Order (COD) returns can be a worrying pain point for WooCommerce stores & website owners, especially in Europe (Germany, Greece, Spain. etc) and Asia (Singapore, Indonesia, and especially India). Where order returns in the fashion and Apparel segments are close to 40%. Studies suggest 92% of people only buy a product because of its easy and free return policies.
In reality, when a customer returns an item, it can cause disruptions in the order fulfillment process. And lead to additional costs for the business, such as shipping and restocking fees. In addition, the process of tracking and processing returns can be time-consuming and may result in errors, further complicating the situation.
The high number of returns can also negatively impact customer satisfaction. As returns can cause delays in the delivery of new items and result in additional shipping fees for the customer. In some cases, the customer may opt to shop with a competitor instead of dealing with the hassle of returning an item.
To mitigate the impact of COD returns, WooCommerce stores in Europe and Asia can implement specific strategies to reduce the number of returns.
Such as providing clear product descriptions, detailed product photos, and accurate size charts. Additionally, implementing a streamlined and efficient returns process, such as offering free and easy returns, can help to improve customer satisfaction and reduce the impact of returns on the business.
According to a report by Instamojo, eCommerce returns are at 25-40%. They pointed out 2 important facts on eCommerce returns. That is – Not managing returns efficiently can reduce your profits by 25%, and Reverse logistics businesses are on the rise.
Cash on Delivery (COD) has always been a preferred payment option for online shoppers in many parts of the world, especially in Europe and Asia. It allows customers to pay for their purchases only after they receive them, which helps build trust and confidence in online shopping.
However, this COD payment method is one of the major challenges for WooCommerce stores in Europe & Asia – Cash on Delivery Returns.
COD returns have become a persistent headache for eCommerce stores in Europe and Asia. They not only affect the store’s bottom line but also impact customer experience and brand reputation. According to a report by RedSeer, the return rate of COD orders is higher than that of pre-paid orders, with up to 30% of COD orders being returned in some regions.
The problem with COD returns is that it adds an extra layer of complexity to the return process. The store has to arrange for a courier to collect the returned item and refund the customer’s money, which can be time-consuming and expensive. Additionally, it’s challenging to communicate with customers regarding the return process, as they may not be available on the phone or by email.
Here are the top 6 culprits behind why Cash on Delivery (COD) orders are getting returned by customers:
#1) Wrong product delivered: One of the most common reasons for COD returns is that customers receive a different product than what they ordered. This can be due to an error in the order fulfillment process or a mistake made during shipping. All customers say – “what they see is what they should get”.
#2) Damaged or defective product: Customers may return COD orders if the product is damaged or defective upon delivery. This can be due to poor packaging or mishandling during shipping.
#3) Size or fit issues: Customers may also return COD orders if the product doesn’t fit properly or is of the wrong size. This is common in the case of clothing and footwear.
#4) Incorrect Address: This is the top-ranked reason for returns, where customers at times deliberately or accidentally enter the wrong address. This is common in the case of electronic products.
#5) Late delivery: If the delivery of the COD order is delayed beyond the promised date, customers may choose to return the product instead of waiting longer. This happens especially during festive seasons, black Friday sales, or at times when the customer expected an early express delivery.
#6) Change of mind: Sometimes customers change their minds after placing a COD order and decide they no longer want the product. In such cases, they may return the order without any specific reason.
It’s important for WooCommerce stores to keep track of these reasons to identify patterns and improve their processes. This can help reduce the number of COD returns and improve customer satisfaction to a great extent.
In addition, a survey by UPS found that 63% of customers are more likely to shop with a retailer again if the return process is easy and convenient. This highlights the importance of having a streamlined and efficient returns process for online retailers.
To address the challenges posed by returns, many woocommerce stores are turning to technology and automation. For example, incorporating features such as real-time tracking and automated return labels can greatly improve the returns experience for customers and reduce the burden on retailers.
Now, this is where Hello24.ai’s WhatsApp ChatBot plugin for WooCommerce comes to the rescue.
The chatbot is designed to help WooCommerce stores streamline their COD returns process and improve customer experience. It allows customers to initiate a return request, track their return status, and get real-time updates on the return process – all through WhatsApp.
The chatbot is integrated with WooCommerce, which means that it automatically pulls customer and order details, making it easy for store owners to process returns. The chatbot also allows store owners to send automated messages to customers, keeping them informed at every step of the return process. This not only saves time but also improves customer satisfaction, as customers feel more in control of the process.
The chatbot is also multilingual, which is essential for eCommerce stores operating in Europe and Asia. It supports multiple languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Hindi, and Arabic. This means that customers can interact with the chatbot in their preferred language, making it more accessible and user-friendly.
Hence COD order returns can be a major headache for WooCommerce Stores in Europe and Asia. Not only do they take up valuable time and resources, but they can also damage customer trust and hurt the bottom line.
So what is the real solution?
These top 4 ways suggested by Hello24.ai to WooCommerce stores in Europe & Asia can decrease order returns, save reducing profits and improve customer satisfaction by at least 33%:-
(1) Whatsapp COD confirmation to Reconfirm your customers’ addresses via
This is our topmost function, reconfirming a customer’s address via a WhatsApp message with the Hello24.ai platform will be the easiest way to ensure that you have the correct address before sending out any packages or goods.
When reconfirming the address, make sure to ask for all the relevant details, including the street name, house number, zip code, and any other necessary information. You can also use this opportunity to update any outdated or incorrect information you may have in your records.
By reconfirming your customers’ addresses via WhatsApp conversation, you can save time and avoid potential delivery issues caused by incorrect or outdated addresses. It also shows your customers that you are committed to providing them with excellent service, which can help build trust and loyalty.
(2) COD to Prepaid conversation via WhatsApp
Doing this with the Hello24.ai COD to Prepaid option helps you understand if the customer is actually serious about buying. While doing this you can collect pre or half-payments for the order via WhatsApp. And this also helps you sell better by encouraging your customer to complete the purchase then and there via a small coupon or collect token advance and give them free delivery in return. This helps in reducing order rejects or returns in a great way.
(3) WhatsApp ChatBot can encourage customers reach out before Returning an Item
Giving customers the opportunity to reach out to you before making a return can help resolve any issues and potentially save the sale. Encourage customers to contact you if they have any questions or concerns about a product, and make sure you have a system in place to handle these inquiries promptly and effectively. Use the FAQs and reconnect your customer back to your customer service agents to re-ensure that they do not return the products by resolving what may be complex queries.
(4) COD order confirmation status or shipment notifications via Whatsapp
Keep your customers posted about their order status. Send regular updates about the order – right from the order confirmation, created & packed to out for delivery. The Hello24.ai platform has wonderful pre & post-order-fulfillment notification template messages that can engage and ensure customers are updated at regular intervals if required with an instant order tracking option. This will not only reduce the number of returns but will also improve customer satisfaction and increase customer loyalty.
Pro-Tip: Red flags and notifying your customers will be a wonderful way to bring down order returns on a massive scale.
Let’s Conclude for now!
The bottom line is Cash-on-delivery (COD) returns are a major challenge for WooCommerce stores in Europe and Asia. However, Hello24.ai’s WhatsApp ChatBot plugin for WordPress is an effective solution that helps streamline the returns process and improve customer experience. With its automated messaging, real-time updates, and multilingual support, the chatbot is a valuable tool for any WooCommerce store looking to enhance its customer experience and streamline its operations.
Check out how Hello24.ai can help you solve order returns problem for your WooCommerce Store
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