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Reducing eCommerce electronics returns

How to avoid a logistical nightmare returns reality in electronic goods

Returns in electronics even outweighs returns in apparel or footwear; this is becoming a logistical and financial nightmare for most eCommerce merchants from the cost of returning such large, bulky goods (not to mention the admin associated with cancelling finance plans).

At Aulter we're working with clients on how to attempt to reduce those returns rates and offer up a safe passage for those seeking to begin selling larger electronics, white electronics goods or household lithium battery powered goods online.

Website solutions?

One of the best differentiators we've come across is Hullabalook, an interactive size alteration tool that can be used for any product category, it's more of an alternative to traditional search filters but nonetheless does offer up immediate awareness of the size of the product in question. Contrastingly, while Hullabalook is focussing on search and discovery by visual dimensions, a company called Augment is also focussing on visual dimensions but via augmented reality; interestingly Augment now have a functioning Shopify integration.

It's unclear as of yet what the primary reasons are for electronics returns, is it the size of the good being surprising, is it the weight, or is it due to the complex nature surrounding functionality or the product not being mechanically sound as hoped.

However, by working to eliminate the alternatives you can arrive at a more accurate answer and it involves a few fundamentals;

  • Informational selling - Arm customers with knowledge and specs, clearly and concisely 
  • Rich media content - Via social or clickable links in videos, rich imagery 
  • Conversational content - Get customers interacting and discussing on social 
  • Use live broadcasting - Live videos provide context of physical products
  • Augmented reality - Give customers the chance to view the product in their homes

Apply these attributes and at very least your removing some of the confusion or elements of surprise that undoubtedly contribute towards high rates of electronics returns.

Presently, Californian based Juicero is amidst a PR storm, their fancy juice machine (currently retailing at $399 and also available at physical WholeFoodsMarket locations in America) has taken a bashing for its contrived use cases, especially given the juice packs (that resemble blood transfusion bags) can actually be squeezed by hand to deliver identical juice (oh dear). Before you rush out to buy bags of juice, you can only buy these bags if you have a Juicero account, oh and your Juicero only works if it's connected to a stable WiFi connection (Yes, I'm not making this up).

Needless to say, following a recent disruption to internet service providers in parts of San Francisco, Juicero has quickly become a very expensive headache for retailers, the brand itself and its investors who threw a cool, $118.5M at the startup.

Reducing electronics returns is an area for retailers to get serious about, we have some strategies in place that can be immediately deployed to avoid instances such as Juicero that negatively impacts on customer experiences, breaks brand trust, plunges inventory into chaos and smashes your buying teams' confidence.

Contact us today to see what we can do to help you break through the boundaries of electronics goods sales online.

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