12 proven strategies to help minimize e-commerce order returns checklist

How to minimize e-commerce order returns

For the e-commerce business returns is a big deal, not the least because of the huge financial impact. Doing what you can to minimize product returns is a smart move. 

So what is it that you can do? Download a checklist with 12 proven strategies to help minimize e-commerce order returns.

Checklist: 12 proven strategies to help minimize e-commerce order returns

Why do consumers return the products

Even for the most trustworthy of online stores, for a customer, making a purchase online is a risk. Most of us have been stung by a too-small, odd-fitting or just plain awful product — so is it any wonder that customers are wary about what they buy, and their options if it’s not right?

The reasons why consumers return the products vary by industry and product, and some level of returns is inevitable. The most obvious reasons have to do with product fit, sizing or misleading product descriptions.

In reality, there are more reasons that are driven by more behavioural factors. For example, many online shoppers are beginning to buy with the intent of returning products. It might sound counterintuitive, but think about it: You’re heading to an event this weekend and you find an outfit online that you love. The catch? You’re not sure which size will fit you best, even after looking at the sizing chart. Naturally, you check the returns policy of the store, and upon seeing ‘Free returns!’ buy two sizes of the same outfit and return the one that’s not quite right.

Why is e-commerce order returns a big deal

The main reason returns are a big deal is the financial cost. Online shopping returns are touted as the ‘Phantom economy’ of e-commerce, with over £7 billion of purchases returned in the UK alone.

A secondary, yet arguably as important reason is the impact that returns have on the environment: double the product air/land miles, and often on less efficient routes than the way they were delivered to the customer. 

And it’s a delicate balance: you want your customer to feel like they can trust your business, and trust that you’ve got their best interests at heart if your product doesn’t meet their expectations. But where do we draw the line? 

Free delivery and returns are consistently in the top 3 factors that influence a purchase decision — so there’s not a lot of wiggle room there, particularly with large e-commerce retailers using fuss-free, cost-free returns as a marketing strategy. 

Most small and large e-commerce merchants will build the cost into the price of their goods as a way to minimize the extra costs and loss of revenue, but what if we could keep prices realistic for customers, and product return costs realistic for retailers? 

In the downloadable checklist, we'll go through 12 strategies you can use to minimize unnecessary returns from your online store. 

Checklist content

The checklist goes through 12 action items e-commerce businesses can take in order to minimize the order returns. The tasklist starts from the product considerations and goes all the way to order delivery. 

OGOship 3PL
About the author

OGOship – 3PL for e-commerce businesses
OGOship is a 3PL company specializing in e-commerce. Our mission is to make sure e-commerce businesses can ship their goods fast and cost-effectively, all around the world.

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