How a Product Customizer Can Help With Your Post-Holiday Return Plan

Father and daughter using a product customizer to create the perfect gift

With holidays around the corner, eCommerce companies are actively preparing for the high season. Once the season is over, businesses will be getting ready for the barrage of returns. But by taking advantage of a product customizer during the holidays, you don't just boost the peak season sales; you can also minimize post-holiday returns.

According to Shopify, around 30% of consumers return their online holiday purchases. This can have a massive effect on your real holiday sales.

Let's take a closer look at how product customization can affect your post-holiday return plan.

1. Minimize the Risk of Returns

Offering customization options to your audience can help minimize the risk of returns by eliminating some of the most common causes behind them.

Unmet expectations

The top reason for returns after the holidays is that the product doesn't turn out to be what the customer expected. A product customizer can take care of the problem by allowing the consumer to:

  • See a highly detailed 3D image of the product.
  • Design their own products.
  • Do in-depth product preview.
  • Choose the perfect style and size.
  • Access a full description of the product.

Customizable products are less likely to be returned since the consumer gets an opportunity to design a perfect item. While using a product configurator can increase the time a buyer spends choosing an item, it cuts down on the product return processing.

Long shipping processes

Another common reason for post-holiday returns is delayed shipping. Consumers who don't get gifts on time often return them right after the holidays. When you work with product customization, you send the order directly to the factory.

Businesses that offer product configuration functionality work out an optimized fulfillment process that brings items to the consumers faster.  

Wrong items

One of the top five reasons for product return involves the company shipping the wrong item. Using a product customizer reduces the chances of this problem occurring since the product is uniquely designed.

An online store that arranges special fulfillment options for their customized products rarely ships wrong items to their customers.

2. Adjust the Post-Holiday Marketing Strategy

When you face a storm of post-holiday returns, you need to create a post-holiday marketing strategy. It usually involves promoting post-holiday discounts.

While a product customizer drastically reduces returns, it doesn't always eliminate them. You can design your marketing strategy with returned custom items in mind. By using the data you've collected from the customizer, you can adjust pricing and offer returned items to specific segments of your audience.

Meanwhile, you have to think about redesigning your return section. Almost half of the consumers who go online to return an item end up buying something else. Place the link to your custom product page on the return webpage and generate more sales.   

3. Analyze Last Year's Returns

Gift recipient opening a custom present

If your product customizer app was up and running last year, you can analyze the data and gain insight into this year's returns. (Next year, you’ll be able to do the same thing.) 

Which customized products were returned the most last year? If you haven't made any adjustments, you are likely to see similar trends this season.

You still have time to prepare for these trends by offering your customers extra guidance on selecting particular product options.

Click here to learn more about our product customizer.

4. Arrange Extensive Support

Your support team is likely to be working overtime during the holiday season. Once it's over, don't let seasonal support workers go just yet. 

With customizing options available, consumers tend to have a substantial variety of questions. When it comes to returning a custom product, they may be even more confused.

Many consumers mistakenly believe that returning a custom product can be problematic. That's why they are likely to storm your website searching for answers to their return-related questions. The customer support team should be available to address these concerns in real time for as long as possible.

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5. Be Clear About Your Return Policy

You can reduce the number of post-holiday returns by being transparent about your return policy. 

When it comes to custom products, you may want to be careful about free returns. Selling a highly customized product to another consumer may be problematic.

Some companies that offer custom product design choose to restrict returns. Others allow consumers to opt out before the item is shipped.

If you are selling luxury products that may be tough to resell after customization, make sure that consumers know about your approach to accepting returns.

6. Create a New Webpage

While luxury stores may be limiting their returns, businesses that don't sell anything more complex than a t-shirt need to prepare for the returned items.

When a customer turns into a product designer and dislikes their own work, it doesn't mean another customer won’t like it. That's why you can create a separate e-store section for the returned custom items.

A discounted return section can be highly appealing to consumers who don't like to configure products but prefer ready-to-use items on sale.

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7. Collect Valuable Data

Whether you have a Magento shop or Shopify store — or you use another platform altogether — your product customization plugin can provide a substantial amount of data for future sales and marketing decisions. Once the returns start coming after the holidays, you need to go back to each customer's interaction with the configurator to see what may have gone wrong.

When accepting returns, make sure to add text fields or review templates for feedback. After the holidays are over, you can use this data to minimize returns even further.

Use Your Product Customizer to Minimize Post-Holiday Returns

Implementing a product customizer into your sales strategy comes with a variety of benefits. One of them is fewer returns. 

But when it comes to the post-holiday seasons, some returns may be unavoidable. However, you can use the product customizer to improve your return strategy.

At Threekit, we help you take full advantage of top product customization tools. From augmented reality to 3D visualization, we aim at maximizing positive customer experiences and minimizing returns.

If you'd like to learn more about product configuration solutions for your business, please contact our team at any time.