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    Business Guardian Angel

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    How to make ‘return-uary’ work for you

    Just because a customer wants to return a gift doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t a happy customer

    20 January 2017
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  • Unwanted Christmas gifts can mean lots of returns in January. Although this trend is often reported in terms of the cost to retailers, there is another way to look at it – as an opportunity to woo new customers.

    After all, just because they don’t want one gift, doesn’t mean they don’t want your services at all.


    Finding out why the customer is returning the product gives you the chance to change their minds, but also to learn more about your market. You can either do this directly or get their email address so you can invite them to do a simple online survey. These can be set up quickly with a free service like Survey Monkey.  


    If your product didn’t match their size, shape or style, invite them to have a quick browse to see if there's anything they'd like to swap it with.

    If they just want the money, be friendly and make the process as fast as possible. A positive impression from returning an item can be surprisingly valuable. 66% of shoppers check a store’s returns policy before buying, and 81% say they’re more likely to buy when the policy is flexible and easy.  


    Someone thought the gift's recipient would like your products. Even if they didn’t like the gifter’s choice, you’ve now got an opportunity to show them what else you've got. Invite them to follow you on social media, to view a special offers page or to join in with any future events you may be involved in. If you have any time-limited events or offers, be sure to flag them to add a sense of urgency. 


    To improve your chances of them making a new purchase in the future, provide them with special offers. It could be discounts, limited time offers or a reward for joining your mailing list or social media accounts. Personal offers have a real impact, with 56% of consumers saying a personalised incentive improves their consideration of a brand


    Once they're in your store, you want to make it easy for them to discover products they might love. Try putting some of your favourite (and least expensive) stock out near the checkout to tempt them as they wait.

    January is likely to be a busy time for your retail store. Find out how to survive the January sales here

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