Online retail has always struggled with high return rates. Saim Alkan got to the bottom of the matter on his Blog with unbelievable results. We have summarized the findings for you:
Saim found out that 30% of customers return the product, because it does not match the product description. He referred to a statistic from Statista, which has done some studies on this matter.
What a crazy problem to have! On the other hand, this statistic points the way to a simple course of action for shop owners to improve their sales and reduce costs.
A quick calculation example illustrates the magnitude of the return problem:
- A return rate of 10% is the lower average in retailing, as is an average return cost of $10.
- For our example, let’s assume 100,000 items per year and a shopping basket of $25 on average.
- This means that the costs for returns in this case are 10% of 100,000 consignments at $10: $100,000 p.a.
- Taking into account the lost revenue: 10,000 items at $25 are $250,000 per year.
- In each case 30% of the returns and the resulting costs are caused by poor product descriptions. For our example, this means at least $30,000 to $80,000 in lost revenue.
How can we reduce returns?
Of course, better product descriptions would solve the problem. Let’s have a look at Nike® flask belts, as Saim Alkan did when he was shopping for one in several online stores.
The images show the product presentation on the nike website.
- The features are presented as benefits in the text.
- Partially unknown color information is problematic for SEO.
- Meanwhile (perhaps after reading the advice in Saim Alkan’s article ;-)) they mention the most important feature, the filling quantity, in the heading and description. Previously you could only find it in the detailed description.
What about the same product at Schuster?
A description is attached to the product. However, Schuster points out once to 178 ml bottle content and then a little later to 300 ml per bottle – which is not correct and thus both prevents the purchase or leads to a return at the latest when opening the package.
How to avoid high return rates
Saim Alkan recommends: hire experienced copywriters, at least one that automates product descriptions. Then the process scales and you get rid of many worries.
How automating product descriptions works
AX Semantics NLG software for automated content generation is intuitive and quickly able to generate thousands of unique product descriptions based on structured data. AX software is 100% SaaS – everything is available from your desk via your web browser, no programming or IT departments required. Our self-service with integrated e-learning allows you to start automating text very fast – nearly 500 customers have already done this successfully.
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