Refund to Gift Card
With more consumers than ever before shopping online, returns have naturally become an integral part of the eCommerce experience. 76% of consumers check the returns policy before making a purchase and 44% will abandon their basket if they are not impressed with what they see (ZigZag Global Retail Returns Study 2022). The returns process is redefining relationships between customers and retailers like never before.
The sale is not lost on a return, nor is it the end of a retailer’s relationship with a customer. Returns are simply part and parcel of doing business online. Often, the high returning customers are the VIPs retailers want to keep. Shoppers that buy a lot will naturally have to return a lot too and as returns have started to take centre stage, customers have redefined what a good returns experience looks like.
ZigZag’s latest innovation allows retailers to process refunds through a digital gift card. Refund to Gift Card ensures the sale stays within the retailer’s business, therefore minimising the financial impact of returns. It also encourages repeat sales and therefore increases overall revenue.
Improved customer experience for the festive season Despite a raft of global supply chain issues peak season was still a blockbuster. There was a 24% increase in both the volume and the value of returned goods over the holiday season of 2021 against the same period in 2020. A rise in returns naturally hits a retailer’s bottom lines with higher costs attached to completing each sale, an issue heightened by the recent rising fuel prices and sustained supply chain capacity issues. However, by offering customers the opportunity to refund to a gift card, they were able to keep cash in the business at a difficult time.
The innovation has also been particularly popular with customers during the festive season. 58% of UK consumers like the option of having the value of their refund returned to a retailer’s digital gift card for them to spend in the future, or more importantly, for the recipient of the gift to be able to get a hassle-free refund. This figure rises to over 75% when looking at shoppers under 35 years old. The digital gift card return option allows consumers to offer their recipients an easy way to choose their own item if the gift was not quite right. It has been widely accepted as a great additional refund option by ZigZag’s retailers and their customers alike.
Fraud prevention By utilising the refund to gift card option, retailers can better guard against fraudulent returners or limit their impact. For customers partaking in ‘bracketing’ – the act of buying multiple sizes or colours with the intention of returning at least one item – the gift card option means customers must evaluate the practice and trust website sizing guides and images more. Astonishingly, 41% of UK consumers admitted to ‘bracketing’ in 2021, rising to 59% of consumers under the age of 25.
Customers of some of the world’s leading retailers get redirected from the retailer’s website onto ZigZag’s retailer-branded portal. Customers can then select the items from their basket to be refunded or exchanged, simultaneously providing a reason as to why they are making the return. The customer will then get the option to refund to gift card or original payment method, depending on the retailer’s returns policy.
After, the customer is then provided with a list of the most convenient or cost-effective carrier services from ZigZag’s extensive logistics network, with a PUDO map highlighting the closest drop off points. In the penultimate step, a returns label or QR code is generated for the customer to present the Post Office or driver collecting the returns etc. Finally, the customer is emailed a digital receipt of the gift card refund, complete with steps for how to claim it.
We have rolled out the solution to a number of world-leading retailers that would like to remain confidential for now, although we can provide references privately.
The company has already made a return on investment after managing nearly 20 million returns this year to a GMV value of over 1£ billion.
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