The e-retail industry is booming. It’s estimated that by 2017, ecommerce will be generating over $1 trillion in sales per year. To put that into better perspective, that’s more than the GDB of most countries in the world. One of the most popular things to shop for online these days is apparel. If you operate an online store that sells apparel, and you don’t yet have an automated apparel returns management system in place, you could be creating the recipe for disaster.

 A number of expert articles on how effective apparel returns management affects online retailers have been published in recent years. These articles cull statistics from authority sources to help us better understand how this aspect of the industry works. There are four prominent lessons that can be learn from these articles. We’ll cover them all here so you can create a winning returns policy.

 Customers Are Not Usually the Problem

 It’s easy to think that customers would be the problem behind ineffective apparel returns management, but such is not the case. The e-retailer is actually at fault for most online product returns. In about 60% of all instances, the reason why an item is returned is not because of the consumer.

 Key reasons include:

  • Item does not fit.
  • Wrong item was shipped.
  • Damaged item was received.
  • Item is drastically different than pictured online.

 Repeat Customers Make More Returns

 Here’s another fact we found that will drive most e-retailers nuts: your most loyal customers will make the most returns. This is just a numbers game here. Seeing as about one-third of all products that are ordered online are returned, a customer who buys more items will typically make more returns. But, that same customer will also continue to make future purchases from your store… if the apparel returns management system that you have in place is adequate and hassle-free.

 Most People Want Returns to Be Easy

 People want returns to be easy. This means that they can simply revisit the website and place a return online. Automated returns management solutions are helping large stores like Amazon increase sales exponentially in recent years. The top three desirables for online returns from the mindset of the consumer are as follows: fast, easy and free.

 Apparel Returns Management Tips

 Getting an effective system in place at your store is not rocket science. And you don’t have to be some conglomerate to do so, either. A number of affordable apparel returns management software solutions are made available these days. One we found, after just a quick look on Google, is an apparel returns management system called ReadyReturns, which costs about $30 per month and works with any store. Solutions like this can help you get an automated system into place so you can create a customer-facing solution that molds perfectly with your returns policy to encourage future sales and to improve retention.