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How to Turn Returns into an Opportunity

Following the December bustle of shoppers looking for the perfect gift and best sales, January brings a different customer dynamic with merchandise returns. As a necessary part of retail business, customers expect a hassle-free return process. In 2020, retailers expected 13.3% of the merchandise sold over the holidays to be returned. While returns can be a costly burden to profits, there are ways to turn in-store returns into an opportunity to create a memorable customer experience and grow your retail shop’s bottom line.

Gain long-term customers

Customers expect quick and easy returns. A lenient return policy lays the groundwork for a positive lasting impression. While a customer-friendly transaction encourages repeat purchases, a bad returns experience can influence perceptions and may even lead to lost customers. To speed up returns, look for ways to reduce the steps required. Tools such as an intuitive point of sale system and integrated payment processing can make the process quick and easy for both the cashier and the customer. With a POS system that records customer purchases, previous transactions can be searched, meaning even returns with no receipt are uncomplicated.

Opportunity to upsell

In-store returns bring an existing customer back into your store and that means an opportunity for a new sale. A welcoming environment encourages customers to exchange for a similar item, or to purchase other products. A real-time inventory tracking system empowers employees to quickly check store’s inventory for in-stock replacements, making exchanges seamless.

Check for red-flags

As a store owner, monitoring merchandise returns can help identify trends that have a negative impact on your customer’s experience and store’s profitability. Use the reporting features within your point of sale system to look for items that are frequently returned, then identify issues and make adjustments. This can be an opportunity to address possible product or vendor quality problems. It is also useful to evaluate signage and how employees sell the product, to better manage customer expectations.  Evaluating product return trends can also help to flag employee return fraud. Large amounts of unexplainable returns by one employee may be a warning sign to investigate further.  

Turning returns into an opportunity not only keeps your best customers happy, but also contributes to the profitability and success of your retail store.

Interested in discovering more ways that a point of sale system can help you make the most of product returns? Contact us today!