Returns are a challenging aspect of any business enterprise. While we always hope that customers and clients are content with their purchased goods, this is, of course, not always the case. Failure to anticipate this reality can sink a business, while others choose a proactive approach and thrive as a result.
Streamlining returns is an especially important factor as more and more of our economy takes place online. According to commerce writer Khalid Saleh, “at least 30% of all products ordered online are returned as compared to 8.89% in brick-and-mortar stores. 92% of consumers surveyed said that they will buy again if a product return process is easy whereas 79% of consumers want free return shipping.” In 2020, over 2 billion people purchased goods and services online and e-sales surpassed 4.2 Trillion US dollars in the same year.
With all of this in mind, we know that streamlining returns is critical to the success and longevity of a business providing goods to consumers. Today we’ll look at the basic tenants necessary to effectively, efficiently streamline returns and the ways that smart locker systems best support these efforts.
Streamlining Returns – The Steps
Depending on a specific business’s needs, there will absolutely be necessary elements to streamlining returns that cater to technical and nuanced elements of particular markets and products. This includes collaborative distributors and fulfillment partners and is outside the scope of our focus today. Instead, here are the universal steps – the biggies – that will apply to any enterprise, and are a good starting place to focus for better-streamlined returns.
Keep It Simple And Understandable For Users
There’s no way to predict people’s capacity for reading comprehension or ability to simply pay attention to company policies. Such is one of the great conundrums of customer service and retail. What you can do is keep return policies as simple and understandable as possible.
This means clear language on the return policy that is accessible on a website (and in person if applicable) for customers and clients to read, understand, and be aware of.
It also means doing whatever you can on the business end of things to make the process as simple and low impact as possible. People flock towards convenience – and they remember whether a company made the process a piece of cake, or not.
Rely On High-Performance Systems
Systems make or break the return process. Your approach and employees can be smart, efficient professionals doing everything correctly – but it won’t matter if you’re dependent on systems that are glitchy, confusing, or just endlessly frustrating. This is where smart lockers come in.
Smart Lockers – An Effective Tool For Streamlining
Depending on how your business works and the needs of your clients, customers, and/or staff, Smart Lockers are an innovative systems improvement for streamlining returns.
Smart lockers are a reliable location for both sending and receiving deliverable goods. With an application that is user-friendly and features like instantaneous messaging to recipients, 24/7 customer service, and weather-controlled lockers, businesses and customers can trust that the items are in their proper place and ready to ship and receive in the most efficient and reliable way possible.
Safe And Secure
Smart lockers are also a safe way to secure packages in the interim time between steps in the distribution chain process. Porch theft is on the rise and other, less modern systems may have structural weaknesses that mean items are vulnerable in a variety of ways. Eliminating these risks means the returning process will go that much smoother to the benefit of both ends of the chain.
Smart lockers are customizable – which means they can be a seamless addition to an office space, multi-living unit, public businesses such as grocery stores, or even libraries and pharmacies. The ability to cater a system to best meet the needs of a business or community space can go a long way for increasing the efficacy and usability of a streamlined system.
Efficiency In Uncertain Times
In a time of increasing uncertainty, businesses will rely on the efficiency and the adaptability of their systems in order to stay resilient regardless of what events arrive on the horizon. Smart lockers have become increasingly popular and critical for such a wide variety of enterprises in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic – which speaks to the fact that they are a systems-upgrade able to meet the challenges of harsh, trying times for human beings and businesses they depend upon to function as a society. Streamlining returns is an ongoing challenge – but by investing in technology upgrades such as smart lockers, you eliminate many of the most challenging aspects of that process – therefore better situated to streamline your entire business to success.