Back to Blog
Matt Blevins
Written by
Matt Blevins
Ecommerce Growth Analyst at ReturnLogic
CONTENTS
product content product information management

3 Steps To Improve Your Product Content With Returns Data

5 min read
September 17, 2020

 

It’s widely known that product content is a critical part of the customer conversion path. The images, descriptions, and other information that reflect your products can improve your SEO, drive conversion, and even prevent returns

But how can you identify gaps, or opportunities, within your product content? 

The Importance of Returns Data

Data from eCommerce returns illuminates the other side of the customer experience. It provides valuable information that is otherwise unavailable.

When a customer returns a product, it does not mean that the product was no good. It means that the customer’s expectation of the product did not match the reality of the product.

To put it another way – you might not need to change the product at all, you may just need to enhance the content that embodies the product. Returns data can empower you to reduce your return rate and make improvements to your product content.

The goal, here, is to identify why customers are returning your products so that you can locate potential gaps in product content. But the challenge is navigating from information to insight, and more importantly, doing so at scale.

Step 1: Narrow Down Product Opportunities

In order to find precise and actionable insights, it’s usually best to narrow down your focus.

And so, the first step to finding gaps in product content is to identify a handful of products that showroom for improvement in terms of returns.

You can start by looking at the return rate, which can either be calculated as the price returned divided by the price paid or the units returned divided by the units ordered.

For the purpose of this example, we will examine the returns data of a women’s fashion brand.

Returns Data In Women Fashion

 

An important detail to remember is that every product is different. Categories such as jeans and dresses often require a more precise fit than sweaters, for example.

As a result, it can be helpful to group or filter products by larger categories for more meaningful comparison. In this case, we’ll filter to only see products that are designated as pants.

Statistics On Women Fashion Returns

The return rate comes with its limitations.

A product may have a return rate of 80%, which sounds terrible. But if you have only sold 10 units of the product, you may not be too concerned. The return rate does not account for volume, it doesn’t show you the impact of a product’s returns.

For this reason, the ReturnLogic team devised a metric called return-to-order differential, which accounts for a product’s contribution to your purchases as well as your returns.

Return To Order Differential Metric

A negative return-to-order differential indicates that a product’s return volume is disproportionately high, whereas a positive return-to-order differential indicates that a product’s return volume is disproportionately low.

In this way, the metric approximates the impact of a product’s returns on your business.

Products with more extreme negative return-to-order differentials may warrant further attention. From the visual above, there are several products with noticeably negative return-to-order differentials.

And so, we will look into products “Maer88mad,” “Spnt29spr,” and “Vaer79var” to gather more information.

Step 2: Gather Summary Observations and Isolate Areas of Concern

Now that you have pinpointed some products to investigate, you can turn your focus more to why these products are returned.

Return reasons are pre-defined reasons, established by the merchant, that the customer chooses from to indicate why they wish to return a product.

Return reasons allow you to quickly summarize the basic reasons behind returns. Used at the product level, this easily demonstrates what may be causing the returns.

Product Returns Reasons

These summary observations will fuel the next step in identifying gaps in product content.

In conjunction with the products themselves, these return reasons will allow you to further narrow your scope to extract actionable insights. For the purpose of this example, we’ll dive into the “Spnt29spr” product with the return reason “Too Small” to find more exact pieces of feedback.

Step 3: Extract Precise Insights from Open-Ended Comments

Open-ended return comments may be the most impactful piece of information associated with returns.

A return comment contains precise information, directly from the customer, as to why they are returning the product.

In context, return comments can help explain what area of the product was too small, what customers didn’t like about the fabric, or how the product’s quality didn’t match their expectations.

However, it can be extremely difficult to extract insights from open-ended comments. Imagine reading through hundreds of return comments per month and trying to aggregate any useful information at the product level. It simply does not seem effective.

You can leverage a word cloud to easily spot the most commonly cited words from return comments. You can even see the most used words for a particular product and return reason.

Below, you’ll see some of the most frequently used words in return comments for the “Spnt29spr” product with return reason “Too Small.”

Comments On Product Return Reasons

From here, you can select a word that interests you, perhaps “tight” and drill into the exact return comments that contain this word.  What about the product is too tight? Is it something that can be corrected in either the product or the product content?

Below, we have the exact return comments “Spnt29spr” product with return reason “Too Small” that contain “tight.”

Product Returns Because Of Small Size

From these comments, it seems as though the elastic waistband may be tighter than customers expect. While this may be a product opportunity to address in the future, we can use product content to better align customer expectations now.

This approach empowers you to quickly summarize the return comments, and then extract more actionable insights from the comments themselves.

To Conclude

The images, descriptions, and other information you use to represent your products impact a wide spectrum of the customer experience.

Good product content will drive visitors to your site, inspire them to purchase, and lay the groundwork for a happy customer experience. But imperfect product content is bound to create friction in the customer experience.

Data from returns allows you to identify common issues that customers experience and locate opportunities within your product content.

