Analyzing Returns Gives Marketers Deeper Consumer Insight

Be aware of the limitations of marketing education that can be found online, for it mostly covers the advertising phases of the consumer’s buying cycle. You’re mainly going to find information on how to generate and nurture leads, and then how to guide them into purchasing a product online. The buyer’s experience in the post-purchase stage, however, gets neglected if your attention is solely invested in initial sales.

The product returns made by your buyers are just as important as the initial sales you achieve because, ultimately, the function of your product, which comes after your initial marketing, is what consumers pay for. Since the solution your product offers is only obtained once the consumer owns your product, what happens after the initial purchase might be more pivotal than the pre-buying marketing you do. Sounds a little backward, right? But trust me, analyzing your returns gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into your customers.

Considering that you might pay 25-times more to generate new buyers than to convert existing ones, you need to position your business to increase the impact that it has on the post cycles of consumer spending.

Are Product Returns Hurting Your Business?

You will ultimately lose customers if you don’t have a system in place to nurture them during product returns. You won’t only lose money if you can’t decipher the nature of your product returns, but you lose revenue if you can’t turn customer returns into new sales.

Common Reasons for Exchanges and Customer Returns

Studying why product returns happen within your business improves your consumer relationships. “Return analysis” is a field that studies the reasons behind product returns and tries to figure out solutions from the data that it extracts. Here are some common reasons why your consumer might feel the need to return your product:

They’re seeking an upgrade

Product returns present great opportunities because in each case, you have a chance to tell your buyers about your upgrades and enhancements. If the consumer found something that didn’t quite work within your product, you can strategically solve their concerns with upgrades.

They misunderstood your product

Though you’ve given out product explanations, it’s possible that your leads may not have fully understood what they’re buying; they might not even know that you sell other items. Any repeated case of customers being misinformed should be noted, for it reveals how you can improve your marketing.

They received the wrong package

A company that admits to their mistakes can build trust with their long-term buyers. It might be helpful to send a “freebie” with any new delivery when a package has to be sent out a second time.

Boosting Your Sales Through Post-Purchase Marketing

The moment that any lead makes a purchase is an ideal time to “retarget” them. Take advantage of the experience consumers have as they’re using your product by sending new marketing material to them. What the buyer feels when owning something new is what brands can build post-marketing campaigns on. Consider sending paying leads step-by-step guides on how your product works, for example. Or create diverse content that showcases people using your product in different ways.

The more consumer retention that you sustain after a purchase, the easier it becomes to share new ideas and sales opportunities with your leads.

Originally published at on April 14, 2020.




Spotify’s Head of N.A. Advertising Sales

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Brian Berner Spotify

Brian Berner Spotify

Spotify’s Head of N.A. Advertising Sales

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