Consumer Returns Management in Cross Border Commerce

Cross-border commerce does not only rely on successful product delivery. Businesses also need to equally focus on the consumer returns management especially if local geography needs to be addressed. A well-oiled return management process has the power to exceed the customer’s expectations and fuels the business expansion process. This also ensures the brand loyalty. Hence, easy returns policy is the chief concern for any online shopper or consumer before taking a step into the online experience of shopping.

Let us understand why Consumer Returns Management plays a vital role in cross-border commerce.

Consumer Focus

The challenging part for any eCommerce business is providing a seamless shopping experience. There is also a constant challenge to improve the shopping experience keeping a focus on the consumers. This engages and retains the consumers in the chain. One such process in the chain is offering “hassle-free” returns to the consumers. eCommerce businesses should have the ability to offer lenient and flexible returns. This engages more consumers and retains the customer base with a thrust to expand the business. This also helps the businesses to function minimizing the risk of fraud and abuse.

Customer value and satisfaction

Any business whether offline or online should aim at clarifying the return policies to promote strong sales. According to the UPS survey, about 88% of the online shoppers check the return policies first and then proceed to shop. The rest will forgo purchases if they are unable to locate or understand the policies. Thus, it becomes essential to value the customer’s preferences and satisfy their needs.

eCommerce businesses have a variety of products to offer to the millions of customers online. They offer products and services for everything, right from fashion to electronics. Customers have the freedom to purchase from a wide range of the products. These companies can create opportunities in the competitive market with their accessible and easy return policies. This attracts the customers and they can leverage the online stores with the same old traditional touch.

Online shoppers should get the same offline shopping experience with the qualifying purchases. They have the leisure to check the product details before they add the items to the cart. Consumers and buyers can get the chance to check the minutest product details just like the traditional stores. Every product detail should include the product color, material texture, size, pictures and much more. Thus, eCommerce businesses have maintained the decorum that the offline businesses offer. They do offer exciting return policies that encourage the consumers to take a plunge into the wide shopping experience.

Fraud prevention

Fraud detection and prevention is the widest challenge in the eCommerce world. Businesses should keep a watch on the illegal activities if any. Those with the lax return policies might turn out to be great money for the hackers and criminals. To play on a safer side, eCommerce businesses should build definitive eCommerce return processes and policies. Also, they should maintain high-level security to avoid any such risks. Otherwise, they might become indelible marks on the names of reputable brands.

Efficiency in returns management

While returns will always be a crucial part of the business, they do not need to be a liability. To increase the efficiency and foster growth for your business, develop effective reverse logistics processes. This aids as a competitive advantage and can prove beneficial.

Hence, for effective returns policy, make sure you:

  • Create meaningful content about the returns process and policy.
  • Make the returns policy and process more understanding as per local demographics.
  • Offer flexible, convenient and easy options – such as in-store returns.

For businesses to redefine their returns management, here are some important points to focus on.

  • Focus on the global picture: Easy and flexible returns solutions should be available to everyone and everywhere. Businesses ought to focus on their current return logistics to manage the cross-border trade. They should be able to turn the local legends into international successes.
  • Make the returns process simple for online shoppers: Simplify the returns process and policies. This helps the customers to easily initiate the returns through calls or an online returns management portal. Businesses should provide 24/7 access to the customers through a customer service hotline.
  • Track your returns smartly: Know where your returns go when the customers send them. Businesses should aim at establishing cost-effective ways of determining the stocks and maintaining them.

Cross-Border Commerce: Choosing the Right Regional Trends with Payment options

Cross-border commerce is one of the most challenging ways for the online merchants to develop their presence in the market. The e-commerce merchants have started focusing more on the cross-border markets to grow their business. Today every merchant aims at expanding their business or market employing regional sensibilities and local market flavor for their success. They focus on building strategies that promote their growth in the online market and create a place in the heart of the consumers. To grow faster, they have to build strategies taking into consideration the market trends and key elements. Here are some of the best strategies:

Trust first: Pay locally; offer at a global level

A global offering can never be enough. Consumers demand secure transactions while shopping online. For this, online merchants have to focus on offering the commonly used, trusted and secured payment methods in the local markets. They have to ensure their customer’s safety, confidence along with the market’s conversion rates. Apart from this, the online merchants have to keep up with the pace of technology. The power of technology is undeniable in the expansion of markets in the global and local market. It binds the consumers and the online merchants across all the geographies and various channels giving a great experience to both in all terms.

Merchants need an overview of the market dynamics and the consumer’s behavior for the successful expansion of their online businesses. This way, it helps them to localize the experience. Moreover, businesses have to study the local payment cultures. For instance, in some countries, consumers trust payment modes as credit and debit cards while in some they trust e-Wallets.

