Photo by Bryan Angelo on Unsplash\nCustomer returns are pricey. Each year, customer returns cost businesses billions of dollars. Retailers suffer from increased supply chain costs. There is always the possibility that the goods are no longer sellable. The leniency of shipping return and exchange policies has made it easy for customers. Products may be shipped damaged or worn by the consumer. Some customers may be serial returns, but there are also plenty of company errors that cause returns as well. The return rate is a serious problem business must address. According to Statista, the cost of returns is projected at $550 billion by 2020. If you\u2019re worried about how much returns are costing you, EKG has some suggestions. Implement a few of these tips and lower your return rates and retain your customers.\n\nOptimize Product Pages\nCheck Your Return and Exchanges Policy\nEmpower your customers\nOffer Customer Service\n\nOptimize Product Pages\nUnlike in-store, online shoppers must trust your business. A product page should have high-definition photos, keyword enriched descriptions, and detailed features. It is important to represent your products accurately. A customer who expects a red chair and gets a brown one is likely not going to be so happy. Furthermore, these customers are more prone to leaving negative reviews than others. Customers can\u2019t touch and see the products in real life. It is up to your company to make sure the product pages are as accurate as possible.\nUse high definition images. The images uploaded to your website or e-retailer should be of high quality. Poor-quality images create slow sellers. They could also be the defining factor of a return should someone decide to buy it anyway. Make sure that the image is not only the high definition but also accurate. Faded colors or wrong swatch displays can hurt a lot in returns.\nAn even better way to display your products well and attract customers is to use video. Product videos can show what something looks like and how it works. Not only will this decrease returns, but it will increase sales. People want to know what they are buying. That is why so many shoppers want businesses to have free shipping and easy return policies. They do not trust businesses to give them the correct product. Videos can change that and move toward building trust. Of course, imagery isn\u2019t the only thing you need to watch out for on your product pages.\nMake sure your descriptions are also well written and accurate. While many customers do not tend to read product descriptions, they will skim the details. They are more likely to check the bullet points. Everything needs to be doubled checked for mistakes. Dimensions should be stated clearly. For clothing products, using a sizing chart can help guide customers as well. It allows them to accurately measure themselves without having to try on the clothes at all. Optimizing your product pages will not only decrease returns, but it will also increase sales. Offering more information will never hurt your business.\nCheck Your Return and Exchanges Policy\nIn the last few years, companies have been slowly changing their policies to reflect the increased costs of eCommerce returns. Some businesses have raised the purchase minimum eligibility requirements for free shipping. Others have made small adjustments to their policies. Your most important objective in crafting an excellent return and exchange policy is satisfying the customer. This requires a liberal policy. That may seem like an odd choice considering you want fewer returns. The easier return policy, the more likely you retain a customer. The majority of product returns are not the customer\u2019s fault. Though there are plenty of serial returners, businesses are to blame for most returns. This can be due to poor descriptions and images, damaged goods, and receiving the wrong product altogether. Having a return policy that prioritizes customer satisfaction is key. Businesses learn from mistakes and make the necessary changes. Improving on the feedback, you can drive sales. So, what exactly is a lenient return policy?\nSometimes customers just do not know what they want. Offering a lenient policy means customers are more likely to take chances. They will buy a product they wouldn\u2019t necessarily consider. Perhaps you think this will result in more returns, but the truth is the opposite. Offer a longer deadline to return the products. They will be less likely to return it simply due to the fact that they have grown attached to it. A 90-day return policy should be just the right amount of time. 60% of people are more likely to make another purchase if the retailer offers free returns and exchanges. Giving customers the option of returning in-store also helps to decrease the price of returns. It leverages physical stores and can also tempt shoppers to buy other items. Make sure you clearly define the rules of the returns and what condition the item can be in. You should also define the type of refund customers will receive. A full refund is generally preferred over in-store credit.\nEmpower Your Customers\nGather customer feedback. When customers make returns, there is always a reason for it. As said previously, the feedback you receive can help improve your business. Making the necessary changes can decrease the rate of your returns. In a similar vein, leverage customer reviews. Consumers trust other shoppers over your business.\nReviews are more authentic and by embracing them, your company will look more trustworthy. They also empower the consumer to make better, more informed purchases. Reviews add more information. Though your product description and images might be amazing, they\u2019re ultimately meant to sell an item. Sometimes customers are looking for something that fits a particular need. Reviews provide information that otherwise is not available in the marketing copy. Once again, reviews may also show your product\u2019s weaknesses. By answering reviews and customer questions, you can engage with consumers and alleviate their concerns. This is exactly why offering excellent customer service is very important.\nOffer Customer Service\nMaking returns and exchanges as easy as possible. Complement that with excellent customer service. You do not want to make a bad experience even worse. The online shoe and clothing retailer, Zappos, has become known for its amazing customer service. They prioritize live phone chats and provide personalized experiences for each consumer. They connect with them over the details of their purchase, but in a way that goes beyond that for a personalized touch. You can get similar results by perfecting your own efforts.\nRespond to e-mails and inquiries as quickly as possible. This shows customers that you value their patronage. Understand what they need and want. This will help achieve a personal connection and clear up any issues with the product or business. You want your customers to have a positive experience. If your business provides an easy and smooth customer service transaction. You can change a negative into a positive. Take advantage of automation services, like chatbots and customer relationship management software.\nChatbots allow your business to be available 24\/7 even when a human person is not. If a customer has a quick question, a chatbot can answer it. Adding customer relationship management software allows you to keep track of customer information. Provide your customer service representatives the data they need to personalize and optimize conversations with your customers. Remember, retaining customers is less costly than gaining new ones. That is why it\u2019s so important to focus on business practices when dealing with high return rates.\n How Can EKG Help with Return Rates?\nYou don\u2019t want your business to have rampant return rates. It costs far too much. Optimize your business logistics and streamline your sales operations with us. We understand inventory management processes and we can lower your return rates. The Eighteen Knowledge Group team are experts on product page optimization. We optimize product pages by updating descriptions, images, and features to be the best they can be. We make sure that customers have the correct answers across all retailers. We also help to stimulate engagement across social media channels. We are the liaison between your business and customers. We can assist with customer service across different online channels. You\u2019ve created a product that you\u2019re proud of and believe in. We want to make you a success. Retain your customers, reduce your return rates and maximize your ROI. Eighteen Knowledge Group wants to be your guide.