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What does WISMR mean?

Published on: August 18, 2023

Updated: November 21, 2023

WISMR is a commonly used acronym in ecommerce that stands for “Where is My Return?” These are customer inquiries to customer service about the status of their return.

It is more common than not that customers are left in the dark after they drop their return off at a carrier location. When this happens and customers do not see a refund to their account, they are left with no other choice but to reach out to a customer service representative.

If a brand does not currently leverage returns communications, it is a missed opportunity to build customer trust and provide recommendations about items a customer may want to purchase instead.

How can retailers reduce WISMR inquiries?

Retailers can reduce WISMR inquiries by sending returns communications when the package is on the way back to the warehouse and when the return has been refunded to the customer. These communications should be sent to the customer through their preferred channels of email, app push, or SMS.

All retailers should be aiming to lower their return rate and WISMO inquiries especially because there was $816 billion worth of returns in 2022 alone. That is a lot of missed revenue and some of that can be attributed to a bad returns experience. The good news is that there are ways to reduce a retailer’s return rate alongside lowering WISMR inquiries such as implementing a returns management software.

return communication example

A robust returns management software should include the following features:

Integration with platforms and shipping carriers: The best return management system is the one that lets retailers get up and running in minimal time, as opposed to requiring a radical shift from their current workflow. The system should be able to integrate with a brand’s current ERP and carriers to ensure that they can streamline the overall shipping process for both the retailer and their customers.

Returns communications: A retailer should have the ability to ensure that post-purchase communications have the look and feel of their brand. This is the most important capability in terms of reducing WISMR inquiries. A customer would get emails or texts from the brand specifically about the status of their return instead of having to check a carrier website or follow up with a retailer’s customer service agent.

Self-Service Returns Portal: The returns management solution should provide an embedded, on-brand returns portal. This provides the retailer with a great opportunity to drive more sales by including links to recommended products customers may be interested in. Also, it provides the retailer with the ability to see why customers are returning certain items so they can suggest a different item in return or give insights back to the product team to make changes.

self-service returns

Flexible rules and omnichannel returns: Since all returns are not equal, the system a retailer chooses for returns should provide granular options and flexible rules so they can create a more customized returns experience. For example, a brand could automatically offer to extend a return period if certain conditions were met or reject items that fall out of the policy for being returned.

Reporting and Analytics: There should be a comprehensive framework in place to collect and extract data. Additionally, the system should be able to process all that data and deliver personalized and relevant data that a retailer could start implementing for the most meaningful insights.

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