Trusted Returns – a SaaS platform that transforms the often negative experience with returns into a positive consumer experience and at the same time provides the retailer with more sales and savings. An easy-to-use digital self-service portal makes the return process of goods easy for customers, increasing their level of satisfaction.
Returning goods without Trusted Returns
The customer purchases several goods from one of the merchant’s online platforms. It is a set of various products: a home appliance item, a wristwatch, and a pair of shoes. The customer receives the parcel together with a long instruction about how the goods can be returned.
Soon, the customer realizes that the shoes don’t fit and should be exchanged, the wristwatch has a defect. But after 3 months the home appliance stops functioning.
For the customer, it is a cumbersome process to:
- Read the instructions in order to figure out what may be returned and what needs to be done;
- Fill out the returns questionnaire by hand;
- Acquire the shipping label or contact the merchant to get one;
- Wait a long time to get the refund.
After 3 months when the home appliance starts malfunctioning, the return instructions are lost, the printed returns form was already sent previously and it requires to reach out to customer support which, again, takes time and patience;
The customer satisfaction level depends on the patience of each individual but usually, it is not great.
Returning goods with Trusted Returns
The same scenario, but in this case, the customer receives a link to the self-service portal. What happens next is a completely different user experience:
- The customer identifies the purchase order in the self-service portal;
- The system shows all of the purchased items and the customer only has to choose what is wrong with the item. Besides, the system will act accordingly to the return policy of each individual item;
- The last step – the system will offer the most convenient return option (e.g., by showing the closest drop-off points) and issue a shipping label or a QR code that can be used at the pack station.
Returns management without Trusted Returns
The merchants face the following:
- They need to pre-print the shipping labels for returns to ease the return process for customers. This is cost inefficient and leads to a great waste of paper as most of the goods are not going to be returned;
- They need to employ more people for customer support in order to help guide customers through the process;
- It takes even more resources to process paid returns;
- The returns management/processing is manual or only partly automated;
- It is hard to predict the amount of returning goods in the upcoming days and weeks, so it is hard to predict the resources needed to process them. Especially, after the sales campaigns and Christmas period;
- The number of carriers handling returns may be limited due to the fact;
- Gathering returned product statistics (such as specific products, categories, origins, and reasons) usually requires extra effort;
- Limiting the return of certain products or due to specific return reasons is problematic;
- Limiting returns after the warranty period or offering repair services after the warranty period is over;
- Routing the returns of specific items to specific warehouses is problematic;
- Integration with specific carriers in order to request the returns must be implemented by the merchant;
The list of efforts and challenges can be continued, however, this should be enough to grasp the idea of what it takes to make the customers happy and encourage recurring purchases..
Returns management with Trusted Returns
Once the purchase order data is imported into Trusted Returns platform (via direct marketplace integration, explicitly via API or by using a custom integration solution) the platform solves all the issues mentioned above. On top of that, the platform provides many additional features, such as:
- Dedicated self-service portals for different brands or types of goods;
- Self-service portal customization:
- return policy;
- return reasons and required visual attachments (images, video);
- additional custom documents next to the return confirmation provided to the customer;
- Handling of merchant-specific business logic (to allow the platform to make extraordinary decisions);
- Making callbacks (webhooks) to the merchant’s Information Systems on certain events;
- Tracking of outbound shipments in addition to return shipments;
- Pushing updates to the merchant’s marketplace instances or ERP systems;
The complexity behind the simplicity
Efficient returns management is a sophisticated process, and in order to make it as simple as possible for the customers and merchants, the complexity had to be encapsulated in the core of the system, taking a lot of brainpower and work to implement layers and layers of logic and automation, while keeping the platform flexible for the merchant specific processes and return handling logic.