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Managing Product Returns in Retail

October 23rd, 2017 in category Industry News
by Clip Strip Corp

If you're a retail store manager, you will probably want to avoid product returns. That's understandable because these returns can very easily affect your revenue: you have to return money to customers, and after that pay an extra cost for repackaging, restocking and reselling the returned product.

But there are ways to minimize those returns, or even take some advantage from them.

Here are some:

## Prevention

**Try to prevent people from buying items they aren't sure about**, or if you see that those items just aren't for them. The same is true when they're looking to buy something for somebody else. Instead of pushing the sale, help them to better think it through, to take more time in deciding whether to buy a certain product or not.

**You can also help with better marketing**: let your marketing messages be clear about a certain product, it's characteristics and who it's for. This will force you to be honest and genuine.

**In case you are selling online**, you can avoid returns by being very detailed in the description of the product - use photographs, pictures, diagrams, very detailed sizing, video, drawings - anything that can serve to better illustrate your product to a potential buyer.

## Return Policies

To avoid dissatisfied customers, your return policies have to be good and clear. Make sure that everyone is informed about them -- both your staff and your customers. Use all communication means to do it, even if you have to put sign holders right in front of them at the countertop, from ceilings or off walls.  Just be sure they get the message. Sometimes you'll have to be creative with your return policies, and make that not-so-pleasant act something acceptable - and even appealing. Read the example on how to deal with product returns here.

## Find Out Why Customers Are Returning the Product

When the customer comes into your store to return the product, investigate a little: What's the problem with the product? Is it about it's features or maybe about your marketing skills? What can you do about that?

Keep track of these things and it will help you minimize returns in the future.

## Offer Alternatives to Cash Return

These alternatives can include product exchange, store credit or gift cards. Promote these options to your customers in a non-intrusive way.

**Use the opportunity of having a customer in your store again!** Although product returns are not something you are looking forward to, the fact is that your customer is back in your store. So, use this situation to make your customer feel welcomed and appreciated, and try to give him the best customer experience while he's in your store.