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The Silent Conversion Killer: Learn How To Enhance Your Competitive Edge In E-Commerce

In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, customer satisfaction is the cornerstone of brand success. Recent industry data underscores the pivotal role that an effective returns strategy plays in shaping customer loyalty and influencing conversion rates. Having a streamlined returns process is a significant strategic advantage to compete in the evergrowing e-commerce space.

Returns Don’t Have To Be A Conversion Killer

Returns are a significant concern for online shoppers. Your shoppers care about your returns policies - It’s as simple as that.  A large majority of consumers regularly review retailers’ return policies before making an online purchase. That means that if you don’t have a thought-out plan for your returns, you might lose out on new customers, or dissuade existing customers from buying from you again. 

It’s a painful reality of e-commerce that has been shown consistently throughout industry reports.  A cumbersome returns experience can lead to 50% of customers abandoning their purchase, and a staggering 80% are less likely to re-buy from a brand with a poor returns process. A strategic approach to returns can be a powerful catalyst for driving growth and enhancing customer retention.

Returns are a vital part of the overall shopper experience. Regardless of returns volume, brands need a strategic returns experience because it reduces the barriers to customer conversion. The post-purchase experience is part of the online shopping experience. If you’re not taking care of your shoppers during the post-purchase experience, your shoppers will feel it—and you’ll feel the repercussions of their discomfort in your sales. 

Using Returns As A Selling Tool Can Be A Lifeline

Thanks to Amazon setting the table stakes so high, the e-commerce industry is more competitive than ever, and it’s only getting worse.  As online shopping increases, e-commerce brands are facing ever-growing challenges, thin margins, higher advertising costs, and consumer expectations are the highest they’ve ever been.  It’s a challenging landscape for even the most established e-commerce brands and is only compounded by smaller brands just starting up. 

So what are brands to do?

Returns are the secret weapon brands can wield to gain a strategic advantage and compete in this high-stakes space of e-commerce.  Until now, the returns strategy for online brands was relegated to “strategies” like:

 “Make it hard for the customer so they don’t return orders”, and

 “Convince them to exchange instead of return”.  

While that benefits the brand in the short term, it negatively impacts customers, and ultimately will impact their loyalty and lifetime value to a brand.  Essentially, brands are “shooting themselves in the foot” by forcing an unwanted, negative, experience onto their customers.

As a brand, at a minimum, you must offer a clear return method to meet your customer's expectations.  Given that most brands already do that, and Amazon has set the bar so high that no brand can compete, is that enough?  No.  

For a brand to truly be competitive, it must offer a better post-purchase experience than even Amazon. Something convenient, fast, and doesn’t require the customer to do much or go anywhere. But how?

Given how extremely resource-draining traditional fulfillment and returns processes are, how do brands compete? 

That’s where micro-mile fulfillment comes in.  This unique model refers to the process of doing online order returns, storage, processing, and shipping products within proximity to the end customer.  This significantly changes the game because it allows brands to offer 2-day shipping, returns, and exchanges at half the cost of traditional ground shipping methods, which can take 5-7 business days. 

Incorporating a micro-mile fulfillment strategy into an e-commerce brand's logistics and fulfillment operations is a critical strategic advantage that immediately places it above the competition.  Not only does it enable the brand to provide an enhanced customer experience, but it also improves all of the important business metrics including conversion rate, customer lifetime value, profit margin, inventory time in transit, and more. 

It may sound like a complex logistical challenge to manage, but the best part is that oloround manages that for brands completely.  The oloround app easily integrates into your Shopify e-commerce store and automatically manages everything. Then oloround’s network of “oloHubs” and “Garage Buddies” will manage the fulfillment and delivery of the returns, exchanges, and new orders.


If you’re ready to transform your customer's post-purchase journey into a competitive edge? Oloround's hyper-local approach ensures that regardless of your returns volume, you're equipped with a tool that puts customers at ease, improves purchase rates, and makes business sense when the need arises. Visit today to learn more and embark on the future of retail.

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