Four Key Steps to Minimising Cancellations and Returns

06/10/2020

Everyone in e-commerce knows that cancellations and returns are profit killers.

While many agree that they are an unavoidable cost of doing business online, and this is true to some extent, managing and minimising cancellations and returns is absolutely essential if you want to profit selling online. This is particularly true when it comes to marketplaces. Whatever it is you’re selling, being able to confidently lock your sale revenue away is critical. 

While shoppers will always push the boundaries and make the most of friendly cancellation and return policies, there are specific steps which those selling online can take to keep them at manageable levels and most importantly, keep the sale revenue in their accounts… for good.

Give your customers what they’re looking for
Including incorrect product details on your listing may give the buyer the wrong idea about what they are purchasing. For example, if your product image includes more than the product itself, it may give the buyer the false impression that they are purchasing something else. 

Therefore, your title, descriptions and bullet points (aka, your product data) must accurately describe your product — and it’s worth double-checking that your images are showing the correct item, item colour and number of items. If something could be potentially confusing, figure out a way to better describe it. Additional images might also be in order.

Finally, check your listings regularly to ensure they’re accurate and complete.

Nail your sale forecasts
Overselling is worse than running out of physical stock – it’s literally selling people items that you don’t have. It’s embarrassing for the merchant and irritating for the customer to find out they won’t be getting what they purchased and paid for. 

If there is a sale coming up, or you know there is a high chance of your product overselling, set a buffer on your listings so that the risk of overselling is reduced or eliminated. Review previous sale periods to get a sense of likely sales – no one can ever be 100% sure how much stock will move at any given time but if you have a buffer in place, you’ll be in good shape to weather the storm.

Overselling is a particular risk for merchants selling across multiple marketplace platforms which is where ChannelAdvisor can help. The ChannelAdvisor Marketplaces platform helps you avoid overselling by synchronising inventory quantity across all your sales channels.

Fulfil and ship as quickly as you can
Make sure your shipping and fulfilment turnaround time isn’t too long – longer delays will result in buyers becoming impatient and cancelling their orders, so fulfil and ship your products ASAP. 

Meet with your fulfilment employees to review your fulfilment processes and systems to get everything running smoothly before the rush of orders. Determine if you’ll need to ship on the weekends to keep up with demand.

Did you have days where you wished you had more people on your team? Were too many people out on the same day? Making sure you are staffed appropriately at the right times can ease the stress on all those involved, especially the closer you get to key cutoff shipping dates.

Quality is key

It goes without saying that when it comes to marketplaces, the quality of your product is absolutely key. Basic product issues can be avoided by completing regular quality checks; this minimises the risks of faulty goods going out to a buyer in the first place and is an easy way to stop products coming back to you and having to be resent or even worse, refunded. 

Streamline your marketplace performance with ChannelAdvisor 

ChannelAdvisor is the perfect partner to get you set-up and selling on the world’s best marketplaces. 

Our integration with Australia’s major marketplace platforms including Amazon, Kogan, MyDeal, eBay,  Catch and Bunnings MarketLink allows merchants to easily list and sell products directly to millions of shoppers while a robust and comprehensive suite of automation and analytics tools help transform product data and manage inventory from a single, unified platform. That means reducing oversells and other supply issues and avoiding dreaded refunds and returns. 

Find more about how ChannelAdvisor can help your business succeed here.