Weekly Column: 2017-06-23

With the development of the internet, the number of consumers purchasing products online is increasing. Through searching online, in a short time you can find a product and conveniently compare the prices and one the greatest advantages, your product will arrive at your home or office without ever having to physically go to the store. Nowadays, many businesses pay for shipping, and if you are lucky you may even be able to purchase products at a lower price than if you were to buy offline. However, even with all of these advantages, there are certain drawbacks to purchasing products online. You cannot physically handle the product and see how it operates. You can only go by the description and photos offered for the product. Therefore, when you purchase the product and it arrives at your door, you might not be as pleased as you would be if you had purchased it offline.

For the last 10 years, I have been selling products for many different businesses, and the biggest problem has been the number of returns. Many have the misconception that if you sell products on the internet you will automatically have increased profits in sales because there are no overhead charges such as a physical store to maintain or a staff to manage your products. Therefore, your profit is not as high as you might think due to high shipping charges and the number of returns. Sales may double every year, but net profits are only half compared to offline sale. Shopping online is different from seeing the real thing, so there are a relatively large number of people who feel disappointed with their purchase and return the product or exchange it for a different product or size. The sellers are responsible for the substantial shipping costs and if they experience a high volume of returns, it will eat into their profits and put them in a difficult situation. One step further, if a consumer has a difficult time during the return process, they will probably not return as a buyer. It is the worst-case scenario when you bear the shipping cost and lose the customer.

So, how can you solve situations like these? Let's face it, the consumer's satisfaction is of the utmost importance. Therefore, it is important to ensure that customers who return products will still have a good experience and will buy from you again. 

Many consumers who do not like the product they purchase online but will buy other products from the same place. Since they usually purchase online, if they have a good experience during the return process, they are more likely to revisit and purchase from that website again. Instead of focusing on calculating the profit and loss in damages caused by returns, try using an unlimited free return system. Not only will it relieve the customers' hesitation about the initial purchase but will increase the overall satisfaction rate of the purchase. By making the return process as simple as possible, consumers will place more trust in your products and services and a pleasant return process could lead to loyal customers.

Of course, the main purpose of selling is to make a profit. Therefore, even if you are experiencing some loss due to returns, if you think of these losses as an opportunity to present a better image of your business to the consumer, loyalty will follow and the return rate will drop in the future. Setting higher goals for the future instead of concentrating just on your profits, the dream of success will eventually come to fruition. In the end, those who seek to climb higher are able to see further.