Reducing Returns Through Product Content

Black Friday has arrived in all its glory. There are deals at every angle you look at, and a certainty: returns. Lots of returns. 

Given these returns cost UK businesses almost £60bn a year, it is crucial retailers understand how content can be used to help reduce the rate of returns.

Here are three things retailers to consider:

  1. An Agile Approach

Mobile devices are continuing to transform the retail experience. With 68% of all ecommerce traffic predicted to take place on mobile over the upcoming winter retail period, retailers need to prioritise the formats that matter most to consumers.  Retailers must come to grips with the fact that today’s consumer, are “bionic,” that is, they are almost always augmenting their human shopping experiences with the use of technology.

According to a report from inRiver, video content on mobile devices which shows products in different contexts is the determining factor for a third of consumers (33%). Moreover, 18% prefer to see products being demonstrated by influencers.

Providing shoppers with a wide array of mobile-optimised content, including 360-degree views of products and detailed dimensions, will give them the confidence that their decision to purchase is the right one. The ease of being able to quickly visualise products, coupled with the rush of Black Friday, will help consumers to verify their purchase decisions.

  1. Ensure Amazon is Part of the Strategy

In order to be successful this Black Friday, retailers need to have all bases covered when it comes to discoverability. Our research found that the brand website is losing importance, with only 11% going directly to these sites directly when searching for products.

Brands must ensure they are appearing in the places where consumers are looking and therefore must not ignore the huge opportunity that Amazon presents. For 45% of consumers Amazon, not Google, is their first port of call when searching for product information. Brands need to be well represented on the platform; they will enhance discoverability by ensuring the information they provide there is complete, accurate and consistent.

  1. The Need for Speed

Come Black Friday, consumers will be inundated with special offers. The need for instant decision-making to avoid missing out on deals may leave many shoppers feeling overwhelmed. The task for businesses is to make consumers’ buying decisions as easy as possible; simplifying the process by providing consistent and reliable product information across all platforms with which they may be interacting with the brand.

inRiver research found that one-third of respondents will move to another website within 10 seconds if product information is lacking. Retailers need to be thinking about how to provide engaging product content that serves the requirements of consumers with shorter attention spans.

Ultimately, consumer expectations are rising at a faster pace than ever before, and retailers need to be on the front foot to deliver a customer experience that exceeds these requirements and gives customers the confidence to purchase this Black Friday. The key to winning on discount days is catering to consumers by delivering interesting, relevant and contextual information on the right platforms when they want it on the buying-frenzy days leading up to and during Black Friday.

Steve Gershik

CMO at inRiver

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