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A recent article from the webiste, ChainStoreAge.com, identified item returns as the one major hurdle in turning a retail operation into a full fledged omnichannel process.

From ChainStoreAge.com

“Retailers that haven’t grasped the concept of omnichannel and implemented it successfully are generally out of business or losing serious market share to slicker competition. The term omnichannel has more or less become superfluous: It is now implied in the simple term retail.That’s almost true. One gap where many retailers are still struggling to understand and respond to evolving expectations in the marketplace is in the return process. The dichotomy is rooted in disparity between how retailers and consumers view returns as a whole.”

The average return rate for a general retailer is just under 5%. Today, a lot of companies are trying to go the extra mile to ensure their returns process is simple, fast, and not a headache for their customers. Many major retailers offer free shipping. Retailers, like JC Penny, can handle returns even without the receipt of the purchase. Ultimately, your returns policy should focus on just one thing: satisfying the customer. They’re already willing to buy from you, which means they trust your brand. But, if the item turns out to not be exactly what they want, a shoddy return experience can turn them against you and your brand.

1448486432_add-buy-plus-shopping-cartYour returns operation can become quite complicated if you have significant sales coming from online shoppers. Believe or not, return rates for online orders are lower than store returns. But, that may be due to the fact that most people prefer to return an item to a physical person in a store. Online shopping has aided the buying process for companies and consumers, but it has its pitfalls. It is very easy for a clothing item to look different on a screen than in real life. And, of course, shoppers that don’t try on clothes, or ensure correct measurements on home goods (drapes for example) are much more likely to return those items.

How do you cover all your bases? How can you make sure that any return, especially online, can be fulfilled quickly, and without issue? Let’s take a look one of the best online ecommerce sites in the world. Zappos offers a full year for customers to return their items. They ensure their customer service is world class. And, the most helpful thing they offer their customers are their shipping labels. Every shipment of an online purchase can be returned with a shipping label that a customer can conveniently print and fill out from the Zappos site. The process couldn’t be much easier. By allowing the customer to do the return by themselves without needing the assistance of a CSR, the process is much faster, saving you time, money, and the headache of an unhappy customer.

Now, we can’t all be Zappos.com. After all they get significant backing by a little outfit called Amazon. But, if you’re looking for a way to provide your customers with an easy way to return order, why not use MarkMagic?

The number one way to ensure a smoother item return experience for online shoppers is to have return labels already sent with their package.

MarkMagic allows you to dynamically print out your receipts, forms, and any other promotional material that you would want to put into your online orders. With the MarkMagic addon, PrintTransformer, can fill every invoice or receipt with the right data, automatically. All your team has to do is put the order form in the right box! PrintTransformer Add-on Option in MarkMagic lets you take control of your document management with minimum effort.

At print time, MarkMagic PrintTransformer automatically processes rules and conditions, changes printing instructions, bursts print files to print each page or record with its own set of instructions and changes field attributes based on field data. PrintTransformer adds a whole new capability that you never had before – the power to develop sophisticated, dynamically formatted print jobs without writing a line of code.

It’s not like Zappos, but it’s just as convenient.