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15 Tips To Reduce Returns In E-Commerce

Ngoc Lee
15 Tips To Reduce Returns In E-Commerce
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Returns are a common source of frustration for internet businesses. Returns require time and resources spent processing extra packages, giving refunds, and attempting to make the process good for the client so that they do not rush off to one of your rivals as long as they receive their refund. 

how to reduce returns in e-commerce
Returns in e-commerce

If your online business does not yet have a solid strategy in place for handling e-commerce returns, now is the time to implement one. While it is unavoidable that any company regardless of size, will have to face some level of returns, there is a lot you can do to improve your customer experience so that consumers are less likely to need to return things. 

If you are in trouble with returns, just read through this article to find out how to reduce returns in e-commerce which we believe will assist you a lot in dealing with the returns problem. 

Enhance Product Clarity

It is essential to provide a clear and complete explanation of each product, from high-quality pictures to information about the product that shows the client exactly what to anticipate.

Example of product clarity
  • Product images: It may seem simple, but the percentage of listings online that display a single, fuzzy photograph of a product is far too high. Set aside some time to look through your current e-commerce products and ensure that every product has high-quality photographs, a clear description, and if required, videos. You should aim to photograph each product at least four times, once from each perspective, including front, back, and both sizes. 
  • Description: In order to provide the buyer with as much information as possible before purchasing, you should emphasize the product’s dimension, weight, and substance in your description. Keep your product information up-to-date to avoid refunds due to product misunderstandings or inadvertent miss-selling. Use the information supplied by various e-commerce sites, such as these articles from eBay and Amazon to help you write the perfect product description.
  • Product videos: Creating short videos to put in your product details does not have to be expensive or time-consuming. In short, straightforward videos displaying a 360-degree view of the goods are all you need to minimize returns to your e-commerce business due to product misunderstanding. An explanation video showing how to use a more sophisticated product may improve the purchase experience for buyers and make it simpler for them to utilize the product when they have acquired it.  

Give Detailed Sizing Details

Give your consumers as much size information as possible. Conventional tables with dimensional grid connections are inadequate in this scenario. Measure all clothing dimensions and send them to the customer, including the tiniest details like pocket size, zipper length, and armpit width. 

This might be a lengthy and time-consuming procedure, but note that the more correctly the consumer picks the size, the fewer returns the online company will receive.

Example of size table 

Utilize Fit Technology

Digital fit and sizing solutions may assist clients in finding the appropriate size whether they are buying in-store or online, putting a stop to the unmanageable bracket shopping habit. Fitting tools can range from a simple slider on the item that shows how the item fits on the majority of consumers to virtual room planners that demonstrate how furniture will fit into certain measurements and places. 

Include Product Videos On Your Website

If buyers return things as they do not meet the expectations stated in the product description, you may want to add a video component to your e-commerce website. Product videos are becoming increasingly useful in increasing conversion rates since purchasers can envision themselves better after seeing a product video.

Creating videos for products

It is not required to have vast amounts of money or film equipment to create short videos for inclusion in the product description. Simple, brief videos that give a 360-degree view of the items are all you need to minimize returns. For more advanced items, a video showing how to use the item can improve the purchasing experience and ease the product’s use after purchase.

Implement Customer Database Segmentation

Persons and qualities generated by carefully scrutinizing your client information are far more accurate than general descriptions of high-risk buyers. Return-prevention segmentation is similar to marketing segmentation in that you are attempting to find trends, habits, attributes, and other relevant variables in order relevant variables to make better decisions.

The effectiveness of this strategy is determined by the depth of measurement you have collected, as well as your overall outcomes and processes.

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Customer database segmentation

Establish A Returns Benchmark

Let’s be practical about determining a reasonable goal return rate for your vertical. Everyone wants to minimize their returns as much as possible. However, if you are a clothes business, your goal will be significantly different than if you are a home product firm since the typical return rate for clothing companies is roughly 20% while the other one is just about 10%. Besides, the brand size is important as well.

Set returns benchmark

Another consideration is seasonality. If You measured your returns throughout the Christmas season, you would most likely obtain substantially higher statistics. This is because returns increase by 31% on average during the e-commerce return season. 

Utilize A Returns Management System

The entire e-commerce experience is managed by software. It most definitely does not end with returns. If you have ever done any online shipping, you definitely aware of how difficult it is to manage the returns procedure. 

Establish A Successful Return Policy

Your return policy is a valuable marketing tool. However, it is also an important instrument for lowering returns. Since expectations may be clearly defined here. A good return policy can attract the proper consumers while discouraging those who may return more frequently. A successful return policy may simply minimize product returns while increasing revenues. 

Example of a returns policy

More than 60% of first-time buyers check return policies before purchasing. They are the type of people that do research carefully and make sure they are not buying anything they will have to return. This appears to contradict accepted thinking, which is if you want to decrease returns, tell them what they cannot do. However, this will simply deter others from purchasing.