Omni-Channel and Social eCommerce – The future

Omni-channel retail and the social eCommerce is the future already. This gives fully-integrated and seamless customer experience. This also helps to understand how the customers interact with the online brands across all the channels. The eCommerce merchants can gather the comprehensive data from various geographies, brands, and stores. This collectively helps to analyze the customers’ behaviors and preferences in a better way. Furthermore, this can help to create great customer offerings and provide loyalty solutions.

In the digital space, millennials prove to be great influencers. They play a vital role in voicing their opinions and sharing information. For instance, 50-60% of the consumers follow brands and products on social media. They browse a plethora of products on the social media. As per online surveys, 33% of the online shoppers utilize social media for potential purchases. Thus, the online and social recommendation of brands and products encourage the significance of cross-border trades and transactions. In future, social eCommerce and omnichannel strategies will become a major source of payment drivers too.

Go cashless and seek new opportunities

The eCommerce field is flourishing at a more accelerated rate. By 2019, it is expected to hit $3.6 trillion. This is the right time for the eCommerce enthusiasts and merchants to invest and expand internationally. To strategize a good expansion, merchants must understand the landscape and seek out new opportunities. They need to seek out effective ways of electronic payments as the global market is turning cashless. Most countries like North America, Europe carry out cashless payments.

In comparison to the domestic eCommerce market, cross-border eCommerce is skyrocketing at an unprecedented rate. Consumers have started trusting international sources to buy products that are unavailable locally. Online merchants can turn these higher demands into high-profit margins. They can grow their businesses effectively. That said, new opportunities arise with the growth of cross-border eCommerce market.

Key points to remember

While choosing the right step with the payment modes, here are some key points every merchant should consider. So, choose the payment partner smartly to grow your online presence and a strong global network.

  • Focus on the regional trends that meet the customers’ demands and expectations
  • Know the online market value of your products in terms of local and global market
  • Follow the customer shopping habits across various geographies, devices, and media
  • Integrate the trusted payment methods to ensure secure customer online shopping experiences
  • Focus on the fast delivery of the products and best return policies
  • Exciting payment cashback offers and coupons
  • Keep a check on the local regulations, exchange rates and policies

To summarise, developing a successful cross-border strategy is not just about best products and services. It is equally necessary to maintain trust, security and provide a great shopping experience for all the customers. Along with this, they also need to retain the customer base, product quality, brand awareness and customer satisfaction values. Thus, for a seamless experience, the online merchants have to focus on developing expansion strategies that are easy and trustworthy.

Top mid-market considerations for cross-border commerce

For mid-market brands, it is tough to prevail in many global markets since they are saturated with similar products. In this case, a full market evaluation before launch of cross-border is required, to identify competitors, take note of their activities, take note of what they fail to do and even understand the direction of the market and its perfect fit.

Winning globally for most companies is to acquire market share and retain customer interest consistently. Here are the top mid-market considerations for cross-border commerce that will ensure its success:

  • Make Technology an Enabler of Success

Automation is the key to be lean in international selling, with enough team time and space for promoting innovation.

Here are a few workflows for automation:

  1. Email Marketing – Create audience segments, and revisit them seasonally to ensure the pitch is aligned with brand messaging and as per the regional sensibilities.
  2. Product Information Management – Invest in a streamlined product information management (PIM) system to manage local content that will increase as you scale your operations. Be sure to include a repository for product information, content and media. Keep each country’s product catalog and content separated from each other.
  3. Order Processing – Do not let countries and markets get disintegrated into silos. Invest in connecting channels with strategic planning across the organization. One can even invest in ERP solutions or Shopify to get the order processing streamlined.

  • Defining Key Domains – Product Delivery, Logistics and Shipping

The core foundation of cross-border commerce is ensuring product delivery in-country. Logistics should be a vital function that needs to be addressed right from the first day. Mid-market merchants do it themselves, using warehouses or ship from a warehouse. Some use an affiliate, for the same.

Shipping shouldn’t affect profit margins. Hence it is important to localize management efforts with a dedicated resource on the ground within the region. When evaluating hiring personnel, do check how professionals understand building global teams. A key stakeholder in the place with global experience is useful in this regard.

Managing global resources from long distances means that there should be constant communication between stakeholders about the product, the brand’s tone, marketing message, vision, and the like so that specialists can mitigate any issues with localization with brand experience.

The in-country team needs to be conveyed about company’s top-level goals and how the market can help meet the goals.

Conclusion

Adequate localization, key stakeholders in-country, a local logistics provider with affordable shipping, and other regional factors need to be in place for mid-market organizations who are looking for success in cross-border commerce.