Don’t Neglect Your Returns User Experience  

By Tobias Buxhoidt, Founder and CEO, parcelLab  

Tobias Buxhoidt is the CEO and Founder of parcelLab, where he leads global business strategy and is focused on bringing the parcelLab platform to brands across global markets. In 2015 he co-founded parcelLab to create a platform that would help brands build engaging customer experiences around complex operational processes and data.

Ecommerce web design has skyrocketed over the past few years with brands flooding thousands of dollars into their website to deliver unique, personal, and interactive experiences for their customers. Nevertheless, as much as retailers hate to admit, sales conversions do not always stick, resulting in returns. 62% of shoppers say they are unlikely to shop with a retailer that provides a poor returns experience, and design and UX plays an influential role on consumers' perception of the process. However, a returns process can be an opportunity for retailers to reengage, which means it’s imperative ecommerce retailers implement design elements that provide a seamless user experience.

Cracking the code to returns – QR codes are in demand  

A flawless returns experience is in the user experience 

33% of consumers said having a returns label sent with the original order or a return’s QR code is what they care most about in the returns process. There is a demand shift for a seamless online experience across multiple platforms that has grown as consumers move to mobile as their preferred communication method; 69.4% of internet users shop on phones or tablets.

Using QR codes has had proven success with brands seeing an over 90% engagement rate with how consumers engage and interact with a brand - a key element to a positive user experience that often is overlooked during returns. QR codes can also be designed with branding elements in mind, so during the entire process consumers are left with a positive brand experience.

70% of consumers said that a personalized customer experience is their top priority in retail, and with direct communication holding significant importance in the returns experience, retailers have been on the hunt to find a returns design that provides a fulfilling user experience.

When customers make a return, they often have to go through both the third-party carrier and the company website. No one is looking for hoops to jump through to make a return, which is why a return’s portal or hub can help create a seamless process. A specific page on your website or returns portal can serve as a branded hub where consumers can interact with retailers directly, start the returns process, and track their returns. Again, honing into a key element of the user experience – engagement and interaction. When designing and developing a return’s portal, either on your own or with a provider, it should be consistent with the company’s brand—having the same colors, logo, font, etc. since it is a living page on your web site. The way your returns process is designed will play into the way your customers will perceive your company. A returns portal, or returns dedicated page, that is specifically branded to your company can invoke an emotional connection with your customers, as well as create a more seamless returns process that is highly desired by customers.

Retailers have been on the hunt to find a returns design that provides a fulfilling user experience. Branded and personalized touch points are the key for a successful returns process design

Branded and personalized touch points are the key for a successful returns process design. At every step of the returns process, the design and experience should echo the same - the brand is here to provide an easy, seamless, and personalized approach to a process that is currently flawed in the eyes of consumers. The returns process does not need to be difficult or dull; it can be engaging through interactive designs such as returns dedicated page where customers can communicate to retailers or QR codes. As ease of use and aesthetic continue to be a priority for customers, it’s imperative that great brands design a process that it is seamless through every step of the customer journey.

JUN 2023