returns policy

Multichannel retailers need to work on their returns policies

You might think that, for retailers with a network of stores, allowing customers to return items bought online to their nearest shop would be a no-brainer. Sadly not. 

50% of the UK’s multichannel retailers were not able (or willing?) to accept returns for online purchases. 

This suggests that, though many retailers have worked hard to integrate online and offline channels to provide a better experience for customers, many still have work to do. 

15 useful examples of how to shout about your free delivery service

Free delivery and returns are a major selling point for online retailers as it negates the problems that are inherent with buying something before you’ve tried it on.

As such if e-tailers offer this service they should make sure it’s prominently displayed on their site so that customers don’t have to double-check, which may cause them to hesitate and rethink their purchase.

But occasionally sites are coy about the fact that they offer free delivery, missing out on a valuable conversion tool.

A study published last year showed that delivery and returns achieve the lowest satisfaction scores when compared to other aspects of the ecommerce experience. 

Similarly, when asked what aspect of online shopping retailers wanted to improve, 58% chose free or discounted shipping.

ASOS launches new virtual fitting tool in bid to reduce returns

Product returns are a major problem for online retailers as each unwanted order obviously incurs a cost, which then raises the dilemma of who is to pay for postage.

Passing the cost onto customers is certain to put people off ordering again in future, but absorbing the cost might not be feasible for all businesses.

Ideally retailers should try and reduce the need to return items in the first place, and we’ve previously written about a shoe fitting app that reduced fit-related returns by 23%.

Now ASOS has launched a new tool, Virtusize, that has the potential to achieve an even greater rate of success, as it has already proven to reduce fit-related returns by up to 50% on other ecommerce sites.