The rise of online shopping has brought convenience to consumers worldwide, but it has also resulted in an increase in product returns. According to a report by Retail Dive, in 2020, retailers in the US saw an average return rate of 10.6% for online purchases, which is significantly higher than the 6-8% return rate for in-store purchases. There are several reasons why customers return products online.
Let’s have a look at the top 10 reasons customers in the U.S. return products online:
- Incorrect Product Description: One of the most common reasons for returns is that the product description does not match the actual product received. This could be due to incorrect product specifications, misleading images, or inaccurate product details. Customers may feel cheated or deceived when they receive a product that is different from what was advertised, and this can lead to a loss of trust in the retailer.
- Damaged or Defective Product: Another reason for returns is when the product is damaged or defective. This could be due to poor packaging, mishandling during shipping, or a manufacturing defect. Customers expect to receive products that are in perfect condition, and when they receive a damaged or defective product, it can be frustrating and time-consuming to get a replacement or a refund.
- Wrong Size or Fit: When buying clothes or shoes online, customers cannot try them on before purchasing. This can lead to returns when the size or fit is not as expected. Retailers can reduce returns due to size and fit by providing detailed sizing information, including measurements and fitting tips.
- Late Delivery: Late delivery is a common frustration for online shoppers, especially when they need the product for a specific event or occasion. When the product arrives late, customers may no longer need it, and this can lead to returns. Retailers can reduce the likelihood of late delivery by providing accurate delivery estimates and using reliable shipping methods.
- Change of Mind: Customers may also return products because they simply changed their mind about the purchase. This could be due to impulse buying or a change in personal preferences. Retailers can reduce returns due to change of mind by providing detailed product descriptions, images, and reviews to help customers make informed purchasing decisions.
- Better Price Elsewhere: Customers may return a product if they find a better price elsewhere. This could be due to a sale or promotion offered by a competitor, or simply because the customer found the product at a lower price after purchasing. Retailers can reduce returns due to price by offering competitive prices and price-matching policies.
- Unwanted Gift: Gift purchases can lead to returns when the recipient does not want or need the product. Retailers can reduce returns due to unwanted gifts by offering gift cards or making it easy for the gift recipient to exchange the product for something else.
- Technical Issues: When purchasing digital products, such as software or games, customers may encounter technical issues that prevent them from using the product. This could be due to compatibility issues, installation problems, or software bugs. Retailers can reduce returns due to technical issues by providing detailed system requirements and offering technical support.
- Poor Customer Service: Poor customer service can lead to returns when customers feel frustrated or mistreated by the retailer. This could be due to long wait times, unhelpful customer service representatives, or rude behavior. Retailers can reduce returns due to poor customer service by providing timely and helpful support and training their staff to be courteous and professional.
- Fraudulent Purchase: Finally, customers may return products if they suspect that their purchase was fraudulent. This could be due to stolen credit card information or identity theft. Retailers can reduce returns due to fraudulent purchases by implementing strong security measures, such as two-factor authentication and fraud detection software.
Even though product returns have increased considerably, e-commerce brands can reduce returns by providing accurate product descriptions, offering detailed sizing information, and using reliable shipping methods.
Brands can even offer gift cards or easy exchanges, provide technical support, offer timely and helpful customer service, and implement strong security measures to prevent fraudulent purchases.
Today, e-commerce brands are harnessing the power of automation and software to reduce product returns. NextBee’s Product Returns Slasher is a popular tool that brands use to ensure high profit margins. It’s a great platform to personalize your offerings and motivate your customers to opt for options other than returning products.
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