With the number of online shoppers expected to reach 270 million by 2020—driven largely by the popularity of mobile devices—retailers need to rethink their ecommerce strategies in order to keep up. And the opportunity for forward-thinking retailers is massive—Forrester Research predicts that online sales in the US alone will reach $523 billion by 2020, up 56 percent from 2015. Today's consumers have high expectations about the ease and convenience of their shopping experiences, particularly when it comes to returns. When retailers are able to meet those expectations, they're not only in a better position to improve the overall experience, they can also inspire more customer loyalty and create new revenue streams.But what do retailers need to know if they want to take advantage of this new world order?
There's no denying that returns aren't what they used to be.Previously, customers only had the option to buy items in stores, which meant there was less risk they wouldn't like what they purchased since they’d already had the chance to interact with it in person. As we entered the age of online shopping, however, it was only natural that more returns would follow. Now, it's time for retailers to understand their customers' evolving returns habits and expectations, and tune the experience with the same commitment given to the pre-purchase experience.According to what we found in our consumer study, "Making Returns a Competitive Advantage”, these are the key ecommerce trends we think retailers should pay attention to in order to get ahead of the curve:
Today's busy shoppers expect hassle-free returns, but many find that the brands they shop with aren't necessarily delivering a positive experience. If they're displeased with the returns process, they will take their business elsewhere...and that can be an expensive loss for retailers.Here are some tips for those looking to meet these new consumer demands:
When it comes to ecommerce, the post-purchase experience—particularly around returns—has become more important than ever before. And with so many options literally at their fingertips, today's consumers are savvier and more demanding than ever. They want more information and transparency, not only around what or how they choose to buy in the first place, but also around what they can expect with returns. It's high time retailers made the returns experience a priority.
Want to learn how these trends can be applied to your returns process? Download our eBook: "The Essential Guide to Retail Returns".
Heather is Senior Content Marketing Manager at Narvar and has been working in the SF tech world for over 6 years. She has a bachelor's degree from CSU Long Beach and an MFA in writing from California College of the Arts.