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How to Implement a Returns Strategy on E-commerce Orders

Returns can be an opportunity for online retailers to create and sustain a loyal base of customers. Although it does add costs to the online retailer’s’ business, 51% of customers say that they avoid shopping at online retainers that have a strict returns’ policy. In surveys conducted on online customers in 2018, 62% of customers would buy again from a brand that offered free returns and exchanges and 69% and 67% are deterred from online purchases if they were charged for return shipping and restocking fees respectively. On an average, an e-commerce retailer faces 20-30% returns of its total transactions as opposed to an approximate 9% returns for a brick-and-mortar retailer so a returns  strategy is critical to the success of an e-commerce business. The top two reasons why customers return the product is (1) the product does not match the description and (2) the product is faulty or damaged. Around 72% of returns in fashion product categories stems from the first reason. Other common
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History of E-Commerce

Most of us assume that Amazon was the first to launch an e-commerce platform on the internet, back in 1995. The first e-commerce business was actually the Boston Computer exchange in 1982 where used computers were sold online. In 1992, an e-commerce store called BookStacks Unlimited was launched to sell books, which was later taken over by Barnes & Nobles. It can be said that Amazon could really only take off after Netscape Navigator developed and distributed a user-friendly web browser with encryption certificate in 1994.  The earliest form of e-commerce is attributed to Michael Aldrich, who in 1979 created the connection between television and telephone lines using a real-time multi-user transaction processing computer, giving birth to the word and concept of ‘teleshopping’ . During the 1990s, the internet became user-friendly with the development of the first browser known as WorldWideWeb and the National Science Foundation in the US charged fees for domain names to businesses

E-Commerce Virtual Assistants

You have your e-commerce platform idea and the products that you want to sell. New sellers have the traditional option to organically work on their e-commerce site and build as the brand grows. But that significantly impinges the customer experience while shopping on the site. E-commerce sellers now have a myriad of options to outsource functions or tasks of the business to low-cost efficient specialists known as  virtual assistants , resulting in quicker turnaround and growth in the business. The options can be classified according to important pillars of any e-retail business: Design Website:  Your website is the face of your brand. If the design and feel of the website is unprofessional or generic from free templates, it could turn away the customer from shopping or dampen their experience. Once there is an understanding of who the target market is, websites need to be designed to capture their attention and foster brand recall. The design of your website can be outsourced to virt

Sustainable Packaging & Shipping

  “Major U.S. retailers reported jumps in e-commerce volume in the second and third quarters — some more than 100%. And roughly one-third of U.S. small- to medium-sized businesses reported, as of September that their shipping volume had increased, according to a poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of Pitney Bowes. ” The pandemic has created havoc in economies across the world. It may seem from the quote above and the market valuations of tech stocks such as Amazon, Alibaba that the e-commerce business is booming, but it has been a mixed bag for the parcel shipping industry. Reports indicate that much of the business in the US has shifted to the two largest delivery companies, FedEx and UPS and they have increased shipping rates, which are being borne by the biggest e-retailers. FedEx and UPS concurrently have been delivering more residential packages than commercial packages during the pandemic. However, due to the large business volume, most delivery companies have had to

What companies are doing different to attract ecommerce customers

The   COVID-19 pandemic situation has led to many consumers coming online and/or increasing their online activities. “U.S. online sales for September increased 43% year over year, reaching $60.4 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. This growth was just above August’s online sales growth, which increased 42% year over year.”   This has been a boon for many companies that have existing e-commerce platforms but this has led to many new e-commerce businesses and traditional companies who do not have e-commerce platforms to jump onboard and expedite their online presence. This is evident by the increase in traffic but drop in conversion rates . What are the innovative ways in which some companies have stood out from the crowd? E-commerce retailers have turned to data analytics to track metrics to see what tactic worked and hasn’t worked in the short run. Some e-commerce busines

What you need to know about Gross Merchandise Value

Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) is defined as the gross sales revenue generated over a period of time by an e-commerce platform before any deduction for fees or commission . It is used to track the growth rate of an e-commerce business since it measures the value of the total merchandise that has been sold through the site for a specific time period, quarterly, bi-annually, or annually. Gross Merchandise Value = Number of Goods sold x Price of goods sold This metric is useful for e-commerce businesses that buy and store the merchandise from suppliers and delivers to customers when purchases are made. However, it cannot be used as a standalone metric for all online retail platforms. For e-commerce sites that operate as a Customer-to-Customer (C2C) business, they do not physically manage the goods. The total commissions generated and accrued expenses, such as delivery fees, advertising, return expenses incurred are more important to track for this business model. This is also known as Gro

Challenges for Cross border E-Commerce

Borders are literally non-existent in today’s world where buying and selling between countries has been made so much easy through e-commerce. Technology has transformed and blurred the line that existed earlier in cross border transactions and continuous investment is being made by many e-commerce majors to ensure customer satisfaction and high reach of various products and services. Global e-commerce sales is projected to reach US  $6.5 trillion by 2023 , which will be approximately 22% of total global retail sales. A  study on western Europe , found that cross-border e-commerce accounted for 95 billion of the total e-commerce revenue in 2018 and that cross-border trade made up 22.8% of the total online sales in Europe. More than 2.1 billion shoppers are expected to purchase goods and services online by 2021. E-commerce as a whole has already shifted away from the West and will continue to do so despite the slowdown in the global economy. While most companies who sell online have a