Online Sellers Face Returns Headache in Post-Holiday Period

Category: Data & Insights
Online Sellers Face Returns Headache in Post-Holiday Period

Recent data from eDesk, a leading help desk for marketplace sellers, highlights key trends in customer service queries for online sellers during the post-holiday period. Notably, customer queries have increased by 24%, outpacing a 15% rise in order volumes over the holiday period. Plus, returns management remains the biggest challenge for customer care teams.

While multichannel sellers experienced strong sales growth over the holiday period, the new year hangover has been tough for many. eDesk has reported a 60% increase in the ratio of queries to orders, based on aggregated data from over 10 million AI-powered conversations it supported across 45,000 webstores and marketplaces in the post-holiday season period when compared with 2023.

37% growth in return requests

Return requests grew by 11% between November 2023 and January 2024; accounting for 29% of all queries to merchant’s customer service teams. This represents a 37% growth in return requests when compared with January 2023. The increase in returns is a growing problem for the industry with merchants often struggling to manage the volumes especially after peak sales periods.

While returns remain the single biggest reason for customers to contact sellers, eDesk AI-classification system also highlights growth in other common queries categories. Order cancellations increased by 17% year on year; now accounting for 15% of queries. Meanwhile order status queries increased by 12%, and make up 13% of all queries to eCommerce support teams.

There is some good news in the data with negative feedback reducing slightly in the period, and is now responsible for just 5% of customer interactions. This indicates that sellers are overall doing a better job of managing customer expectations in 2024. eDesk reports that 65% of their customers have adopted their AI-powered automations, which is responsible for driving improvements in internal efficiencies and customer satisfaction metrics.

The post-holiday period can be a challenge for customer service teams. At the same time, we’re seeing customer expectations increase, which means that with each peak comes additional pressure on teams. Increasingly, sellers are leaning on AI-powered automations to free up their team from routine queries so that they can focus on more complex queries and ensure they support appropriate levels of support to their higher value customer segments.

– Ray Nolan, CEO, eDesk

eDesk provides a comprehensive customer service help desk for eCommerce. eDesk’s AI-powered service desk is used to support customer queries across more than 45,000 online stores and marketplaces globally.

eDesk enables online sellers to consolidate query, order and customer data in a single smart inbox; from where you can more efficiently support customers with the full power of next generation AI.
With eDesk, merchants can reduce the chaos associated with selling and managing customers across multiple channels such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Mirakl, ManoMano, BOL.com and more. To find out more, visit eDesk.com

Our ChannelX UK Amazon Sellers Report, proudly supported by eDesk, takes a deep dive into the profile of some of the top UK Amazon sellers. You can download your free copy today!

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