Encourage Customers To Exchange

Give your internet customers alternatives if you want to keep them pleased. Exchanges are significant ones that will create smiles and go a long way for your brand. Another significant benefit of exchanges is that they assist your business keep money. They also keep your clients engaged with your business for a longer period of time, at least till they receive their replacement products following an exchange. 

During the post-purchase evaluation stage, your business has more time to win people over. Maintain excellent levels of client satisfaction at this point, and you will almost certainly have repeat business from them.

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Exchange product

Emphasis On Packing And Unboxing Experiences

Your packing concerns will change depending on what you offer. As a general rule, imagine the journey your product will take and base your packing options on that. Items that arrive broken or damaged due to inadequate packing are another common reason for returns which is approximately 20% of consumers mention this as their primary reason for returning. 

Don’t be afraid to use bubble wrap and double or even triple-lined boxes for fragile things since your packages are likely to be tossed around, dropped, or placed underneath larger items. Always label your items with what is inside unless it is indicated as a gift, and store recommendations in case it stays around for a while before reaching the buyer.

Packing products

Enhancing how you package things will also assist in determining the source of items that continue to arrive damaged, as you will know the issue is more likely to be caused by the courier rather than with your packing. This means you can set aside time to assess how your couriers are functioning, and if you notice a high number of returns from the same courier, you may take efforts to find a new one.

Customer Database Segmentation

Personas or qualities derived from thorough research and analysis of your client information are far more accurate than broad portrayals of high-risk consumers. Segmenting to avoid returns is quite similar to segmenting for marketing objectives. At the most basic level, you are just attempting to uncover patterns, behaviors, qualities, and other helpful indicators in order to make better judgments in the future. 

The depth of data you have obtained, as well as your overall returns and processing procedure, determine the efficacy of this method.

Segmenting customer database

Including Customer Feedback

Product reviews bring significant SEO and revenue benefits for online shops, but they also assist minimize product returns. They enable buyers to make better, more informed selections, resulting in fewer regrets. 

Retailers should try to integrate product reviews for all of their items, and buyers should be encouraged to offer accurate and meaningful product reviews. Retailers could also think about introducing a user voting system, in which consumers may vote on beneficial reviews since this would boost the valence of the information and result in a greater sense of product quality. 

Continuous Evaluation And Team Incorporation

While returns are a difficult pill to chew, they eventually give merchants a comprehensive insight into their consumers, operations, and items. One of the first realizations merchants face when considering how to decrease the number of product returns is the importance of consumer metrics and data. Knowing as many details as you can about your returns and exchanges procedure from start to finish can provide you with the information to make smarter business decisions. 

Data-Driven e-Mails To Minimize Returns

Your operations and marketing teams are battling the same battle and should support one another. Having your marketing and sales team offer air support for your operations and logistics team is a great way to boost productivity and profit, and decrease turnover and trouble.

You can better predict which goods are troublesome and which consumers are likely to return particular things by utilizing customer feedback and segment data. 

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Data-driven email
  • Determine problematic products: Retailers may acquire a clear grasp of why specific goods are returned by evaluating consumer comments. 
  • Determine problematic customers: Create customized profiles for high-risk consumers using customer segmentation and feedback. Provide this information to your marketing team so that they know which clients and goods to target. Send a targeted e-mail every time a product with a high rate of return is ordered or a buyer with a high return history completes a transaction.
  • Analyze product flaws using return reason codes and consumer data: For example, if a consumer purchases a blue coat and you know through user comments and return reason codes that it runs somewhat big, gather or produce content that showcases slim-fitting blue coats. This strategy combines cold hard facts with human psychology and innovative content marketing to retarget your consumers via e-mail order to re-affirm their order and reduce the probability of a product return.

Feedback From Customers And Easy Returns

Collecting feedback for a product return can be a time-consuming procedure for both the store and the consumer, but valuable customer feedback enables businesses to enhance the overall brand experience and identify numerous flaws in their returns management process. Retailers gain significant information about their products by gathering consumer feedback through product returns. Insights that would not have been uncovered otherwise.

Customer feedbacks

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As an e-commerce business owner, you will inevitably have to deal with some returns, but if you take the appropriate procedures now, you may considerably limit the risk of this happening. You now know how to reduce returns in e-commerce, by employing the aforementioned 15 tips, you can assist present a better image of your items to your clients and guarantee that a bigger number of them are happy with their purchase.

Ngoc LeeNgoc Lee is an Content Creator Manager at EFEX. She wields her long-term expertise in Logistics and Supply Chain, harnessing her top-notch writing and research skills to bring incredibly valuable content. Whether you're a small startup or a well-established enterprise, Ngoc Lee is here to equip you with the essential knowledge of e-commerce, fulfillment, and all things business-related.