When a customer wants to make an e-commerce return you have a captive audience. It’s also an opportune time to recapture the revenue they previously spent while also potentially increasing their original average order value.
Here’s What Happened
Recently, I had to return a pair of ski pants that were purchased for my 5-year old son to Dicks Sporting Goods.I think they were around $35 or so.
When the return process was complete, the cashier handed me a receipt and said, “Here’s a $10 off coupon that’s good for the next three hours.”
Prior to making the return, I had already planned to purchase an outdoor cooler from the store, but this made the transaction even more attractive.
After browsing coolers for a bit I landed on one that was $55 (who knew there were so many darn coolers to choose from?!). Awesome. I was only going to be out $45 once the $10 coupon was applied.
But Then I Kept Shopping
As one does, I continued to browse around the store.
First, there was a water bottle. You know, one of those fancy ones that keeps your water cold until the end of time.
Then there was some other random thing that was so important that, as of this writing, I can’t even remember what it was.
At checkout, my $35 return turned into a $92.13 purchase.
Dicks Sporting Goods did two things right here.
- They created urgency by making the offer good for three hours.
- They made the offer compelling by making it feel substantial. Had they presented me with something like $3 off I probably wouldn’t have given it much thought. But $10, that is attention-getting.
How this Relates to You
When it comes to e-commerce, the returns process is a bit different than what I encountered face-to-face with someone in the store, but the opportunity is still the same.
There are a number of returns platforms that build this type of incentive into the returns process, and you will most certainly save what otherwise may have been lost revenue.
But let’s say you don’t have the budget for a fancy new returns platform. Even at the most basic level, while it’s a bit messy, you could still pull this off.
- Jane Doe reached out to make a return.
- You email her back to explain how she gets the original item back to you.
- As you close out the email in step 2, you end with something like, “If you’d like to make another purchase, here’s a coupon code for $X that’s good for the next Y hours/days. Feel free to browse some of our new arrivals by clicking here.”
Again, it’s a messier process without a proper returns app in play, but it would get the job done and you could likely automate the process quite a bit.
Returns are part of the e-commerce process, but you can use them to your advantage to recapture what may otherwise be lost revenue.