How To Reduce Product Returns With PIM

 

Matt Blevins
Written by Matt Blevins
Ecommerce Growth Analyst at ReturnLogic

View Other Terms

PIM Demo What To Ask
10 min read
Product Information Management

TOP Questions To Ask Before PIM Solution Demo: A Guide For Brands And Retailers

Struggling with the questions before going on the PIM tool demo? We prepared a full guide for brands, retailers, and big marketplaces to better explore a PIM solution.

Read more
Effective Content
11 min read
Product Information Management

Product Content That Matters: Solving Retailer And Brand Dilemma

Learn how to manage product content expectations of brands and retailers to improve the shopping experience and boost sales.

Read more
BMEcat For DIY
6 min read
Product Information Management

BMEcat Data Standard For DIY Industry

BMEcat doesn’t make sense? Find out what this standard is, why it is beneficial to your DIY business, and how you can implement it.

Read more
What Is The Future Of PIM?
7 min read
Product Information Management

The Future Of PIM Solutions: More PXM Capabilities

Up-to-date eCommerce calls for high-end tools. Learn how PIM solutions evolve today to set the stage for streamlined digital business.

Read more
What Are Top Product Data Challenges For eCommerce?
7 min read
Product Information Management

TOP-5 Product Data Challenges For Manufacturers

Manufacturers face a lot of challenges in delivering on the market requirements. Find out about the most pressing ones and how to overcome them.

Read more
Gepard PIM vs In-house PIM
8 min read
Product Information Management

Gepard vs. In-House: Which PIM Solution Is Better?

What is better, buying or building a PIM solution? Why not both? Find out how you can get unique functionality faster than custom development.

Read more
What Is Flexible PIM?
9 min read
Product Information Management

PIM As An Ultimate Data Quality Booster. How Flexible Is Your PIM Solution?

How to make sure a PIM solution you are looking to adopt would perform to the max and bring sales-boosting results in the field? Here’s a guide on the main properties of a flexible PIM tool.

Read more
Why Is PIM Important?
7 min read
Product Information Management

7 Reasons PIM Software Is Needed For eCommerce In 2022

Read about the importance of PIM software for eCommerce businesses and for guaranteeing a smooth customer experience.

Read more
Why Use Multiple Taxonomies?
9 min read
Product Information Management

Employ Multiple Product Taxonomies: The Key To eCommerce Success

Find out how employing multiple taxonomies can boost your team's productivity, help you stay ahead of the competition, and so much more.

Read more
What Is Simple PIM?
9 min read
Product Information Management

Simple PIM Solution: Basic Setup For Your Business

Do you need a simple PIM? Is it suitable for SMBs? Find valuable information about the benefits and process of PIM implementation in our guide.

Read more
PIM Demo What To Ask
10 min read
Product Information Management

TOP Questions To Ask Before PIM Solution Demo: A Guide For Brands And Retailers

Struggling with the questions before going on the PIM tool demo? We prepared a full guide for brands, retailers, and big marketplaces to better explore a PIM solution.

Read more
Effective Content
11 min read
Product Information Management

Product Content That Matters: Solving Retailer And Brand Dilemma

Learn how to manage product content expectations of brands and retailers to improve the shopping experience and boost sales.

Read more
BMEcat For DIY
6 min read
Product Information Management

BMEcat Data Standard For DIY Industry

BMEcat doesn’t make sense? Find out what this standard is, why it is beneficial to your DIY business, and how you can implement it.

Read more
What Is The Future Of PIM?
7 min read
Product Information Management

The Future Of PIM Solutions: More PXM Capabilities

Up-to-date eCommerce calls for high-end tools. Learn how PIM solutions evolve today to set the stage for streamlined digital business.

Read more
What Are Top Product Data Challenges For eCommerce?
7 min read
Product Information Management

TOP-5 Product Data Challenges For Manufacturers

Manufacturers face a lot of challenges in delivering on the market requirements. Find out about the most pressing ones and how to overcome them.

Read more
Gepard PIM vs In-house PIM
8 min read
Product Information Management

Gepard vs. In-House: Which PIM Solution Is Better?

What is better, buying or building a PIM solution? Why not both? Find out how you can get unique functionality faster than custom development.

Read more
What Is Flexible PIM?
9 min read
Product Information Management

PIM As An Ultimate Data Quality Booster. How Flexible Is Your PIM Solution?

How to make sure a PIM solution you are looking to adopt would perform to the max and bring sales-boosting results in the field? Here’s a guide on the main properties of a flexible PIM tool.

Read more
Why Is PIM Important?
7 min read
Product Information Management

7 Reasons PIM Software Is Needed For eCommerce In 2022

Read about the importance of PIM software for eCommerce businesses and for guaranteeing a smooth customer experience.

Read more
Why Use Multiple Taxonomies?
9 min read
Product Information Management

Employ Multiple Product Taxonomies: The Key To eCommerce Success

Find out how employing multiple taxonomies can boost your team's productivity, help you stay ahead of the competition, and so much more.

Read more
What Is Simple PIM?
9 min read
Product Information Management

Simple PIM Solution: Basic Setup For Your Business

Do you need a simple PIM? Is it suitable for SMBs? Find valuable information about the benefits and process of PIM implementation in our guide.

Read more

Let’s Get In Touch

Need to contact us? Just use this form

Gepard Privacy Policy
Success