What steps can online retailers follow to reduce returns?

With an increasing demand of shopping online, retailers saw online sales boom over the past few years. With more and more customers opting to shop for products before physically seeing them, lack of available reviews and product description can lead customer not getting products as per their expectation- and there arises the hassle of returns and refunds for online retailers.  Are you aware of how to reduce returns ratio for your online web store? If you are a newbee in the ecommerce world or unaware about it, we are here to provide some effective steps on how retailers can bring a control on the rate of returned products and enhance business popularity.

Steps to reduce returns

Provide accurate product description with image and content

The most important factor you need to consider is to have a visible product description. Ensure that your customers can view and understand the size dimensions, color type, and other product related things as well. Additionally you need to add customers review about products on the product page. It is studied that more returns arises due to wrong or incomplete product details given on the website. If you are inserting accurate sized image, features and product details, it ensure reducing return rates.

Product comparison option

With many similar products listed on your web store, it becomes difficult for any shopper to decide which product is the best buy. So when a customer views a product, insert a pop-up function to display similar products to the one that is being viewed by the customer. This will allow your customer with an option to compare products through features, size, color, price etc. and help them purchase the best one as per their choice.

Evaluate returning reason and encourage customer feedback and reviews

Customers review plays an important role to reduce the returns ratio. Request your customer to mention an appropriate reason for the return helping you understand reason for returning the product. Ensure to present review next to the product description, this will help customers to receive more accurate perception of the product.

Delivering products as per the turnaround time

The essential factor for any online retail owner is to arrange for a delivery within the turnaround time mentioned on your web site. Once order placed, dispatching the product at the earliest gives satisfaction to the customer. If there is a delay in delivery of the product, they will surely have a second thought so as to accept the order and may spread negative feedback that is harmful for online retailers.

Check product before delivery

Any retailer who sells products online should guarantee that they are in a position to deliver the same product as per the order placed. As an online retailer, you have to ensure that the product is checked properly before delivering it to the customer, as many products returned are because of defect.

Check content of the order

Many retailers have experienced that some returns occur due to wrong product or empty box delivered to customer. So, it is must to have the content of the consignment checked before packing and shipping it to your respective customers.

Undertake a prevention audit

Handling a return is fine and is important to fulfill it so as to maintain the reputation of your online retail store. But, more important is to analyze the reason of the return. Once identified, spend more time to rectify and takes precautionary measures to reduce or, if possible, eliminate it.

Additional, but the most important tip is to be there for your customers

Customer would prefer a direct support from online retailers. It is a must to have a 24*7 customer support team. There should be a special team for different queries that include inquiry, sales, returns, so customers are not forced to hold the line for long leading to an annoyed customer.


No online retailer can expect to eliminate the returns and refunds but keeping in mind the above steps and having a proper inventory management and order management system you can minimize the return impact on your online retail business.






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