How to Optimize your Product Return Process

A smooth returns process is an important factor in the long-term retention of customers. By easily accepting returns, you’re showing shoppers that you stand behind your products, that you’re willing to fix any issues that cause returns, and that you value customer satisfaction. Turn your return policy into a selling point by using these tips to optimize your product return process.

Take some burden off the customer

Look for opportunities to reduce the onus on your customers for returning products. For example, you could include a return packing slip with instructions in all orders and/or ship products in re-sealable packaging.


Use automated emails to keep customers up to date about the status of their return. This not only keeps customers informed, but it’s a marketing opportunity too; you can use these emails to include alternate product suggestions.

Adopt more lenient policies

Streamline your product return requirements to give customers a hassle-free experience. If possible, eliminate hurdles like strict cutoff dates or requiring that returns are unopened.

Recover associated costs

While implementing the above suggestions may cost you more, returns don’t always have to translate into losses for ecommerce businesses. "Store credit" is a classic example – it encourages repeat business and the value of future orders often exceeds the amount of store credit. If you're worried that your shoppers will be dissatisfied with getting credit instead of a refund, consider offering 110% of the original purchase price back as store credit for returns. Another great way to recoup costs is to hold periodic “opened box sales.” Mark down items and/or refurbish them, and you’ll be able to sell off what would otherwise be unwanted merchandise.

Tips for Recovering Return Costs in Ecommerce

When it comes to returns, you want to make them as easy as possible for your customers. Over the long term, it can be good for your bottom line as you build a strong reputation among users. However, the short term could prove difficult. Last year, returned stock, overstocks, and out-of-stocks cost the retail industry almost 2 trillion dollars. Luckily, returns don’t always have to translate into a loss for ecommerce sites. Here are some ways you can salvage sales while keeping customers happy. More...

Deal Ideas from Around the Web

If you find your ecommerce sales dragging, a new promotion or program is a great way to get your products moving again or stand out from the competition. To come up with a promotion that works for your situation, you should consider the makeup of your customer base, your products, and the logistics of your company. To help you come up with a great promotion, let’s look at some unique programs from a few well-known e-tailers. More...

The Benefits of a Customer-Friendly Returns Process

A tedious, red tape-covered returns process can scare off potential new customers, and turn into a nightmare for customers who have a return issue. Streamlining returns will do wonders for your reputation and build customer trust. If you can turn your returns process into something hassle-free for customers – you can use that as a selling point to increase your sales. Simplified returns show customers that you stand behind your products and that you’re willing to fix any issues that cause returns. More...

Why You Need to Work on Your Returns Policy

One of the main drawbacks about shopping online is that you can’t really “see” an item before you buy it. Unless you’ve been showrooming, you’re putting your trust in the online retailer that the item will meet your expectations when it arrives. That said, return policies are an important factor in the success of ecommerce businesses. Let’s look at why. More...