January 18th, 2023
If you’re selling on Amazon, you know that returns are inevitable. Even when you’ve got a great product and are raking in sales, shoppers may skim your listing and miss key features, make impulse purchases, or find a better price elsewhere. What appears to be a success can quickly turn into a headache.
Developing a solid returns process can cut down on losses. Instead of letting them pile up, make sure to review Amazon’s return policy. Depending on whether you’re an FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) or FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant) seller, your options may vary.
How to Check Your Amazon Return Rate
Staying on top of your Amazon return rate is the best way to tackle any problems head-on. On Seller Central, you have access to an Amazon FBA Returns Report.
To access this report:
- Sign into Amazon Seller Central
- Navigate to the “Reports” tab
- Click “Fulfillment” from the drop-down menu
- Go to “Customer Concessions”
- Select “FBA Customer Returns”
- Enter the timeframe
- Click “Generate Report”
All returned items within this timeframe will appear here with their status.
To initiate a return, customers are required to give a reason. This information can provide insight into any trends and issues that may need to be addressed. Monitoring this information is crucial. It may prove to be the make-or-break factor for your business.
What is the Average Return Rate on Amazon?
While the average return rates vary from category to category, the average typically sits between 5% and 15%. There are other categories, such as electronics, apparel and jewelry, where the return rate can reach 40%.
5 Ways to Reduce Your Amazon Return Rate
Once you have acquired all of the information you need, it’s important to review your product listings and processes. As an Amazon seller, you should be tracking customer concerns and actively looking for solutions. Here are some great places to start:
1. Create Strong Titles, Bullets, and Descriptions
Your listing is where customers gather information and determine if your product is right for them. Developing strong content that is conversational yet highly informative can prevent customer dissatisfaction and returns.
Each section should highlight the key features of your product including sizing, ingredients, materials, compatibility, and any other relevant information. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and figure out what is important to them.
This is also an opportunity to put customer feedback to good use. What are the common issues shoppers have? What is the reason they return this item? Anticipating these questions and answering them in your listing can promote sales and improve your Amazon return rate.
Your title should clearly identify what you’re selling, what it’s for, and the color, quantity, or pack size being sold.
Put the most important facts and features in your first three bullets and pack as much information as you can into every part of your listing.
Your description can expand on these points in more detail and serves a great opportunity to cultivate your own unique voice. Keep in mind, most shoppers will never scroll past your bullet points, so make sure this section gives customers all the information they need.
2. Add Visual Content
The creative assets on your listing are not supplemental - they are a vital part of the customer experience! Up to 75% of shoppers use photos and videos to determine whether they will make a purchase. Visual content should be high-quality and highly informative.
Around 22% of returns occur because a product does not match the photos on your site or listing. Having crisp, clear 360-degree images can cut down on confusion and dissatisfaction. If you don’t have the ability to provide high-quality photos and videos, enlist the help of a photo and video professional. Creating informative graphics, showing your product in action, and providing simple product shots from all angles can add to your credibility and mitigate potential issues.
If you don’t know where to start, learn more about what works on Amazon and what doesn’t. Amazon's product image guidelines are a great place to start. Following these guidelines can cut down on your Amazon return rate and ensure that your images and photos are uploaded successfully.
3. Improve Packaging
Some say it’s what’s on the inside that counts. While that may often be true, what’s on the outside is the first impression. It also keeps your products fresh, safe, and secure. Packaging is not a place you want to skimp. No matter how great your product is, if it can’t make it to the customer without incurring damage, a return (and possibly a scathing review) is inevitable.
Packaging shows the customer who you are and what you do. The colors and materials should mirror your brand identity and convey your commitment to quality. In one survey, 40 percent of shoppers said they would be more likely to purchase from a seller again if their product arrived in premium packaging. While it may be easy to overlook, packaging serves as an important part of the customer experience.
Since 58 percent of consumers say they will not make a repeat purchase after a single negative experience, getting your packaging right is a must. Sending products off carelessly can cause delays, damage, and returns. If your customer can’t use your product, neither can you. With careful consideration and an eye for detail, these issues are (mostly) avoidable!
4. Focus on Customer Service
If you know anything about Amazon, you know the customer always comes first. A huge part of their success is based on their incredible customer satisfaction rate. Amazon expects its sellers to reinforce these values. Your reputation depends on it!
Being communicative, friendly, and timely can drastically reduce your Amazon return rate and complaints. No matter how great your product is, problems arise and demand your attention. Getting back to customers quickly and offering agreeable solutions is a great way to get back on track.
Returns are a hassle that everyone wants to avoid. If you’re easy to reach, you can diagnose issues quickly and help customers use your products as intended. Oftentimes, people just need that extra TLC to feel confident about their purchase or try a different approach. They may be confused about how to use their purchase or have questions that can be easily answered. A prompt response can improve your Amazon return rate and keep customers happy.
5. Take Customer Reviews and Feedback Seriously
Developing an arsenal of positive reviews can improve visibility, credibility, and sales. Products with 100 or more reviews have a 92% higher conversion rate, making it more important than ever to take your customer feedback seriously. So, what do you do when a negative review pops up?
Addressing negative reviews quickly and politely can reduce your Amazon return rate. It is another way to showcase your exceptional customer service skills and wow shoppers with your responsiveness. When possible, try to rectify the situation and offer your help. Once people know that you’re willing to work with them, they just might change their tune.
Getting Amazon reviews and feedback are a great way to gain insight into the customer experience. Tracking any issues that arise can highlight areas of improvement that need your attention.
For example, if there are a stream of sizing issues, adding a size chart to your listing may be beneficial. Or if products are arriving broken, maybe it’s time to look into alternative packaging.
As an Amazon seller, you know that there are so many moving parts that can affect your success. Your Amazon return rate should be reviewed regularly to keep you thriving in a sea of competition. Not only does it impact revenue, but it also has a huge impact on your reputation as a seller.
Improving your Amazon return rate is possible! Whether you enlist professional help or manage your account on your own, keeping a close eye on your listings and being open to improvements will keep you on the path to success.
Cutting corners and avoiding problems rarely pays off. The world of ecommerce is highly competitive and customer expectations are on the rise. With thousands of alternatives, it’s vital to make your product stand out and offer quality, consistency, and incredible service.
If you want to improve your Amazon return rate and make this year your best yet, we’re here to help! Our experts work with clients in a wide range of industries to boost sales and visibility while reducing your workload. Invest in your success and schedule a free consultation with us today.