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As you know, high return rates can be a real pet peeve for any online shop as well as have a detrimental effect on both margins and profit.

Leading retailers are already implementing numerous measures to try combat the masses of refunds and returns they receive every day. However, levels continue to remain high which is not only having a damaging effect on orders but also on business.

Of course, customers do sometimes have a good reason for returning one of your products: maybe they were sent the wrong one or maybe it was faulty. However, on more occasions than not, they are sent a product which doesn't fit or isn't how it was described; it is these kinds of reasons which can be easily avoided and save your business time and money. According to Narvar, 42% of buyers returned an online purchase within the past three months. These high numbers show that returning is the new fashion in which shoppers are taking advantage of free return policies by buying items in three different sizes with the intention of sending at least two back.

This blog post will explain why excentos Online Product Advisers better inform your customers about your products so they know exactly what they are buying and won't feel the need to return it.



1. It's all in the detail

Product Pages details

It is important that your product descriptions are written in detail as this will not only improve your SEO and make it easier for customers to find your products but will also inform them of the specific details which really matter. The customer can then ultimately decide whether that particular product fits their requirements or not. Things to include: color, size, fit, style, measurements, material, fabric, washing instructions, purpose etc. Is your product data complete and detailed? Don't worry if not - excentos can help you to clean up your data and ensure it's ready for making an optimal Product Guide.



2. Hitting the nail on the head

excentos Camera Guide

Pinpoint the exact products your customers love and use this knowledge to your advantage. With excentos Product Guides, you can provide your customers with intelligent recommendations which they are bound to love.



3. Finding the perfect fit

 Jeans Size Guide

For fashion brands and retailers, it is particularly important that you include vital information on size, color and style. It is also a good idea to try make this visual. Include sizing tables with unit conversions if you have international customers and try include photos of the product in every different color you offer. The excentos size matching feature takes factors such as body types, wearing habits and style into account and our color matcher uses image analysis algorithms to simplify the color search without confusing customers with different color names.



4. Data alone has no value

Product Rating

Pay attention to your usage data and draw conclusions from it. What does your typical customer profile look like? Which products are your customers buying? Do your customers cross-buy across certain products? Which of your products have good and bad customer reviews? Utilizing your data to provide better product recommendations to your customers is the best way to sell and results in both better targeting and marketing messages. Another great way to help customers in choosing a product is by using the excentos Customer Reviews feature which showcases the most common customer reviews within your Product Guide.



5. Knowledge is power

As well as analyzing which products your customers love, it is also important that you understand the reasons why customers send back certain products. When sending out your products, ensure that you include a few questions on the product return form where the customer can briefly state their reasons for returning.



6. When you visualize, you materialize

Product Images

Great images are crucial to the presentation of your products. Include as many images as possible and the more angles the better! Zoom functions and even videos of your product in action can really assist your customers in understanding whether that is the right product for them.



Inform customers about your products more effectively and watch your profits grow

Start building your Product Guide with excentos and say Goodbye to high return rates.


learn more about Product Guides

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"Millennials want it all and they want it now." - Guven Ordun, Research Gate

Millennials, Generation Y - buzzwords which we hear all the time. The primary target group aged between 22-35 years old have certain expectations in mind when they go shopping and their demands continue to grow exponentially.

Some prevalent trends which grace this tech-savvy generation include the influence of social media, aesthetics and more recently, the importance of protecting the environment and fighting for social justice.

This blog post will look into the five main contributors in successful targeting of the millennial shopper.

  • Social Media
  • Inspirational Content Marketing
  • Digital Product Advice and Guided Selling Solutions
  • Customer Service
  • Omnichannel accessibility

1. Social Media

Source: Facebook PlayStation

Top of the list has to be social media. Generation Y spends over 2 hours on social media per day and this phenomenon is not slowing down any time soon. Social media also continues to develop as something more than networking amongst friends and has become the go-to medium for people to be inspired, shop, leave reviews, interact and share experiences.

Thousands of shops and retailers have started investing serious money in social media to attract more customers and increase sales, and why wouldn't they? Social media is the holy grail for marketers and has made the targeting of all ages, genders, personalities and demographics so much easier.

PRODUCT ENDORSEMENT AND INFLUENCERS

With the rise of Instagram, millennials have proven that they are crazy for visual content and are easily influenced by what their favorite celebrities are doing, wearing, eating or where they are going on holiday.

Take for example Meghan Markle's Sarah Flint ballet flats, which were spotted online and consequently sold out minutes later. People feel good about themselves when they know that they are wearing the same shoes as an actress, sports star or influential personality and if they are die-hard fans, then they will undoubtedly flock to the shops and buy every product which they see their idol wearing; regardless of whether they can truly afford it or not.

