Inflation is up. And brands and shoppers alike are tightening their belts.

Last quarter, Amazon saw YoY sales growth of 7.2% – its slowest growth rate in two decades. And many ecommerce brands are seeing low or flat growth as customers pull back on purchases.

That means many brands today are treading water just to stay in business. 

To combat this, Shopify’s top brands have since shifted their ecommerce strategy from growth at all costs to sustainable growth and profitability. A shift that’s setting brands like yours up for long-term success.

And part of this shift includes prioritizing the post-purchase experience. The secret sauce to the over 1,800 Shopify brands who choose Loop as their returns partner.

You probably already know that as much as 30% of your sales can end in a return – so it’s time to transform your returns experience into a profit center.

This will help you re-engage customers and drive additional revenue opportunities. And create a sustainable path to profitability in an uncertain economic market.

Here are some key areas to focus on in the post-purchase experience:

Optimize your return costs

If an item is returned to your store, you’re likely to spend about 66% of the item’s original retail price in return-related fees. But with the right technology and insights, you can dramatically reduce the cost of managing your returns process. 

For instance, consolidating numerous return shipments into one bulk package at a drop-off center can help you save money on shipping and packaging costs. Finding the most affordable carrier for any specific route can cut your logistics costs as well. And in cases where you’re not likely to resell a product profitably, why request return shipping at all?

By using an automated returns management platform, you’ll be able to automatically determine whether to issue a refund without spending the extra money to authorize a return. 

Each of these automated workflows helps you optimize your costs for each return transaction – saving you money and enhancing efficiency.

Retain more revenue

Using an exchange-first returns management solution, you can encourage your customers to select product exchanges or store credit rather than choosing refunds. And if you offer a seamless and intuitive process that makes it easy for them to select any item(s) in your store – not just a variant swap – you’ll delight your customers even more.

You can also offer “bonus credit” that customers can use towards a higher priced item in your store. This encourages them to choose a new product rather than request a refund, and they’ll often choose a product that costs even more than the bonus credit, resulting in additional revenue from the transaction.

Here at Loop, our merchants are able to retain revenue on up to 50% of returns. Yes, even today.

Keep in mind that by preserving the customer relationship by incentivizing an exchange, you’re able to foster ongoing customer loyalty in a situation where the customer might otherwise churn – leading to higher lifetime customer revenue and lower acquisition costs.

Prevent return losses and abuse

Return abuse is common, and many merchants don’t have the bandwidth to put a stop to it. Instead, they eat the losses from return abuse, even in situations where customers are returning products that aren’t eligible for a return.

By using automated returns management technology, you can easily set conditions on your returns, so that you can automatically determine which items are eligible for return. And build questionnaires to determine whether the item is in condition to be returned. This prevents customers from sending back questionable items that you know you won’t be able to resell.

You can also flag customers in your system based on set criteria, such as name, address, or credit card details, if they are known abusers. Rather than wasting customer service resources on detecting return abuse, or simply eating your losses, you’ll be able to build a systemized process for stopping return abuse in its tracks.

Lower your return rates

Armed with the right data insights, you’ll also be able to lower your return rates altogether. Using an automated platform like Loop, you can gather granular data from your customers to determine why they’re returning a particular item, and then analyze that data to discover trends. 

You might find, for instance, that a particular shoe brand that you carry is frequently being returned because the product is too big for the customer. By including a product description that recommends customers order a half size down, you’ll be able to ensure a better fit and lower your return rate. 

By making the most of your returns data, you’ll be able to better visualize problems with your product descriptions, your inventory, or your logistics process, so that you’ll be empowered to make whatever tweaks are necessary to ensure that your customers’ expectations are met with each product delivery.

Optimize the post-purchase phase for better long-term growth

These are uncertain times for many merchants, but by improving your post-purchase experience, you’ll be well-primed to deliver a great customer experience that keeps your shoppers coming back again and again. With the right returns management technology, you’ll have the tools to transform loss into profit, and churn into loyalty.

Build a post-purchase experience that keeps your customers coming back, and you’ll be able to set your sights on a sustainable growth plan that will see your brand succeed in any market conditions. 

Are you ready to take the next step in your path to profitability? Book a demo.