are predictable some are not and retailers find that they need to identify the merchandise categories that are more likely to generate returns than others.
Calculate Costs of Returns
Once the reasons for the returns of merchandise are found, the next step is to calculate the cost of each variable. This can include cost of materials needed for packing and repackaging, the number of man-hours involved in receiving and processing returns, staff involvement for customer credit cards, inventory management files, etc.
Reducing Costs and Returns
Once the reasons for returns are discovered, you should focus on steps to make sure they do not happen again. Preventing returns as much as possible is the best option. It makes it more pleasant for customers to re-visit a retailer that has improved.
Let Customers Know
Communicate and let customers know your return policy before they make purchases. Retailers should provide information on their site, in the catalog and also at the store that describes their return process.
Return Process Should Be Quick
It always works in your favor if the return process is fast or even faster than the purchases. Since customers have less patience during the return processes, retailers and sales team should expedite the credit or exchange part.
Shoppers who have purchased items from one channel are able to make a return through another. Some retailers accept returns at their stores even though the product was bought online.
Smart Return Processes
Reverse logistics is very important to retain customers and it accounts for what happens to all returned items from the time the customer decides they do not want the particular product. Pre-printed return labels and smart labels enable customers to use the basic standard policy to make returns as easy possible.
Returns are an unavoidable part of merchandising for all retailers and they can be costly in a short term venture. If marketers handle them poorly they will pay the price in customer abandonment.
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- The benefits of online knowledgebase are tremendous and widespread.
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- Building semantic web and artificial intelligence are next great evolutionary step. The documents are not only interpreted by human, but are also used by software to derive and use the knowledge. Read more
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