Overseeing a busy LPO for nearly 22 years has given Lin Pidding a unique insight into changes in consumer behaviour, particularly in relation to the past couple of years and the exponential growth in online purchasing.
“The shift to eCommerce and online shopping has allowed a lot of businesses to pivot during the pandemic, but it also means businesses are dealing with lots of returns,” Lin says.
Referring to a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald, Lin points out that offering free returns for change of mind can come at a cost to businesses. “While most people do the right thing, some shoppers are taking advantage of the returns process, buying multiple items and then only keeping one, or sometimes sending them all back!”
As a result, businesses are faced with extensive postage and processing costs, warehousing unwanted items and added administration.
Acknowledging that offering free returns is why many consumers choose one store over another, Lin believes that businesses can continue to provide the service while implementing processes that minimise the subsequent costs.
“Businesses want to have an economical and secure returns process, and they also want their customers to have a good experience,” Lin says.
“The launch of MyPost Business Returns strikes a balance between the two, offering our business customers a simple and secure returns system, while providing consumers with the confidence that the Australia Post brand represents.”
So, what suggestions does Lin have for managing the returns process when a customer changes their mind, after receiving their items? Here are her top four tips.
Tip 1. Offer free change of mind returns with credit only
Rather than reimbursing customers for returned goods when they change their mind, give them credits to spend in your store. This, of course, excludes returns of faulty items or items that do not meet the consumer guarantees.
Tip 2. Have a strict time limit policy for change of mind returns
For change of mind returns, for example if a customer simply doesn’t like the item, implement a strict seven-day returns limit from the date of receipt of the parcel. Again, this excludes returns of faulty items or those that do not meet the consumer guarantees.
Tip 3. Reward customers for ‘good behaviour’
Encourage your customers to minimise returns with a ‘rewards’ program. For example, for any three continuous items that aren’t returned, the customer receives $10 off their next purchase.
Tip 4. Avoid address confusion
When an item’s being returned, it’s important there’s no confusion about where it needs to go. Consider providing a new satchel or large returns label, so the customer can cover up the original delivery address – ensuring the item will reach its destination quickly and easily.
A visit to your local Australia Post Office for a chat with your own LPO Manager is a great place to start. They can help you discover how using MyPost Business Returns to manage your returns process can save you time and money! Or visit the MyPost Business portal for more information.