There’s no doubt social media has a massive impact on retailers. With the rise of influencers, there’s now a whole new way to get your products in front of customers. However, according to recent research by Barclaycard, there’s an emerging trend where shoppers buy clothes to post photos on social media before instantly returning them. One look at the Instagram hashtag ‘outfit of the day” (#OOTD) shows there are now over 2 million of these posts, and this behaviour only looks set to rise, especially in younger consumers.
Welcome to the rise of the ‘snap and send back’ phenomenon.
This growing practice of snapping a photo just to share to the ‘gram is proving to be a double-edged sword for retailers, especially those selling clothing, footwear and accessories.
With fast shipping and free returns fast becoming the norm, the ‘try before you buy’ policy can be risky for retailers if returns aren’t monitored. To keep ahead of the snap and sharers, online retailers need to keep tabs on their returns.
Start by looking at your returns over time. If you notice an upward trend, there may be a few things to consider. You could look at identifying repeat returners whose patterns of buying and returning suggest they’re snapping and sending back. If you do spot this trend, you could look at implementing a return fee and relooking your returns policy. However, be mindful that peeved off customers can air their grievances across social media channels with thousands of followers.
Take a look at how your products are merchandised and whether your product descriptions do your products justice. By making an effort to show your customers that your products are more than a one-wear-wonder, you can encourage them to keep the item well beyond their Instagram snap.
If you notice a large percentage of your customers are sending their items back after sharing them on socials, it could be time to investigate a new business model. Would clothing rental work for you? How about subscription boxes with an incentive to keep all the items in the box? A creative approach might help you keep ahead of the snap and senders.
Of course, not all returns are fueled by snap and send back, but it’s a trend that retailers can’t afford to ignore. Having a solid returns policy that strikes the right balance between customer friendly and business smarts is a crucial step in keeping up with evolving consumer demands.
While generous return policies attract buyers, they can be costly for businesses, so you’ll need to find the sweet spot for your customers. More importantly, you’ll want to make sure your returns are easy to process on your end and can be done with minimal cost and effort.
Shippit’s new self-service returns portal will give your customers more control, with the option of dropping off their return or having it collected from their doorstep. Connect your Australia Post account to enable drop-offs or offer courier pickups out-of-the-box, powered by Shippit’s award-winning discounted courier service.
Decide who pays for return shipping, and we’ll take care of the rest. Shippit securely processes payment for your customers and takes care of billing for freight, making the whole process super easy.
Get proactive about tracking and notifications, and put an end to surprises. Shippit’s leading tracking experience gives complete visibility of the return process. Don’t miss a beat, track your returns from the initial request right through to final stock acceptance, and choose how you notify customers, for returns with minimal fuss.
Whether you choose to embrace the snap and send back trend and the positives it could create for your business, or decide to tighten your returns policies so that the trend doesn’t affect your bottom line, you need an effortless returns system. To find out more about how Shippit makes managing returns easy, contact us today.