Managing Post-Holiday eCommerce Returns with Business Text Messaging

Dog returning packages

After you’ve aced holiday fulfillment with the help of SMS, you may feel like you’re in the clear—until return requests start pouring in. Customers request eCommerce product returns for many reasons. Often, someone just received a gift they don’t need. It’s up to retailers to manage these eCommerce returns as smoothly as possible, so these customers consider your business the next time they’re looking for a gift. 

Business text messaging platforms offer a centralized location for sending, receiving, and organizing customer and team messages. These platforms allow businesses to streamline every aspect of eCommerce return management, from customer communications to fulfilment team organization.

Read on to learn more about managing post-holiday eCommerce returns with business text messaging. 

Offer eCommerce Returns Assistance 

Right after the new year, your business can expect an influx of eCommerce product returns from customers who have opened their presents. Usually, customers will start emailing or calling in with a variety of questions about return eligibility and receipts. Fielding each individual call or email can consume valuable time. Here’s where business text messaging steps in. 

With business text messaging, teams can view and answer all incoming texts within a shared inbox, so team members can ensure messages don’t slip through the cracks. Advanced business SMS platforms can recognize keywords and send immediate responses. This can assist with the initial steps in eCommerce return management. An example automation might look like this:

Customer: Hi, can you help me with a return? 

Automation: Sure. What’s your order number? 

Send eCommerce Returns Notifications 

Since eCommerce returns aren’t often tracked as they make their way back to your business, customers are often worried about whether they arrived or not. To reassure your customers, send them a text as soon as your team receives their return. Because 90% of texts are read within the first three seconds of receipt, you can ensure that your customers know exactly when you receive their eCommerce returns.

You can even integrate your eCommerce platform with your business text messaging platform. With an automation, your business text messaging platform can automatically send personalized confirmation texts once a return is logged in your eCommerce platform. As long as the templates include space for custom fields, a business text messaging platform can personalize them with merge tokens. An eCommerce return notification template might look like this:

Hello, {{customer name}}, Gia’s Curiosity Shop here. Your {{exchange or return}} #{{return number}} has arrived. Expect a refund in 5 days, or an exchange shipping notification in 3-5 days. 

Collaborate with Your Fulfillment Team 

As you start to receive holiday eCommerce returns, it’s critical that you communicate carefully with your fulfillment team, or whoever is managing eCommerce returns and exchanges. In many cases, businesses maintain additional contractors throughout January to help with the influx of eCommerce product returns. Business text messaging makes it easier to collaborate with your fulfillment team. Plus, contractors often prefer communicating through business SMS because it doesn’t require them to use any new apps. 

All you need to do is give contractors your business SMS number, which can either be a text-enabled landline or a brand-new number that your business SMS provider gives you. Then, you can start receiving incoming contractor messages into your shared inbox. If you start seeing too many contractor and customer texts in your main inbox, you can create a separate inbox for internal messages. Business text messaging is especially useful when your team experiences a sudden influx of return requests. You can quickly select a list of contractors and send them a mass text asking who is available for overtime. An overtime request template might look like this:

Hi {{staff name}}, Sam from Owen’s Christmas Shop here. Are you available to work Friday – Sunday, from 9-5? We’ve had a slew of return and exchange requests coming in. 

Follow Up with Your Customers

If a customer just wants to return a holiday gift and not exchange it, that is understandable. People often receive gifts that they simply don’t need. But once they experience the high level of your eCommerce return management, they may be interested in purchasing from you at a later date. A key way to make sure your customers know you care about their experience is to ask for feedback. Feedback can also help your team improve their eCommerce product returns process for next year. 

It’s difficult to get feedback from customers when your send the request through email. Most people open only 20% of emails. Only 4.2% of people click links in emails. Business text messaging is a different story. Ninety-eight percent of texts are opened, and 19% of people click links in texts. Customers are more likely to see and complete feedback surveys sent through business SMS. A feedback request sent after successful ecommerce returns might look like this:

Hi {{customer name}}, you should have received your refund yesterday! Could you let us know how the returns process was for you? {{survey link}}


Ready to start managing your eCommerce returns via business text messaging? Try our platform for free

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