Source: Sarah Flint https://www.sarahflint.com/

Source: Meghan Markle Style Blog http://meghanstyle.org/

There are influencers in every industry - you just have to find them. Previously, businesses would only invest in influencers with at least 500k followers but this prerequisite no longer exists and companies see value in gifting even those with smaller numbers.

Source: Instagram @tagheuer

SOCIAL MEDIA SHOPPING

Source: Instagram @uniqlo

Promoting your products via social media is an easy way to get a wide reach and directly connect with your customers. Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram also have new shopping features which allow you to insert product tags and scan barcodes which link directly to the checkout page. Competitions, giveaways, coupons and vouchers are also appreciated by customers and allow them to get involved and interact with your brand on their favorite social media channel.

2. Inspirational Content Marketing

Source: Instagram @gopro

ONLINE CONTENT

Hand in hand with social media comes good quality content. Inspiring content which users love will gather support and attention from genuine followers onto your page, as well as save you some money on paid-ads. Target groups and personas are not limited to gender, demographics, lifestyle choices and income but also generation. Generation takes all factors into account and since people from the same generation have lived through the same events, experienced advances in technology together, share similar values, etc - they are an ideal target group.

Visual content should be of professional quality and written content should engage the reader, maybe teach them something new or leave a positive impression on them. Give your readers something to think about, something to discuss or simply something to make them smile.

Unfortunately, not all businesses have the budget to invest in marketing resources, however, free copyright websites such as pexels and unsplash provide a large range of professional, copyright-free images and you can find freelance content writers who charge at an hourly rate to provide you content as and when you may need it.

Content which is in vogue at the moment relates to philanthropical issues of social injustice as well as protecting the environment and discussion of ethics and sustainability.

Source: Instagram @thebodyshop

Source: Instagram @thefemalecompany

OFFLINE CONTENT:

Of course online retail is huge and vital for survival but brick and mortar businesses are still not dead and there are measures to be taken to keep them alive. For example, traditional storefronts and displays have become outdated and customers are on the search for exciting and interesting designs which provide them with more than a shopping experience. The kind of experience which is "Instagrammable". Take the example of American fashion retailer Abercrombie&Fitch who across all their stores worldwide have topless male models at the entrance for excitable customers waiting in the queues outside to get their photo taken.

Other popular and innovative in-store trends include: huge flower garlands, interactive gaming stations, in-store DJs, pop-up food stalls and in-store devices which can be linked up to the internet to provide a more fluid shopping experience for not only your customers, but your staff too.

3. Digital Product Advice & Guided Selling Solutions

Douglas Gift Finder https://bit.ly/2HBNunv

ONLINE GUIDED SELLING SOLUTIONS

Generation Y are complaining that their online shopping experience isn't personalized enough. Customers lack good-quality advice online and in a world of choice overload, they are becoming easily frustrated and consequently leaving your shop empty-handed. Many online shops have become overcrowded with products which are difficult to navigate from the user's point of view.

Product Guides act like a virtual sales assistant who can give you advice and guide you to the right product. They do this by asking a few quick and simple questions which AI-driven Guided Selling technology uses to provide you with intelligent recommendations based on your individual needs.

OFFLINE GUIDED SELLING SOLUTIONS

Product advisers are also useful accompaniments in-store and can aide your employees when trying to help customers find their perfect product while also giving them a better product overview. In-store Product Guides can also be used as a helping hand in your busier stores or at peak times. For example, instead of allowing customers to stand and wait to speak with the next available member of staff, they can receive advice independently with the self-sufficient Product Guide.

4. Excellent Customer Service

Source: Apple

Customers tend to expect an answer straight away, 24 hours around the clock and thanks to advances in customer service tools, this is now possible! In addition to human exchange, you can also automate your customer service with online chatbots and troubleshooting guides. Chatbots and troubleshooting guides assist your business with out of hours requests as well as deal with issues which can save your support team valuable time.

5. Omnichannel Accessibility

Generation Y are workaholics who lead fast-paced and active lifestyles. They need access to your shop on every available device they own; from desktop to mobile, watch and IPad. Not only this, but they want it to work as smoothly on their phone as it would on their laptop. Omnichannel accessibility also means that your website is in sync across all channels and your customers can conveniently access everything your website has to offer regardless of the channel they are using.

So, what are the benefits of adapting to Generation Y's needs?

  • They are the largest generation in history
  • Predicted to become huge spenders
  • All are of legal age to buy any kind of product
  • All are of working age which means they probably have the disposable income to shop, shop, shop!

Find out how your business can implement the latest and most effective customer service strategies

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