Beginning a business is one of the most empowering yet challenging points in any entrepreneur’s life. The print-on-demand industry might seem easy, but it requires a lot of creativity, research, and logistics management. That said, the basics are simple, and if you don’t yet know how, you can easily learn how to print on-demand.
Whether you’re using Canva for print-on-demand or using a print-on-demand Shopify app, one of the key issues that can arise with print-on-demand is returns. It is important to remember that you are dealing with a physical product–even if you never handle the inventory yourself–which can lead to various issues. Today, we will be diving into how to handle print-on-demand returns.
It’s worth mentioning that you should always have a clearly defined return policy somewhere customers can easily find it. It’s one of the foundational aspects of doing business online.
Returns can be a challenge in any e-commerce business, especially when you are relying on someone else to handle inventory management. Let’s go over how you can tackle them.
First and foremost, apologize for the customer’s dissatisfaction and make sure they understand as soon as possible that you’re working to resolve the issue.
You have to fully understand what the issue is so you can determine the best way to solve the problem at hand. This means that you need to communicate effectively with the customer and fully understand why the customer is unhappy.
It’s generally a good idea to ask customers to provide some evidence that the product didn’t perform as intended. This could include photos, videos, or other documentation that shows the problem with the product.
The main goal of evidence is to establish that a customer is honest with you about their experience. People might make up stories just to get a free product, so be sure to always ask for a photo or video of damage, misprints, or other reported problems. Always require this before issuing any refunds or returns and include this requirement in your return policy.
Think of it this way—the customer requested and ordered the print-on-demand product because they truly wanted it. One of the best things you can do–assuming everything checks out and there is evidence that the error occurred–is to supply the customer with a replacement product. If the supplier you used is responsible, they will likely be willing to send a replacement product to your customer for free.
If there’s a shipping issue at hand, you will need to pay again for the printing and shipping of a product. Replacements are typically cheaper than providing refunds, even if suppliers do not support you by covering the costs.
There will be unique scenarios in which the product received was supposed to be a gift or was meant to arrive within a specific time frame. In these cases, waiting for a return that could take a week or more to reach the customer might not be the best solution. In other cases, the customer might not want a replacement product at all.
For cases such as these, you will need to establish a returns timeframe—average return policies offer a return window of fifteen to thirty days. The e-commerce platform you are using will provide you with a way through which you can refund your customers.
Starting and maintaining a new e-commerce business can be overwhelming for any new entrepreneur, which is why Skup is ready to help with the best start-up, growth, and scalability tools and software. Reach out today and get started on your growth strategy process to make sure your e-commerce store is as successful as possible!